As much as I hate to admit it, I suffer from the occasional FOMO. And if you're reading blogs, tweeting or regularly logging into Facebook, you probably suffer from FOMO as well.
What does FOMO stand for?
You know, the feeling that you're the only one not at that blogging event or lunch date or party. And your not being there could lead to you being excluded from future events, lunch dates and after-parties.
I first learned about FOMO recognized I suffered from FOMO when I came across Anna Pursglove's article, "Getting Over Your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)," in the August '12 issue of Marie Claire.* Here's one of my favorite excerpts:
I can, at least, take comfort in the knowledge that this form of social anxiety is common. It's been discussed so often recently that it even has its own acronym: FOMO (fear of missing out). The symptom? A nagging suspicion, fueled by the forensic details of other people's lives we are privy to on social media, that our own existences are somehow lacking. If only we'd made the right decisions, we berate ourselves, we'd have the fascinating careers/relationships/opinions/offspring/social lives that we perceive others all around us to have.
Social media only adds fuel to the FOMO fire (duh). We know more about others' lives than ever before—restaurants they frequent, DIY projects they start (and finish), three-course meals they make (every night), adventures they have (other than walking across a room full of Legos in the dark). This constant social news feed makes it super easy to compare ourselves with others.
And we all know that never ends well.
Recently I opted out of a blogger event at Gardner Village so I could enjoy a date night Nathan had planned for us. Don't get me wrong, the date was fabulous (The Copper Onion burger, Robot & Frank at The Broadway), but in the back of my head I was well aware of all the fun I was missing. Instagram photos, Twitter and Facebook updates, Instagram photos as Facebook updates...dang! Those gals, many of them dear blogging friends, were having a grand old time.
And I wasn't there.
I may have texted Kim, Lindsey and Megan asking if they missed me and telling them it was okay to let me know the event was totally lame. (Of course it wasn't, but I wanted them to lie to me so I'd feel better.)
When it comes to that whole "don't compare yourself to others" thing (or "compare what you're NOT doing to what they totally ARE doing" thing), I'm pretty good at talking the talk.
I'm not so great at walking the walk.
I'm trying, truly I am. My most recent episodes of FOMO were less severe than they would have been a year or so ago. When they do hit, I quickly send a DM (direct message) via Twitter to Steph and she sets me straight. Her replies always involve humor...and it always works. She's awesome like that.
Funny...I've discovered one of the best ways to combat FOMO is to step away from social media for a time. I do it figuratively by replacing Facebook and Twitter with WordPress and Downton Abbey or literally by enjoying a night on the town with Nathan.
Accept you can be in only one place at a time. If you're going to do one thing, then acknowledge this will mean missing out on other things. People who excel miss out all the time--they just don't worry about it.
You can read Anna's article in its entirety here: "Get Over Your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)."
* The only time I ever get to read non-news magazines is when I'm getting my hair done or flying solo across country. Sad but true.
Feel free to "like" is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won't earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies. Even better.