Fighting the Fear of Missing Out

A couple of weeks ago I wrote the post, Laptops and Mobile Phones: Creating the New Deficit In Our Kid’s Lives. In the post I talked about the emotional deficits that parent’s use of technology can often create in their kid’s lives. One of the articles that I referenced in that post was called, Is The Web Driving Us Mad?

As I have re-read that article and reflected on it more thoroughly, one of the passages that has really resonated with me is the following:

Last year, when MTV polled its 13- to 30-year-old viewers on their Web habits, most felt “defined” by what they put online, “exhausted” by always having to be putting it out there, and utterly unable to look away for fear of missing out.

FOMO: The fear of missing out.

I think that is a fear that I have always had from a young age. My dad often tells the story about how when I was a kid, one of the reasons that I was so adamant about being a night owl was because I feared missing out on everything that would happen after I went to bed.

It’s the fear I had being a single young adult in Los Angeles. Instead of committing to attend an event or party, I usually wavered and gave half-commitments, for out of fear of missing out on a better event or party that might come around.

It’s the fear that also keeps me connected more than I would like to my cell phone. What if someone posts that one tweet I need to see and respond to? What if someone on Facebook does something really interesting and I’m not there to comment? What if I don’t seize an opportunity to mention my book in the social media sphere?

What does one do about the fear then?

Two weeks ago I started going to physical therapy for a running injury to my leg. As I was finishing up the therapy the physical therapist gave me three exercises to perform two times a day when at home. I joked about how it was time for me to practice what I preach because I give exercises to people in therapy as well. He encouraged me to do them, otherwise I would come back the following week looking the same.

Making healthy changes often begins with just a little practice. I think that we often fail at new things because we have to have it perfect to do it at all. We often don’t ease into things. I decided to trust my physical therapist and I practiced the exercises he gave me. I didn’t do them two times a day, everyday. But I did get a good habit going that has continued to build.

So in order for me to practice FOMO (my fear of missing out), I have decided to practice with my cell phone. An experiment if you will.

For the entire month of August I’m going to remove all my social media apps. I’m going to practice working on my FOMO (my fear of missing out).

Is there anything in life that you have a FOMO (fear of missing out) about? What things could you practice to face it head on?

2 Comments

  1. Pingback : Mainliners, Turning Pro, Olympics | theilluminationdilemma

  2. by Chris on August 2, 2012  8:06 pm Reply

    Thanks Rhett! I found this very relevant!

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