Let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure we have all experienced FOMO in one form or another. If you have not yet been introduced to this acronym, FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”, and affects some of us more than others. If you are questioning whether or not you are dealing with FOMO currently, or have in the past, here are a few defining aspects of the “disorder”…
- You find it difficult to commit to an event for fear that something “better” will come along and you’ll miss it
- You cancel plans if you feel like a more enticing option has popped up
- You feel left out if anyone you have EVER MET fails to invite you to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING
- You stalk Facebook constantly to see what others are doing
- You agree to attend events that don’t interest you simply because “everyone” else is going
In a house with 3 teenagers and an active 10 year old, FOMO can be a bit of a monster. We all have to pick and choose our schedules and activities – and typically, as life would have it – we choose one thing and later wonder if it was the right decision. There is something to be said for integrity in this world that we live in. 2016 hasn’t given us a whole lot of examples in being true to your word. Regardless, in our house, giving your word means a lot and you will be held accountable if you fail to follow through with a promise or commitment.
It’s human nature to want to feel connected. To feel like you are wanted and loved and belong where you are – human nature in its purest form. This isn’t something that anyone has to apologize for or be embarrassed about. The problem comes when we are unable to make eye contact at a party because we are forever searching to see if there is something more fun going on. It rears its ugly head when we change plans at the last minute and leave a friend hanging or paying for an event that we had originally planned to attend. It is an issue when the fear takes hold of our decision making process and won’t let go. It’s out of control when we lose the ability to live happily in the land of here and now and instead are trapped in the “what did I miss?” abyss.
Everyday has abundant opportunities to create memories for ourselves, our friends, and our families. If we waste our time comparing what memories everyone else is making, or judging who had the BEST time last night, we are truly missing out. Summer schedules create a steady supply of FOMO situations. Graduation parties, weddings, family reunions and neighborhood cook outs are frequently happening on the same day, at virtually the same time. We must force ourselves to decide – and then be ALL IN with that decision. Be fully present wherever you have chosen to be. Make eye contact. Laugh loudly. Eat all the food. Allow yourself to enjoy each moment as it happens and then again later as you treasure each memory.