I am often questioned Is FOMO Real? As a long term veteran of this industry and a long term FOMO sufferer, I want to tell you it is real and manageable
What is FOMO?.
It is described in modern day parlance as “The Fear Of Missing Out”
When you search the web you will find a bundle of articles on this mostly related to teens and Facebook users.
I searched Wikipedia and Urban use pages and did not find the one I wanted so had to make up my own mind on this.
My family have accused me of this since before the word was first introduced and it predates the electronic version of the word.
I do like to be included in the fun things and would feel rejected if left out.
In fact, there was a saying along the lines of ” Don’t ask Peter unless you really want him to come.” The belief was that I would accept every invitation offered me. Hardly true of course but I accept the comments graciously.
Along came Facebook and messaging and the world changed, now add Instagram and a few others and we really have a reason to be anxious.
Yes, I have Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn because I just have to be there.
We need to like every post or make a comment lest we are thought less of.
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.
Where it all starts
I experienced this recently at the birthday party of a two-year-old. This is a great time for the kids to get presents because they can really enjoy them for the first time and lots of Aunties and Uncles are keen to show they care.
At the same time, the four-year-old sibling is having a national crisis with no presents coming their way.
I am old school and let them suck it up but many buy a special present to appease the tears and tantrum. Does this create a life long phobia?
Yes, every time someone else gets something or does something good they need to be rewarded as well. A special present that will last for life.
My problem started in reverse. I had an older brother by four years so he was able to do and get things before me. New Scooter, a push bike, a car the list of my envy goes on and stays with me to this day.
I was missing out, pure and simple.
We are also guilty of promoting this in children’s’ sport. Think about this for just a moment.
The kids play a team sport and every week someone gets an award. It is something small in size or price but huge in consequence and recognition.
To make sure everyone is included it is not given for achievement it is rotated among everyone on the team. Each week little Johnny needs to suck it up a bit but understands the rules that their time is coming.
Would you think this as a training school for FOMO
The Internet took FOMO a step forward
Your Bestie posts great photos of a recent hang out on a tropical Island.
Everyone message to say did you see this and you quickly load Facebook for a gander at suntanned bodies sipping Pina Coladas in a Pool bar.
Oh, how the envy starts.
Not for them of course but the better photos they posted and everyone else is raving about them and forgotten your Ski trip of just a month ago
The young teens have a hard time with this when that invite to a birthday bash does not come to them. It even surpasses FOMO and is upgraded to social bullying. How dare they forget your little darling.
FOMO in business
My take on this is that it is a good thing. I don’t care whether it is called Jealousy or FOMO it drives me to be competitive.
This fear of missing out has driven me to compete more aggressively and to lift my achievement level. Then I get a reward for effort not just for competing.
I need to be seen as successful on my terms not because everyone gets a reward it’s because I went out and earned it by hard work and persistence
I post on Facebook because, not to, is not a consideration.
If someone is doing better than me I don’t sulk and throw a hissy fit I find ways to catch up and be in the winner’s circle.
You then get rewarded by success.
FOMO started in my childhood
FOMO starts in everyone’s childhood. It starts early and it’s now promoted by parents who encourage participating for fun and rewarding mediocre performance.
Everyone is your friend, we are all equal and we should be treated thus.
However, life is not like that. there are trolls and bullies and preferential selection of invite lists and we will miss out.
We just need to suck it up and not get all emotional about it and challenge our selves to do better.
FOMO is not a disease it is a learned art that needs to be unlearned. We need to self-cure to move on and be more comfortable in our own skin.
In conclusion, I would like to say I am no expert, have no formal training or background to make comments. Being a relatively new problem we all have an opinion. Feel free to share your below
I have been in marketing for more years than I can remember. This includes being very active on the Internet for over 10 years. I promote free internet training at The Wealthy Affiliate.
and post on a different subject on most days.