Suffering from FOMO? Here’s how you YOLO!!!

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YOLOIt turns out that there’s an issue in the social media community that goes by the acronym FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. According to Mashable, it’s something suffered by a considerable 56% of social media users, which is pretty considerable. But given that it’s just another cause of social media addiction, it’s a problem that can be dealt with by changing the way we see social media and our interaction with it.

YOLO

A lot of you are likely aware of this phrase, and the majority of you probably dislike it somewhat vehemently. But hey! Put down the pitchforks and torches for a second and hear me out. The wonderful thing about YOLO – You Only Live Once – is that it’s true! You only get to do this particular run once, regardless of your beliefs, so you may as well make it enjoyable, right?

As a result, that may mean you’re worried about missing out on opportunities and so on, contributing to the social media-related anxiety known as FOMO. But don’t fear – you’ve simply got to change the way you prioritise your social media habits. First of all, stop looking at it all the time! You might have your laptop with you in the park, but you could be writing the next great novel, not endlessly flicking through someone’s holiday photos! I’m just as guilty of this as you are, but you’re not going to get that great new job, meet the person of your dreams and go cycling across China if you’re sat updating your Facebook status once an hour, are you?

Additionally, look at Facebook as a source of opportunities not via the main feed, most of the time, but via the Events page. The same goes for Twitter – try and find accounts that tweet events rather than endless updates and you’ll find you do less tweet reading and more going out. This is important, because it alleviates your FOMO and sure makes you feel a little YOLO!

Don’t be antisocial 

Now, I know I’ve recommended you step away, but there’s no need to stop checking in altogether – social media is a vital tool for interacting with other human beings in 2013, whether you like it or not. But again, you’ve got to think about the way in which you’re engaging with the content on display for you at all times.

Firstly, see social media as a communications tool and something to pass the time in between doing other things – not as a priority. There’s a difference between poking through your Facebook feed while you’re waiting for a bus and doing the same while you’re on a conference call at work – social media is simply a bunch of your buddies chatting, for most of us, and if you wouldn’t ring or text them during that call, then social media is out, too!

There is of course an argument for using it professionally, and this is fine – some people actually help their careers by being active social media users. But there are ways to achieve this without a constant need for contact with social media. Smart uses of scheduling and writing updates and so on in advance means that you can set it all up at the beginning of the day, week or month and then you only have to check in on people’s responses, rather than submitting the time-consuming stuff yourself.

Some parting thoughts

Finally, don’t demonise your social media use. It’s a good suite of tools and it’s helped more people connect than ever before. It gets a bad rap in the press because it’s addictive and a lot of children are tapping into it too, but realistically it’s also because sometimes the people writing those articles and appearing on talk shows to remonstrate with social media users are similar to those who used to think TV was “the devil.” Pinch of salt, and don’t FOMO – just YOLO!

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Facebook: “just the F, please.”

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FacebookFacebook has become one of the most famous brands on the planet. It’s completely unavoidable, far more so than Twitter – even your grandparents might be on it! A big part of the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people, Mark Zuckerberg’s college IT project has changed the social landscape forever and helped usher in the digital era. Out with the SMS, in with the Facebook message.

Their redesigned news feed has actually reduced the brand to something even more minimalistic than their existing site design: the Facebook logo is now just the famous “f” symbol. It’s great news for those who’d rather their feed wasn’t being partially taken up by the full name, but also proves a point that’s less than subtle – everyone knows what the “f” means, and new users are already aware of the service.

They’re also beginning to move away from text and focus on image sharing, which is definitely in tune with the view that today’s average internet user prefers pictures to words. A shame for those who love the craft of the written word, but for social, Facebook are bringing their A-game towards photos and other images, as services like Imgur continue to take off into low orbit in terms of popularity, while Facebook struggles to stay as valuable as it claims to be for its IPO.

They also want a better mobile experience, despite the app – an odd aim given that they already have mobile apps whether you’re tooling around on Android, iPhone or anything else – and feel like you should be able to access their social platform easily regardless of the device or software you’re using. Facebook are a company that really understands user desires, and while they do consistently raise red flags when it comes to data privacy/protection, as far as user experience goes, they’re headed in the right direction.

But are they becoming slightly too confident? Their IPO really didn’t go as well as they or anybody else had hoped, and their critics were proved to be right – their number of users is false given many accounts are fake, and the average Facebook user isn’t actually worth much money, if any at all. They were built on supplying services that are free, and as with Twitter, it has proven difficult to capitalise on their user base without being seen as extortionists.

They are however in the odd position of having no competition whatsoever for the service they provide, which, while something of a relief also means that it’s up to them and them alone to reinvent themselves and innovate. While the “f” move is more “look at us” than “here’s a new feature,” they’re definitely trying to simplify and streamline the reasons why people engage with the platform at all, and it’s an interesting step that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Facebook Heads arrives for iPhone and iPad

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After the long wait, iOS users can now enjoy the new Facebook chat option where you can see a picture of your contacts in a bubble-shaped icon whenever they message you. Although the Facebook Chat Heads is one of the primary features of the Facebook Home for Android, Apple device users will now receive this feature with the recent mobile updates.

At the All Things D mobile event held this week, Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and Mobile Engineering vice president Cory Ondrejka made an official announcement that the quirky messaging experience on the Facebook Home will now be available to iPhone and iPad.

In the article published by Mashable.com, Facebook said that “iPhone users who download the update will start to see Chat Heads pop up over the next couple of weeks.”

Creating a more playful and dynamic messaging interface, the Chat Heads were designed to show the profile picture of your contacts that signifies a new message thread. The pictures appear in a floating bubble-like heads on your screen. Users will need to click on the picture in order to open the message thread.

So, what’s the difference between the Chat Heads for Android and iOS? Without the interface, the Facebook Heads will only work inside the application, unlike in Android, where users can interact with their Facebook directly on their Home page, as explained by the Facebook executives.

The new Facebook app will soon be available on the Apple’s App Store, although the Chat Heads might take a few weeks to reach other users. The new version will have bigger and bolder News Feed design and will introduce digital stickers to the messaging system.

The integration of Chat Heads to the iOS app does not indicate that the Facebook Home will be available for Apple devices. Facebook is sill focused on targeting the larger market of Android users. Recently, the new Facebook-centric UI become available in the United States, giving Android Smartphone users more access to their favorite social site. The new UI is now available for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One X, and the HTX One X+. We will also expect the upcoming Samsung Galaxy SIV and HTC One to have the Facebook Home interface, but for now, HTC First, which will be out on the international market later this year, will be the first device to carry the full interface.

Facebook HEadsIf you enjoy accessing your Facebook profile and connecting with your friends to this social page, then the Facebook Home will be your best option, as long as you have an Android device. Since the Facebook Home for Android might take a few more months to be released, it seems you’ll find the upcoming HTC First with pre-installed Facebook Home, a great Smartphone to buy, although you might find its specs disappointing.

Although talks about the Facebook Home continue to spread, early reviews showed a bad start for the UI considering it only has an overall average of 2.4 Stars on Google Play since its debut. However, we cannot purely judge the interface just yet; Facebook Home still has a lot more to run with the release of its first mobile, HTC First.