Do you have the latest disease known as FOMO?
What is FOMO
FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is a new thing that has appeared in conjunction with the rise of 24/7 connectivity. FOMO is a feeling of anxiety or insecurity over the possibility of missing out on something, perhaps an event or an opportunity. As a result, people try to stay continually connected with what others are doing. With today’s smartphones and social networking sites, people become more and more reliant on being connected to the internet. If one is not connected, one can feel anxiety or fear of missing out.
This is not to say that the internet and technology are bad. (After all, it is somewhat ironic that I am writing a blog on this topic.) However, reliance on technology is a two-edged sword. We have amazing and efficient access to information. We can see our world in ways never possible before. Our social connections can be enhanced, too.
Too Much of a Good Thing
However, too much of a good thing can turn bad. People can develop negative feelings and emotions from social media sites because of envy toward others’ posts and lives. They wish that their lives can be as good as others. We loose perspective and begin to feel inferior. They fear missing out on some opportunity.
Psychology Today has come up with 10 recommendations for coping with FOMO.
- Slow down
- Practice discernment
- Go for the experience, not the symbol
- Be willing not to have it all
- One thing at a time
- Practice mindfulness
- Prioritize relationships over acquisitions
- Savor the moment
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
- Enjoy the process.
Another Idea – Disconnect for a Week
The list is a good start. But I have another suggestion. Go somewhere and disconnect for a week. I try to take at least one trip a year where I can not connect to the internet. Granted, this getting harder to do as cell towers continually pop up.
I am amazed how, when I reconnect, I rarely find that anything has actually changed - except me. I begin to realize how our world has turned everything into a crisis. Whether it’s news, or the need to own the latest thing, we are conned into believing we must follow the story in real time. However, if you disconnect for a week, you learn that the story really doesn’t change much over time. You get an appreciation for JOMA – the Joy Of Missing Out.
One of the great things about the Boundary Waters is that there is no connectivity. You are forced to live for a time on your own. You are refreshed. This creates JOMA. It is what inspires me to sign off my blogs with this:
Paddle On. Be Free.