This last weekend past I have been suffering a pretty serious case of FOMO about Nuffnang Blogopolis. All these amazing bloggers getting together brainstorming, drinking tea, laughing and having fun. Serious, serious case of FOMO. It got me thinking back on my primary school and high school years, when you’re not part of the cool group, and you spend your life in a constant state of FOMO. But hang on a minute, what’s FOMO? FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out.
To my knowledge this term was coined by a friend of mine, let’s call her Austin as she likes roses (David Austin roses? No? Missed that one?). Maybe it’s been around longer than that, at any rate that’s where I first heard it. FOMO is the fear that something is happening you’re not a part of, and it’s infinitely amazing, and you should be there.
Back in high school I remember many cases of FOMO. Most notably the fact that a lot of my friends were part of a club, kind of like Scouts, where they would go on camps and have an amazing time building fires, sliding down sand dunes, and basically soaking up each other’s awesomeness. When they returned there was always a lot of geographical humour (you had to be there) and stories of how amazing the camp had been.
I started to become convinced that people only had these amazing camps with a million hilarious stories when I wasn’t there because when I was camping tended to involve leaking tents, sand in places sand just should not go and really bad food. Never the less I would return from one of these camps and rave about the absolutely amazing time I had. It was many years before it occurred to me that maybe everyone was doing it and these absolutely amazing camps may never have existed at all.
At any rate, FOMO had set in and so you would throw yourself into situations you knew you would not enjoy simply because you were convinced if you were not there something amazing would happen and you would be out of the loop. You would go to these week-long church run camps where they stuck 8 teenage girls together in each cabin and expected everyone to somehow magically get along. Anyone who has spent any time with 14 year old girls knows this is a recipe for disaster. Especially if you add into that the ability for people to not only list who they want in their cabin, but they may also list who they don’t want.
It’s FOMO that motivated me to go to these camps year after year convinced this would be the year it was amazing. It’s FOMO that motivated me to watch The Voice even though singing competitions make me want to throw cushions at the television and scream “Volume does not equal quality!” It was FOMO that motivated me to waste 30 minutes of my life I will never get back taking a step inside Lara Bingle’s life. And, most of the time, it’s FOMO that motivates me to keep trying things I’m not interested in.
I’m sure Blogopolis was, actually, a complete blast. And I’m pretty convinced my FOMO is actually justified in this instance, but so many times it hasn’t been. So many times the fear of missing out, the imaginary fun, has been far greater than the real fun could ever be.
Do you ever suffer from a fear of missing out? Have you ever partaken in some stupid event just because you were scared to be the only one who didn’t?