FOMO on Halloween

 

Whether your social calendar on Halloween is full, sparse, or somewhere in between, there is always that slight feeling of FOMO you can’t avoid.

Personally, this year, I won’t be on campus for Hallo-weekend. I’ll be in Minnesota at a martial arts tournament. I’m definitely sad that I will be missing all the festivities and the opportunity to post the classic Halloween picture on Instagram. For a split second, I contemplated skipping the tournament, so I could partake in the Halloween fun. It’s crazy how the fear of missing out can drive you to do irrational things. 

I think FOMO can be dealt with through thought reshaping, formally called cognitive reframing. Cognitive reframing is defined as: “a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.”

I find this technique particularly helpful because it reminds me of the important, positive things about my current situation to relieve the feelings of FOMO. For example, although I was feeling sad that I will be missing Halloween, I reminded myself that I will get to see my teammates on my martial arts team and hang out with other people on the circuit. Often times, social situations give us an opportunity to either reconnect with friends or establish new ones. 

I also reminded myself that missing one event does not preclude me from missing all future events. No one is going to consider me missing Halloween “social suicide.” Everyone is just trying to have a fun time. 

While my exact situation is likely not applicable to you guys, I know that often times people wonder if they’re at the right party, should they be somewhere that’s “more fun,” or are they missing out on something else that they’ll regret they missed the next day. 

In short, the answer is, no matter where you find yourself this year on Halloween, whether that be in your room with some friends, on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, or in Minnesota, try reshaping how you think of your situation, and I promise you’ll have a much better time than you wishing you were somewhere else.