Do you suffer from FOMO? No, not MOFO and not the good term, mother of four.
Fear of missing out?
You’re invited to an business event or social gathering. You WANT to go but for whatever reason, you can’t. Gasp. The panic sets in. Should you move things around, cancel your other plans or hire a babysitter so you can make it out because you’re afraid you’re going to miss out on something important?
Fear of missing out or FOMO is a form of social anxiety, whereby one is compulsively concerned that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event. The fear is especially associated with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, which provide constant opportunity for comparison of one’s status. Through an increased reliance on the Internet, a psychological dependence to being online has developed and results in anxiety when one feels disconnected, thereby leading to a fear of missing out. – Wikipedia
FOMO tends to go into super high gear several times a year such as Christmas when holiday parties are aplenty; or summer when there are parties, events and festivals every weekend; or when early September rolls around and the craziness of a multitude of events happening at the same time.
So really it’s ALL THE TIME.
For example, the Toronto International Film Festival boasts hundreds films over 10 days and you physically can’t attend every event and screening, it’s impossible. You are going to have to be very selective about your time which makes it difficult to schedule. Dammit, you missed seeing Brad Pitt on the red carpet but did you see Robert Downey Jr.!
This is when this quote from my son comes in handy: “I wish I could teleport.”
The other times I feel FOMO is during blogging conference season, when there are too many sessions and events happening at once. Which conference do you decide to attend? You can’t possibly attend every single one so how do you choose? It all can become overwhelming.
As I get older, I am more confident (sometimes) in my choices and value my time more – because time away from family has to be worthwhile. How do you measure worth? Either by career choices, importance to one’s emotional well-being or the obvious networking that will provide future opportunity or benefit to growing your business.
I remember in the early days of blogging, saying “yes” to everything was something I felt I had to do. However I’ve had to become more selective in what events I attend – just as the work I involve myself with. Being on social media heightens FOMO, especially if you work online, you’re constantly in-the-know of what’s happening around you.
The same applies to your social life, when evenings and/or weekends are jam-packed with activities because you feel obligated to accept every invitation, leaving you with little time for yourself.
While it’s easy to get caught up in FOMO, it’s important to consider all the factors in deciding and finding a balance. And the important thing to remember is this – put the ego aside, know that you likely won’t miss out on too much and move on. After all, there will be something else around the corner.
How do you deal with FOMO?