I was listening to an interview today and the topic was FOMO. I was intrigued mostly because I’d never heard of this phenomenon. Have you?
FOMO = Fear of Missing Out
The psychologist made some comments that especially with the social network abilities we have, FOMO can trigger all sorts of responses. From hey that’s GREAT news to the opposite end – a negative response and mostly kept inside. This negative feeling is generally jealously. WHY is so and so getting all the good breaks? WHY are they bragging so much about their kid? Their kid isn’t anymore special than MINE! Or the potential of hearing about events that you weren’t invited to, the get together with co-workers for happy hour and you turned it down, to even an ex wanting to re-connect. All the things that can make a person question themselves. The comments went on to state that many people suffer from second guessing as it is, for this new trend to appear is another thing for people to work through.
Believe it or not, FOMO is a real issue. In this time of having to do so much to get ahead, of so many people communicating via social media, it can make this issue become more and more serious. This is not to say that communicating via the networks is a bad thing per se, but as a society many people (seemingly) have given up on one-to-one communication. You’ll see groups of people – in the same room – texting back and forth instead of actually speaking. There’s something wrong here.
No, I’m not jealous. I choose to not have a “smart” phone. I choose to not have texting on my phone. I was always the “odd” one in high school, (I used backpacks before anyone else thought of it – at least in my school) I wasn’t one of the “in” crowd. This tendency toward, odd/being different seems to have continued throughout my life. Nothing wrong with it – different is a good thing – to be embraced.
However, FOMO is something to be addressed. As kids there’s always the potential to be the “odd ball” the one never invited to be part of the “in” crowd, so why on Earth would we want to continue this feeling as adults? Tooting your own horn because a wonderful/positive event happened is a great thing. Congratulating your friends because of their achievements is always good for the soul. But, don’t get so caught up in your life and all the things you’re trying to do just to maintain that you forget the fun things. Don’t forget to do that stop and smell the roses thing!
Oh, and yes of course it’s wonderful to have social networking friends that you haven’t actually met face-to-face. It’s wonderful to communicate with people on the other side of the planet. Just don’t let communicating via the internet (exclusively) control your life.
Picture found on Google images