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…

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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! 

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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.

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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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Tokyo Tantrums

Japan ~ Tokyo – 2015

Tokyo has a big city sort of reputation to it, an air of grandeur accompanied with a sense of mystery somewhere within the non-stop luminous glare of the lights and the 24/7 rush…

So many films have painted a picture that has made an impression on me, and because of this it was high on the list of places I wanted to see…so when I realised I had a long weekend coming up I didn’t hesitate and booked it up straight away! Just a couple of hours to get from my home in Korea to the unknown world beyond – armed with nothing but a friend’s recommendations (which proved invaluable) and a feeling I was soon to be in my very own Lost in Translation remake…

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Sidenote: when travelling you really do need to think long and hard about who you will actually travel with. Well maybe not too thorough – nothing too ridiculous, but at the very least you need to see a clean bill of health (both physical and mental), a criminal background check, and dental records. Also check their voice and typical conversation topics as otherwise you may be locked in with the most boring groaner on the planet – which is never going to be fun. With this particular adventure I was meaning to go alone originally, and then at the last minute a lady friend of mine tagged along…which brought some erm, shall we say – complications? 

Anyway I mean this sincerely when I say that Tokyo is a marvel. So much to see and do, a far cry from the more reserved and traditional parts of Japan I had visited earlier in the year.  But oddly I found it manages to retain a fantastic balance between the two often conflicting sides; you see one second I’d be staring up at a 60 foot tall science fiction juggernaut in the form of the powerful Gundam, the next I was wearing a traditional yukata and relaxing in an onsen…then I’d blink and be back to the mad rush of the Shibuya scramble crossing! I was completely in my element, roving around searching for the weird and wonderful, straining my neck to try and see as much as I possibly could…it was everything I had dreamed about for so long, and so much more…

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But yeah: the ghost at the feast…the wasp at the picnic…the drunk and slightly creepy uncle at the family reunion. Hmm, that last one was a bit weird, but you get my point – this is the part of the story where I say what didn’t go so smoothly, and most of it had to do with my travel companion: hence my warning earlier. You see I try my utmost to remain as friendly and light hearted as possible during trips, as from experience I understand that it can be a pretty stressful period if you let the small things seep in and truly affect you…if you do that suddenly the foul smell of a certain street, the incessant honking of horns on the road, or perhaps even your friend’s breathing can have you suddenly enraged beyond all comprehension: like smashing an axe into a locked door screaming “heeeeere’s Johnny!”  sort of level rage. So it’s best to take a deep breath instead, and just let most hiccups roll off your back…

However, my lady friend didn’t share this ethos…which meant that any small thing became the reason for a monumental day-ruining mood. Juxtapose that dark rain cloud along with my attempted cheery sense of humour and you had quite a pairing; something like if Voldemort was to meet one of the Teletubbies. Well actually that’s unfair (to he who must not be named): it would only be like that if Voldemort had the emotional range to both grimace and groan about public transport, and literally burst into tears about the levels of salt in Japanese food…as it stands I don’t think he is quite on her level yet.

I can understand the frustration though, Tokyo is huge and it’s far too easy to become dazed and confused by the sprawling subway system: which I honestly think was designed by someone throwing spaghetti at the wall, and saying: “that’ll do just fine.” We took many wrong turns during our days there, and the hours were long and well travelled…but I don’t see how it helps remaining silent or dragging your feet along as if you are a pathetically non-threatening zombie, or almost defunct robot:

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There is an answer to such problems though, and one which I will gladly share with all of you…and that is; beer. Yes, you heard it here first! The golden elixir is the perfect remedy to all sorts of ailments, including the frustration you may feel when a friend (or something more) is becoming more than you can bear. Thankfully there was a so-called “English pub” just off a side street near to the Shibuya crossing…where for three times the normal price I could enjoy beer, ales, and all that good stuff as if I was back amongst the smoke and laughing guffaws of my homeland…“Wait, it’s how much?! Jesus tap-dancing Christ!? It’s not worth that!”

But yeah, that’s how things go! Ups and downs, smiles and frowns…you have to take the good with the bad, and try to carve out memories that will last: and despite all the issues we were still able to do that…pretty much.

However I must now look for an AA meeting in South Korea: so yeah, wish me luck. 

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Why Do Men Have to Use Urinals?! (Video Request)

Why is it that it is okay for men to pee in a pot with an audience, but not for ladies? Well, it’s certainly a pretty weird issue…but a one I was glad to delve into (eww)…

What do you think? Don’t be a shy bladder – get involved with the gross debate!

Oh, and if you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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When MERS Attacks!

My boss sent me a rather rushed message last night regarding my work for the next day, the gist of which was; no school tomorrow. Please stay home. 

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This is because South Korea is on high alert at the moment, especially in my close area, due to the recent outbreak of the MERS virus*This is pronounced like “Merris” for some reason, which to me sounds like a sweet old grandmother who bakes cakes, and sucks on extra strong mints in her spare time – but the reality couldn’t be further from that. It’s actually pretty serious, or at least that’s what I’ve been told…

Little is known about it other than that it is thought to have started in Saudi Arabia…possibly something to do with camels. Never did like camels – all that spitting always struck me as insanitary. I’m not quite sure how it all works, but I imagine the camel spat in someone’s eye, and then that guy licked someone, and so on, and so on…in time the camel had enough of being judged so took a flight to Korea, naturally one thing led to another and now…MERS virus panic in SK!

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What does that mean for me? Well, I am forced to have the day off (BOOO HOOO, I’m crying a river over that one), and when I go out I am recommended to wear a face mask in case someone sneezes directly into my mouth at some point. It makes me look like a bit of a ninja, especially with sunglasses it just feels like a rather shit halloween costume…so I’m opting out of that. Instead I’ll just try my best not to kiss any camels should they start to flirt with me.

Wish me luck… 

*Jokes aside, here is a link to a more credible source for information regarding the MERS virus, should go without saying that I urge everyone in the proximity to be careful – and should you spot any symptoms seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY. 

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