Frantically refreshing my Instagram feed for the third time in the last three minutes, I quickly put my thumb over the notifications icon. I didn’t want to know the exact number of likes and comments; rather wanting the amount to be a surprise, I automatically went to my picture itself. 

8 likes, 0 comments.

Already having spent five minutes filtering the picture and another 15 trying to think of a caption, I became increasingly frustrated and angered by the lack of attention that my post was receiving. I began to realize maybe it was time to click the delete button on this. I was dissatisfied with the 235 likes I amassed within a day. Trying to feel better about myself, I analyzed how other people’s posts performed, scrolling through the feed. 

332 likes. 459 likes. 297 likes

Suddenly, Ego — a grisly monster within my mind that developed post-puberty — began to roar in fury. 

“How come they get more likes? What makes their post better the mine? That person doesn’t even look that great. Why are they getting all the attention?”

If you have ever felt hooked to a social media platform, you’re definitely not alone. Nearly 30 percent of social media users aged 15-19 check their feeds for approximately three hours during a day. To put that into perspective, that is the same amount of time it takes for someone to watch The Wolf of Wall Street or six episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I don’t know about you, but that sounds way more entertaining than seeing Cloyd Rivers' tweets and what inspirational religious verse influenced someone. 

Of course, with everything going on in this day and age, it is understandable to see why people can become drawn to certain social media platforms. The thought of being “Twitter famous” and applying a filter to show off that dazzling smile are just a few reasons why social media has exploded within the last decade. However, one of the most important theories as to why everyone is engaging in social media more than ever is one known as FOMO, or the fear of missing out. 

You know, FOMO. When you’re in bed but you get that last minute text from a friend to come out. Even though you may not want to go out at all, you still freshen up as quickly as you can because something fun might happen. Yet you know disappointment is inevitable as you button that last button and walk out the door — but hey, at least you know you didn’t miss out on anything. 

And going back to the disappointment of an invalidating eight likes, I deleted the app off my phone about three days ago. Surprisingly, I have not re-downloaded in sheer temptation as I have in the past. If anything, these past three days filled with actual face-to-face interaction and not spending twenty minutes thinking of a caption have been nothing short of amazing (minus sleeping through my 9 a.m. class). I plan on going without Instagram for at least a month. 

Will I be able to succeed without it for a whole 30 days? Maybe.

Have I learned that walks within our gorgeous campus are about 50 times better without being glued to a screen? Most certainly

But will I go out this weekend just so I don’t miss out on what is not at all likely to be the best night of my life? You know it. 

Akash Bakshi is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you find yourself struggling with FOMO? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.

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