FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
An ailment of the fun-time cortex, FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is real.
I’m a seeker, a dreamer, a creative that wants to take it all in and shake it all out. Since I was a little Smart, though shy and as quiet as a mute, I always wanted to be involved. Following my brother around like a lost dog looking for food, I refused staying home with my little sister to watch cartoons, I wanted to pretend like I knew what was going on with Magnum PI and stay out until the street lights came on driving around in my tricycle that I nicknamed KIT like the talking car on said show because I wanted them to know I knew what’s up, I was down. I didn’t want to miss a minute.
Now I’m older, things have changed, my brother barely goes out and I, only for work, but one thing hasn’t, and that one thing is FOMO. Though I’ve channeled much of my creative energy into my businesses and my life energy into my daughter, I still find myself alone in my bed at 12am, restless with the anxieties of the day flipping through what I believe to be the breeder of all FOMO – Instagram, and bam, I feel like I’m missing out, I’m wishing I was at that concert, dance party, dinner, etc.
It all started with Twitter, but those were just words. I mean, words get you excited, but photos, photos spill those thousand words, make you think things, believe things, even things that aren’t even there. And then there came SnapChat; live vicariously through friends and celebrities ALL THE TIME. Instant FOMO. The event you were too tired to attend is now streaming live in your hand and now not only do you feel bad for not pulling it together and going (they could do it, why couldn’t you!) but you also wish you were living that moment too, wondering what highlight you might miss, what secret you might not now be privy too, what opportunity to meet Jenna Lyons and become her real life bestie and confident might have just slipped through your lazy, sleepy fingers.
FOMO is real and our social tools make it so much more, well, INSTAreal. Though not everyone suffers, there is always a moment where you might just feel that fleeting feeling of: if only I went, and now that feeling is highlighted in big, bright technocolour; displayed in high-res on your mobile device.
My one way I’ve been fighting the good fight against this tricky little brain warp is to take mini social media breaks. It isn’t easy, checking your phone has become habitual at mach speed making it difficult for us to even properly analyze the behavior. But one thing I do know is taking a break to turn off, even for one hour at a time helps bring one back into the real living world where faces and bodies and trees and meals and birds and things are three dimensional and real and unfiltered and unaltered. Where life is happening in the moment, unedited and truly authentic.
I’m going to try to take more of those moments because one thing I’ve noticed is the moments away make me enjoy the time I spend on Social Media in a more objective, inspired and positive way.
Do you suffer from FOMO?