You may have felt FOMO cyclist even if you don't know it, here we explain how to relieve it

Road 28/10/22 08:00 Migue A.

Many of you may never have heard of the term FOMO, but it is very likely that you have experienced it, especially if you are a regular user of social media.

What is the FOMO syndrome

The FOMO syndrome, which stands for Fear Of Missing Out, is a type of anxiety associated with social networks where we see people showing us a lot of wonderful experiences while we are mere spectators from the sofa at home. Applied to the world of cycling, who hasn't felt that they don't train enough or that their routes have nothing to contribute when they see friends posting photos in the Alps or Dolomites, or finishing some famous event with a smile on their face.

In social networks we are invaded by the latest and most expensive equipment, which can make us not enjoy what we have.

This becomes a problem when our cycling activity starts to become less satisfying when compared to those people who seem to be climbing beautiful mountain passes every day or riding brand new top-of-the-range bikes all the time; and we end up in a spiral of feelings of loneliness, isolation, low self-esteem and even sadness. A dynamic that, if left unchecked, can lead to anxiety and even depression.

The vicious circle is completed by generating an addiction to social networks and the need to be constantly aware of what is going on and what people are doing.

What can we do about it?

If we are aware that we are suffering from symptoms of FOMO, there are several things we can do to stop it from becoming a problem.

To begin with, FOMO is associated with isolation and loneliness. Try to avoid this by looking for a group to ride with - there is probably a cycling club in your area that you can join. It can also motivate you to get back on the bike with your old cycling buddies and plan a cycling holiday to one of those paradises you've always wanted to visit.

The feeling of FOMO also appears when we compulsively follow an event in which we had planned to participate and for some reason we have not been able to attend. It is important to avoid being on the lookout for it, especially if the absence has occurred for a reason beyond our control. It can also help to prepare an alternative plan to avoid thinking about why you are not taking part in such a march or competition.

When reviewing social media activity we also need to change the way we look at the different posts of the people we follow. Keep in mind that a photo on Instagram is just a frozen moment in time where everything seems happy and perfect. Nobody shows you on Instagram the lost suitcases at the airport, the inhuman early start to get to an event that is a lot of kilometres away from the only place where you have found accommodation or the miseries of a training session in winter, raining and with freezing temperatures, where you can't feel your hands and you get a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere.

It is important to turn the tables and look at what we do and highlight it. Surely many of our routes, that lunchtime getaway or the bakery where we stop halfway along the route are the envy of our followers who at that moment are sitting at home watching your latest post and thinking that they would like to do that. Related to this, one of the things we have to be aware of is that we can't get to everything. It's impossible to want to be doing mountain passes in the Alps, enjoying a beer after a ride with friends from the club and at the same time participating in a gravel ride of hundreds of kilometres.

Of course, we cannot let ourselves get swept up in the dynamics of the networks and forget the real world. Being clear about our scale of priorities can help us to banish FOMO. Whether family or work is more important to us than cycling is something we should bear in mind when we look at what people are posting on the networks who have undoubtedly put cycling in a higher position.

Finally, and if none of the above works, maybe it's time to disconnect from the networks for a while. It is something that can be complicated because of the addiction that comes from wanting to be up to date with everything, but it is this same addiction that triggers FOMO and the feeling that we are missing out on many things we would like to do. At the end of the day, what we like is riding a bike and we should not lose sight of the fact that it is something we are passionate about for its own sake, without the need to imitate the fashion influencer's brand.



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