We all struggle with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) on occasion. But is it more than on occasion? Are you someone who always says, “Yes” to the next event, party, etc.? Do you check your phone or watch every time it buzzes? Are you looking for the latest trend or TikTok video that has gone viral? Do you get impatient when your online order doesn’t arrive the next day? Maybe we suffer from FOMO more than we think.
I was having a conversation with some friends the other night and we were discussing what our lives were like before mobile phones, voicemail, and social media. We tapped into the memories of having to wait for the bus for school, wait in line (not online) to make a purchase, wait at a table to receive our food at a restaurant without a phone, wait to get home to call our friends, wait to talk to our friends to find out what was going on in our friend circle and even wait weeks to receive that item we ordered on the phone from the back of our cereal box. What did we do while we waited? We had conversations with those around us. We anticipated the joy of speaking with our friends on the phone to get the latest scoop. We spent time in silence with our own thoughts. We admired the world around us in that moment. We learned how to be patient and present in our little world around us. Were we struggling with FOMO then?
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important for us to have the ability to communicate with one another quickly; to have information at our fingertips when needed; to know what is going on in other parts of the world; to have access to items we need and receive them in a few days rather than weeks. But with all this immediate gratification and Fear Of Missing Out, are we missing out? Are we so busy trying to avoid missing out, that we don’t see the world around us, or enter the space in our minds?
We live in a fast-paced world with an abundance of anxiety, depression, and fear. How many of us were forced to slow down in 2020 and swore we would never allow ourselves to be so busy again? And now I believe we are busier than ever before. But are we creating our own overscheduling with FOMO? And in those moments available to rest or breathe, do we reach for our devices to fill that space with noise?
As we enter this month of love, how about we make a deal with each other to love ourselves and our loved ones more? To create more space to converse, breathe, admire, and soak up the world around us, rather than just getting to the next thing. Can we allow ourselves to embrace time without noise and be fully present in the moment?
I definitely don’t want to go back to the days before electronic devices, but I do recognize I need to find a balance of living life without them as well. I want to be present with those I’m with, to see the world around me, and appreciate the life I have so I don’t miss out on what’s right in front of me in this moment. I’m choosing a path of Finding Our Mindful Outlook.