Our habit of going through social media doesn’t stop when the holidays kick in. Sure, it lessens because of the many family gatherings, but you still can’t help but sneak a peek. However, sometimes don’t you just feel a little stressed when you see how other people are spending their Christmas?
There will always be friends who go out of town to celebrate with their respective families or significant others. Others get to go home from abroad or pick up their balikbayan relatives who are spending Christmas here in the Philippines. Even the sight of people gathering in one home with the entire clan.
When you look at those photos, sometimes you’ll feel sad or stressed. The easy solution is to take a social media break and just enjoy the holidays your own way. But what you need to figure out is why we need to log off.
There’s a state called “festive FOMO,” which usually applies to people who are either away from home or working during Christmas. Homebodies can also feel this when they see others seemingly having more fun than them. “This trend is common in today’s digital age, when often we are so busy creating a life that looks good on the outside rather than a life that feels good from the inside,” The Huffington Post noted.
This can also be attributed to “holiday blues,” which is described as feeling some level of anxiety or sadness during Christmas. According to UC Davis Health, two of the causes include “unrealistic expectations about ourselves” and “unrealistic fantasies about our families.” And because of the digital age, these are usually triggered by what we see on social media.
The time we spend on social media also adds to the stress. Bustle cited a study that said that constantly checking our phones can make us more worried about various things. Being reliant on digital platforms can also affect our social skills, give us trust issues and emotional stress—basically disconnecting you from the real world, especially the holiday revelry.
It’s true that social media has become a form of escapism for us even during Christmas. You wouldn’t be able to avoid your titas‘ prying questions if you didn’t have your trusty apps. But escaping stress shouldn’t make it worse.
Regardless if you’re celebrating alone or not, it’s important to watch out for your well-being. So lessen your social media use, or temporarily ditch it, to avoid that feeling of envy toward everyone else. This will also give us the chance to connect with people and yourself, and spend the holidays the way you should—book a staycation, even—and not through our phone screens.
Art by Lara Intong
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