#atozchallenge: fomo

Fear of missing out.  I have it.  Blame it on my extroversion (I prefer to be around others than alone), my star sign (Gemini – social butterfly) or the fact that I just don’t like to feel as though I’ve been left out (does anyone?).

My FOMO extends to both my personal and professional life. When I see photos on Facebook of friends enjoying an evening out together, I think to myself: “Gee, I don’t remember getting an invitation to that.” Oh wait…  And while following along on a conference backchannel is a great way to feel as if you are there, it isn’t the same as actually being there, connecting with colleagues in person.

FOMO has always existed.  Pre-social media, FOMO came from getting the flu and not being able to go to the concert that everyone would be talking about for months.  Now with social media so ingrained in our lives, it’s a lot easier to see all that we are “missing out on.”  Friends’ pictures on Facebook, tweets from a professional association’s social of the year, and pins of baked goods that make you wonder where people find time to do it all, are enough to make you think you’re missing out on everything that is good in life.  Of course, that isn’t true.  But when you compare your everyday life to everyone else’s highlight reel, it’s hard not to feel that way.

How do you overcome the fear of missing out?

For more information about the a to z challenge, click here.

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6 Comments

  1. I like the ideas you presented. I think everyone has a fear of missing out to some degree.

    I try to counter-act it by asking myself “is this something that I will regret not doing?”. If the answer is yes, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, then by all means rearrange your schedule and find a way to attend.

    But if it is an event that will come around next week or even next year, like a party or game night, or an annual festival, then I don’t sweat it. If it works in my schedule, great! If not, there’s no reason to stress myself out attending things (or even keeping tabs on things) that aren’t critical.

  2. Hey Kate!

    This is something that I have struggled with a lot this year – although I had never thought about it in terms of “fomo” (which I love!). Through the majority of March, I did not go on Facebook – which was quite a difficult task for me, but I realized it was hurting me more than helping me. Constantly seeing everyone else’s updates and fun things and wondering why I wasn’t invited / involved lead to me being sad and unhappy despite the multitude of awesome things I was doing in my own life. After a little while, the need to know what was happening with everyone dwindled and I started being happier – I also realized that I wasted a lot of time judging. Facebook, and social media are fascinating and great at allowing us to keep in touch with people in an instant and convenient way, but the plus side to staying off those sites, is that when you find that moment to talk face to face with someone, they actually have things to share with you that you don’t already know about, and often they will bring up the good and the bad and give you a more real insight into their life at the moment. And it’s those connections and conversations that help me through the tougher times struggling with “fomo”.

    My final thought (but not my only lol) is that sometimes you need to miss out on an event now, so that way you can go to a more important event later. Our society is so focused on instant gratification and everyone has become self centred – we ask ourselves.. “why wasn’t I invited?” instead of .. “I can’t wait to ask so and so about that event that looked awesome!” We revolve around ourselves but sometimes we need to stop and think about what kind of world we are creating when we reinforce those habits!

    Chev.

    ps, love the blog! Thanks for asking this question – it’s been on my heart a lot lately.

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