Guys… we need to talk. We’ve got a problem–at least, I know I do. It’s called FOMO.
FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out” can root itself deep into our being. Due to the nature of social media, we’re constantly bombarded by what other people are doing, accomplishing, or working on.
It’s easy to let those feelings of remorse creep in when you’re stuck in a cubicle and your online friends are going to a conference. Or, maybe you’re struggling to meet a deadline, and your 3D friends are posting pictures from the concert they’re enjoying. Quite frankly, it’s disheartening. But, at the same time, It’s addicting.
We can’t wait to see what happens next. And so, we stay glued to our phone, tablet, or other connected device, waiting to see what even happens next, all so we can give it a like, heart, or star.
But, what is the cost of contributing so much social love to everyone else? At what point do we stop living our lives because we’re getting endorphin rushes from online social interactions?
I was out walking on the greenway close to my home when a thought struck me–I’m only 15 days from my next birthday. I quickly was overcome with anxiety about how much I said I would get done this year. But, I had to force that thought out of my head because it would have overtaken the truth that I did, in fact, have a great year!
I realized that I have been letting my Fear of Missing Out–my comparison of my life to everyone else’s–get in the way of truly appreciating my life.
My FOMO was causing me to M.O.!
The M.O. (Missing Out) happens when we fail to acknowledge the things we have accomplished. It consumes us when we don’t give ourselves a chance to celebrate our victories. It wins when we unintentionally spend hours glued to social media, instead of pursuing our dreams.
If you’re stuck in this spiral, it might just be time to man up. And, manning up might mean admitting that you’re addicted to Cat Videos. Let’s be honest, they’re good for a laugh, but you have more important things to accomplish than watching a cat jump off a sofa.
Recently, I finished a book by Greg McKeown called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. The concepts presented by Greg in that book have dramatically changed the way I think about each day. Of course, I’m fighting years of bad habits, but the main takeaway for me was: Spend each day doing the most essential things in your life.
For me, this means completing a half marathon, launching my podcast, growing my business, and connecting with people. It doesn’t mean I’m quitting social media, which wouldn’t make sense. But what it does mean is that I will stop being unintentional about my time in that space. I will genuinely congratulate others and celebrate with them while keeping the FOMO at bay.
I am truly in a transitional phase in my life. One where I’m learning what my purpose is here on this Earth. Part of my journey is realizing that I’m on my path and the Fear of Missing Out only serves to slow down my progress. You have all the potential in the world to embark on your journey. Don’t let fear or anything else stand in your way. Don’t miss out on your life because you were too busy watching someone else’s.
Photo: Flickr/ Dick Vos