Always dreaming about or planning your future? Always thinking about your past? Always running to ensure you squeeze it all in? Never able to say no as you might miss “THE” event of the week, month or year? Spreading yourself too thin?
An intense Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) seems to be growing all around me -highlighted and increased by Facebook, Twitter and the likes. The ability to see what everyone is doing, the amazing holidays people are on, the parties they attend – why is my life not like that?? Sound familiar? Are we the FOMO generation?
There are so incredibly many choices out there! So many amazing hobbies to take up, so many interesting books to read, people to speak to, parties to go, food to try, clothes to buy, gossip to catch up on, children to take care of, appearances to be kept…..Enough to make your head spin!
The concept and feeling of FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, is growing. I say growing as I believe it has always been there in some shape or form. An empty nester desperate not to be the last to become a grandparent maybe? Being punished, grounded, and missing out on going to a party at school? All your friends can stay out and you are the last to have your curfew removed? I am sure you can nod in recognition to some of this. The past few years though, marketeers and social media sites are cashing in on people’s increasing need to “have it all”. To squeeze it all in. Habits that eventually will wear you down. No one can keep up with the Joneses forever.
With the increasing availability of goods, people seem more inclined to define themselves by what they possess, how they appear, where they are seen, rather than who they are or what they can contribute with and maybe even how they make people feel.
I guess this blog is a little reminder, for me at least, that stepping back a bit can be very healthy and give great perspective. I was out for a walk today and ended up on a little path – I looked up and saw a leaf falling, in slow motion it seemed, to the ground. It made me smile. The world stood still for maybe only 5 seconds but it was enough to give me a good feeling inside and an appreciation of the beauty around me.
On a closing note, I think that FOMO can be a positive influence. If you are able to dig deep and recognise what feeds your FOMO then you can step back from it and tune in to what you really want. It can propel you to breach that comfort zone you have a little and lead to new opportunities. Can make you reach a bit higher, it can be a motivation. Having recently had a six month Facebook break (just to breathe end re-focus my mind) I admit that it is lovely to be back “on”. As long as it goes hand in hand with a bit of reflection and awareness of what it does to you (and it does not take over your life) go for it!