Show of hands (mouse clicks?) who reading this post has ever experienced FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? The worry you experience when you think friends are having fun without you. When you’re sitting at home wondering what’s going on outside your walls and why you weren’t invited. Hey if you have, then don’t feel bad, apparently it even happens to the pets in our lives
It seems this has been a hot topic among my social media friends lately. How in our teens and 20’s we had more FOMO than we knew what to do with and it SHOWED. It showed in trying to juggle multiple parties in a night, over multiple days of a weekend. It showed in endless streams of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other form of social media. Full disclosure my early 20’s was more MySpace era and my teens happened sans social media, but the struggle was still real. Classes on Monday were always painful as you heard everyone talking about the latest gossip and there you sat twirling your hair, pretending not to hear. Eventually I’d have the sanctuary of my job to retreat to as an excuse, but FOMO remained.
Now in my 30’s I feel reasonably fulfilled in my social life, and scroll on past the pics of late night drinking drama. I’m perfectly content to curl up with a book. Or am I?
When no one (or everyone) is looking I’m still guilty of grabbing my phone and scrolling through feeds between chapters. I pause movies and use commercial breaks as a way to peek into the other side. Honestly if you ask me what I am doing and why I will very often tell you I am afraid of missing out on something. Heck, I use Facebook to know about weather and other major events before it’s on the TV! I deeply embrace my photo memories of laser-tag night, mud runs, book clubs and painting parties all while FOMO-ing at the seams when I see wedding and baby albums.
My FOMO is still there, but in a different form. I FOMO the latest books, I FOMO significant gatherings or classes, I FOMO plays and concerts.
If you too have FOMO what are some ways to work with it, not against it?
Hmmm OTHER than with a magic pill?
- Subscribe to email lists. I know I know MORE email, but hear me out. If you use GMAIL like me, there are ways to label and sort. Or if you use GMAIL like me and you’re SUPER LAZY like I am, there are ways to make everything go to “read” and then if you have a free weekend you can search your folder. Of course this doesn’t work if you need to buy tickets in advance, but hey it’s something.
- I have email lists for sporting companies or sites (such as Active.com, Hermes Road Racing, and North Coast Multisports). If you go to an event one year, sign up for their email blasts so you know when it’s back in town.
- I also have email lists for my local libraries, Goodreads, BookBub and others to follow the latest and greatest of my reading loves.
- Follow various teams, artists or events you like on social media.
- Many of those Sip and Paint events I attend I find out about on Facebook or Instagram. I event enter contests in order to get discounts or gift certificates!
- Head on over to Eventbrite. This amazing and not given enough credit site is a WONDERFUL source for local goings-on.
- Over the years I have used EB for tickets to running events, work lectures, community showcases and so much more!
- Eventbrite even has a feature where you can sell tickets to your event in order to help others from having FOMO
- There’s an app for that! Well, maybe not for FOMO specifically, but I bet for whatever you’re into there is one. Plus there’s a lot of apps and websites to help you figure out WHAT you might be into.
- I’ve personally used Meetup.com to find social clubs, work out groups, book clubs and others over the years.
- If you don’t know what you like, but are looking for new people there’s always free dating apps like OKCupid or Plenty of Fish.
- December of 2014 BuzzFeed had a rather lengthy lists of apps to ward off FOMO. I think the Meet My Dog one sounds awesome and wish Emme wasn’t so rude to other dogs.
- Old school marketing. What? As in pen on paper or word of mouth.
- Next time you’re out and about try ASKING people if they know any XYZ locally if that’s what you’re into. Post a question to social media even. Be prepared to talk and listen to others?
- That local shop you go to all the time? Yes? No? Perhaps they have a cork board with pamphlets and flyers. I know a lot of shops will carry stacks of cards announcing what’s around the corner.
- Junk mail may not be all that junky and the flyer on your windshield might not be unwelcome. As technology advances so do niche marketing techniques so a lot of times when you get those things it’s because there’s recorded data that you’ve done something similar. Although it does seem like “spam” more often then not, maybe take a deep breath and take a look? You might discover your next passion.
Now tell me, what ways do you combat FOMO? Have the things you desire and the FOMO you experience changed over time?