FOMO, the fear of missing out, is not a new concept but it has been taken to new heights in todayâ€™s world of high tech and status updates in real time. We feel like we are sitting behind our computer being bored while the rest of the Internet is out living life to the fullest. It leaves us feeling wanting and left out but consider this: how in the hell do you think they are updating their status updates if they are so busy having fun?
Itâ€™s all rainbows and unicorns on the Internet but thatâ€™s not real life. We can say anything we want from behind our keyboards. I could say that I am typing this post from a beach in Barbados while lying in a cabana in a tiny bikini (because obviously my body rocks) as my handsome husband builds sand castles with my two perfect children. Youâ€™d probably believe it.
Only, really, I am typing this post from my bedroom in my yoga pants and t-shirt, no make-up and all of us are indoors because itâ€™s 107 degrees outside here in Indiana. I wouldnâ€™t be caught dead in a tiny bikini because I am rocking a mushy middle because I work on the Internet and donâ€™t get a lot of workout time in.
My husband and kids are pretty great, but no one’s perfect. See, you are not missing out on anything. If anything, whatever you are doing is probably more exciting than what is going on over here or maybe itâ€™s even equally as mundane. No FOMO needed.
FOMO is real. Iâ€™ve had bouts of it myself. I read my friendâ€™s tweets and status updates and I feel like I am never in the right place at the right time and I am missing out on everything. Everyoneâ€™s life appears to be easier and more fun than mine has been recently.
According to updates, everyone else has their stuff together while I feel like I am still struggling in so many aspects of my life. Iâ€™ve been birthing and raising little ones for the past 8 years and weâ€™ve moved 4 times in those 8 years. Weâ€™ve lost jobs and been tight on funds and there have been no vacations until this year.
I donâ€™t have a ton of friends anymore because weâ€™ve moved so much, so I donâ€™t have girlsâ€™ nights anymore and we donâ€™t get invited to dinner parties because we are new in town.
I feel like the only blogger who hasnâ€™t been to any conferences yet. I feel like even though I am making great strides in my career, Iâ€™m still not where I want to be and everyone else I know is doing it better and moving up faster. FOMO has me questioning what Iâ€™m doing wrong.
Iâ€™ve had serious FOMO recently. We actually did take a vacation this year and it was fantastic, though, honestly, stressful. Even when I am living life and doing exciting things, I feel like I am missing out on whatâ€™s happening on the Internet.Â I guess itâ€™s the nature of the beast, since I work and socialize on the Internet so much.
The Internet makes me feel simultaneously connected and disconnected. When I am on the computer, I feel guilty about the lack of participation in my real life and when I am living life, in the moment, I feel like I am missing out and being forgotten online. I am straddling between these two worlds and the FOMO is more than I could have ever expected.
Remember the good old days when after graduation you never heard about what happened with so and so again, so you never felt like you needed to keep comparing yourself to the head cheerleader for the rest of your life. You were free.
Social media is the cause of FOMO and living more unplugged is the definitive cure. Live your life to the fullest and forget about what everyone else is doing. The only standard that you need to hold yourself to is your own and the only thing you need to fear missing out on is your own life and enjoying those you love, here and now.
Do you suffer from FOMO? What do you fear you are missing out on the most?
Photo Credit: Mislav