FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

There is a burgeoning problem among internet users…by which I mean  essentially everyone…which is something known as FOMO; or to use its full name – “The Fear of Missing Out”…which is essentially envy and jealousy but with a little more i:Robot desperation thrown into the mix:

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I have only just became aware of the name (there’s a blaaaady name for everything these days), but I was certainly aware of the condition itself as it is a thing that most experience from day to day in this ultra-connected and uber-technological age we find ourselves in: myself included. 

Case in point, I have just finished scrolling down Facebook for a couple of minutes, and I already find myself wanting two kids, like now – but also I saw someone bragging about a carefree/childfree life and really wanted that too. Then I spotted someone’s round the world trip pictures and was instantly overcome with jealousy…but proceeded to like someone else’s post about fossil fuels and the part airplanes have in the destruction of the planet; urgh, I really wish I could stand up for more positive causes. Oh and someone just lost a million pounds on a new diet, they look really great – wish I could – oh wait look at that burger and fries my friend has – oh she looks really amazing on the beach with – I’ll never have a car like that – why can’t I live with my best – how does he even – why don’t I look like – if only I could do…

Huh What GIF

ESSENTIALLY I SEE ALL OF THESE THINGS, AND I WANT THEM ALL.  WHY AM I SO TERRIBLY SHIT IN COMPARISON TO EVERYONE IN THE WORLD?!

You see that’s the cycle, and it is as silly as it is hurtful and destructive. The old adage of “keeping up with the Joneses” – is out…it’s no longer about having a nice looking living room, or making sure the flowers in the garden  are neat and pretty…this has been well and truly replaced with a “Keeping up with the Kardashians” mentality – which for most is a depressing  impossibility, but something that they attempt to their detriment anyway. But just like Kim Kardashian’s butt, this whole facade is fake…faker than my claim that 2016 will be the year I get chiselled abs, bulging biceps, and rock hard…can’t even get through this lie, you know what I’m getting at though.

The bad thing is there can be horrendous emotional consequences of FOMO  which can have repercussions on the rest of our lives. If I am bummed out that I can’t party like a rockstar so decide to borrow money to do it anyway…well, that doesn’t just go away. No matter who you pray to – trust me, I’ve tried them all – banks don’t listen. Heathens! 

Loser GIF

So when people find themselves unable to say no to amazing “once in a lifetime” experiences, largely because they know they will be fantastic memories…and in some cases even better social media posts (urgh), then this leaves them with nothing more than crippling debt and a bleak future. This means they truly will be “missing out” in the long term…missing out on a stable life, free of fear and devoid of the need to work a job you hate simply to make repayments on the lavish mistakes you made for the sake of Instagram. 

Not to be a buzzkill – just be sensible. Saying “yes” to every single opportunity seems like a good idea – and a mantra which blogs and the wider social media culture have endorsed wholeheartedlybut I implore you to be careful with this thinking, as fearing missing out on one or two notable events is nothing to fret about…ignore this advice at your peril – it could mean potentially missing out on an entire life well lived, inside and out.

Yoda GIF.gif

p.s. oh, and by the way my friend – you are fucking fantastic just as you are. Don’t let the social media demons get you down. 

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22 thoughts on “FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

  1. Hi John. I wasn’t aware either that there was a term for it. Honestly, I think it’s a habit that is ingrained in people from when they are kids with parents who have to keep kids busy so they never learn to occupy themselves. When you get older it’s fear of missing events in high school or university such as parties, or networking events as adults. I think FB and social media just makes this worse. And the sad fact is most events are never as good as we thought and we didn’t miss anything. Just my thoughts. Great topic for a post.

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  2. I spend more time thinking “Oh thank goodness for that, I’m not ever going to be like them.” and “Bloody hell, I’m glad I don’t live there.” (that one is usually prompted by Americans’ posts) or even “Surely nobody is THAT dumb?” which I guess is the antithesis of the phenomenon to which you refer.
    I like to call it Failure to Understand Childish Knobheads, but I can’t think of a suitable acronym…

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  3. I understand this sentiment but I have experienced too much madness and hype to accept it in my life.

    I do things my way and adapt where necessary. A life without peace and quiet is no life for me. My slow coffee moments (among others) are too important for me to sacrifice for short-term enjoyment.

    If the meaning of life is about finding the fish, well I found my fish.

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  4. You know, every once in a while I just kinda think, Wasn’t there this funny blogger a while ago? Wonder what wisdom he’s got up his sleeve today! And then I read a post of yours at random, and I’m NEVER disappointed! Seriously, such good writing, I can’t even– JUST TOO GOOD!!!

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