A newly discovered, 21st-century emotion that is inevitably endured by anyone who has social media or has been forced into Friday "family time" (the most common cause for "Fear of Missing Out" or FOMO). However, the severity of this condition depends on how we respond to situations that are usually out of our control. We can allow FOMO to dictate our moods and waste the weekend in the process, or we can make most of the less desirable circumstances.
As a result of FOMO, we find ourselves either trying to keep up, or feeling down about the fact that our lives are relatively lame. Notice the use of the word relatively.
I believe FOMO wouldn't exist without comparison, and as Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy".
I'm not here to debate whether or not that statement is true, but I know from experience that I don't find joy in getting caught up in the comparison game and feeling like I'm missing out all the time.
While the reality is that we will most likely never really stop having FOMO altogether, the more we allow ourselves to find joy in missing out, the less we will fear it. So how do we do that? To be honest, it's not simple and takes discipline, but if you think experiencing a little more joy is worth the challenge, then keep reading.
It's only one night.
You can sacrifice one Friday night. Whether it be family night, a fever you're fighting, or a Netflix binge sounding more appealing than socializing with other humans, whatever is preventing you from going out, remember that it's just one night. I promise the apocalypse won't come between now and next Friday night. There's a reason your family demanded a bonding night, or there's a reason why you developed a fever. Relax and enjoy the night off.
Stay off social media.
Social media sites, like Snapchat and Instagram, are the culprits behind inflicting FOMO on us poor unfortunate souls stuck playing Monopoly with mom and dad. Everything is glamorized through filters and evident attempts at candid boomerangs trying to tempt us with a good time. If you're prone to FOMO, it's best to avoid your social media sites for the night.
If you ignore the point above, remember it's probably not as fun as it looks.
Speaking from experience, the best nights are lived in the moment, where everything is internalized, lacking the necessity to be posed through a Snapchat or a boomerang on Instagram. The best nights do not require reliving the experience later on through a saved story, nor feeling or remembering the need to broadcast it for everyone to live it vicariously through a screen.
FOMO is a figment of our own imaginations, the part where we feel left out from missing a mere few hours with friends. It turns out, we're almost never missing anything, and it is always exaggerated through social media sites. The best moments are lived in the moment, internalized in the form of a memory instead of a Snapchat story or an Instagram post. Remember this next time you have a bad case of FOMO. It's okay to be "out of the loop" for a night.