Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FOMO



In college, everyone has FOMO (fear of missing out) to some degree. It’s probably safe to say a few years after your graduate you still have that mentality. FOMO is something my friends and I used to joke about. Thankfully the “always need to go out” type of FOMO or Social FOMO has subsided a little, but now there different strains of this epidemic. It used to be just social FOMO, but now Gen Y-ers have Digital FOMO, Work FOMO, and Diet FOMO. Overwhelmed yet? You’re not alone. In this article from Refinery 29, Nicole Catanese identifies, categorizes, and breaks down the unhealthy side effects of FOMO. 


The constant need to update everyone on what we are doing at all times, and in turn incessantly checking what everyone else is doing have created this phenomenon. We're codependent on social media. We’re addicted to our devices, fear how others view us in the work setting, worry about missing out on a potentially memorable event, and put ourselves on restrictive non-sustainable diets to fit the mold. I’m exhausted just reading that last sentence.

Is there a cure for FOMO? I think the first step is identifying which type you are afflicted with (mine would be digital), and go from there. My boyfriend and I have a nasty habit of constant device checking and whipping out our iPads at the drop of a hat. I’ve asked myself why I feel the need to know what is going on at all times, and the only thing I can think of is because I can and God forbid I should miss something I really need to know (doubtful).

The only conclusion I can draw from this admission of guilt is that I need to unplug, get off the grid and just recharge. There is always going to be someone doing something more fun, going someplace more fabulous, and living a life that looks more ideal than mine. Honestly, none of those things are going to kill me or negatively affect me long term. Comparison is the thief of joy and while we all now have a lot more ways to constantly compare ourselves, maybe we should just power off and appreciate all the great things we do have.


Photo by Refinery 29

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