Fear Of Missing Out

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FOMO? What is FOMO? Some kind of Japanese soup? No, it is not (although I’m sure I could have had you fooled). This is, in fact, an acronym that has gained frequent usage in my life recently…FOMO, Aka
Fear
Of
Missing
Out.
In a fast paced, ‘throw-away’  society I’m sure FOMO is something you all will have experienced, even if you have not specifically named it. Coming from a big family where there’s always a chance that if you don’t speak up or make yourself noticed then you will miss out- Front seats, dog walks, the best cream cakes, you name it -everything is a fight for the best.
‘You snooze you lose’ is basically the family motto.
So here’s the problem: despite not ‘snoozing’  missing out is inevitable and that’s where FOMO kicks in. It’s a horrible flurrying feeling that I find really hard to deal with and renders decision-making a harrowing task because whatever decision you make you’re missing out on something. It’s not just the missing out that becomes a fear, but the regret of the decision itself that precedes this missing out, creating a chain of missed opportunities and ‘could-have’s swirling around like a hot and spicy Japanese soup in your head’.
As time machines are not yet (to my knowledge) attainable, rectifying that ‘wrong’ decision is pretty much off the cards.
So how do we deal with out little FOMO issue? Well let’s think about this LOGICALLY and RATIONALLY (that’s a first for me)

  1. Doing everything is impossible– You are not Hermionie Granger, you can’t use your wizard time-turner to enable your attendance of every event, therefore you will ALWAYS be missing out on SOMETHING. For example, your friends have invited you out for lunch, but your family are going out for lunch somewhere nice too. So unless you want to eat two lunches, both events are going to take place. Either way, you’re going to miss out. Do you let FOMO kick in? No, it is a fact of life that we must deal with! But how exactly are we to deal with it? This leads me to point number…
  2. Commit– Sometimes compromise can be a great thing, and much like our good friend Hannah Montana, we get the best of both worlds. However, at what point are we compromising both events negatively and actually missing out on both? Could Miley ever truly enjoy stardom with the constant fear of being uncovered? I apologise for the Disney Channel analogy, but my point is that sometimes you MUST commit in order to prevent ‘ULTIMATE FOMO’ by missing out on BOTH options rather than just one! Say you got invited to two parties on the same night. If you go to both you’ll never fully get into the ‘party spirit’ will you? You’ll just be worrying about where you have to be rather than getting jiggy to some jamming tunes. Sometimes commitment is key to avoiding the ultimate FOMO ‘checkmate’. So I’m sure your next question is “which party do I go to?”…
  3. Priorities– This is what you must ask yourself- What is more important? Where do my priorities lie? I had issues with this the other week. A day of work experience, or going out to a theme park for my sister’s birthday? Now as much as I LOVE theme parks, this work experience would open up job opportunities, and so with long-term goals in mind, I decided that time invested in setting up a job for the future could enable me to go to theme parks WHENEVER with all that hard earned cash! So the decision was made for me and establishing priorities was key to that. Anyway, here to conclude is point number….
  4. Don’t let FOMO take over– Whatever it is you feel you’re missing out on, be it a cream cake or a holiday, just try to remember that whatever decision you make, the world will not spontaneously implode. Opportunities return and- at risk of sounding too clichéd- you are in charge of your own destiny.

In a world where FOMO is inevitable, you’ve just gotta Carpe Diem and wave that stress away. Don’t let FOMO take over,  Ge’s there to remind you to grab every opportunity you can!

This post first appeared on Jasmine Feingold’s blog

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