A Moment in My Life – Thursday, August 12, 2021
Jeannie Yee Davis
Do you know someone with FOMO? I didn’t know there was such a thing as FOMO until my niece, Sassy, aka Kathy Lee, enlightened me that she has FOMO. FOMO? What’s that? That’s the “Fear of Missing Out,” defined as “a constant need to take part in as many things as you can because you fear missing out on them.” It all made sense the longer Sassy and I talked about her FOMO. I began seeing her world through her eyes—the way she thinks and the drivers in her decision-making. Why she did the things that she did—lived the way that she lives. You probably know someone with FOMO like I did and never knew it. People with FOMO look like everybody else. The only tell-tale is perhaps that the FOMO person is very busy, trendy, and gregarious, which is my definition of a popular person. Sassy has always been a popular person, so I never suspected it had anything to do with her fear of missing out.
No wonder Sassy needed only a room to sleep in and store her stuff. She was rarely home since she never turned down an invitation. She revealed that if something was happening, she had to be there. She must try everything. She had to be included. She overcommitted. Sassy’s jam-packed calendar of events, just like her mother, my older sister, exhausts me. I keep a fairly busy schedule myself, but I’m a homebody at heart, making it difficult for me to understand someone who has to be everywhere, with everybody, doing everything all the time. For someone who can’t be with people non-stop and who needs alone time to recharge, this FOMO thing is a challenging topic for me to grasp.
Every other Wednesday evening, Sassy and I have a standing phone date, and last night as our chat went from one topic to the next, she shared how she can’t decide on a Netflix movie to watch. I suspected it had to do with her not wanting to miss out on any movie, hence back to her FOMO. I saw a segment on yesterday’s GMA3 about FOMO, and I planned to ask Sassy how she’s been doing FOMO-wise during the pandemic. Her movie dilemma was the perfect Segway into this topic. For starters, I told her if I were with her, she wouldn’t have a movie dilemma—I would have selected a movie pronto. I was curious how she’s been handling FOMO during this pandemic? Has she been climbing the walls or stressing out over what she might be missing? Or has her FOMO tapered down? Sassy said that it has lessened because everybody is in the same boat. Nobody is doing anything; thus, she isn’t missing out on anything. I found this logical but interesting that someone with FOMO could feel okay without being involved because nobody else was doing anything. I figured she’d have these feelings of missing out regardless, but I was wrong. I’m glad that Sassy has this sense of calm at the moment.
FOMO may be a driver for Sassy, but it’s so not for me. On the flip side, JOMO, the “Joy of Missing Out,” where you relish the time alone, unplugging emails, texts, and all social networks, and cultivating your relationship with yourself,” is also so not for me. Temporarily? Sure, but not long-term. I know some people who prefer total solitude. Regardless if I’m busy or a hermit, I always make time for my networks. I desire and need my alone time, but I love my tribes, too. I’m grateful I don’t have to pick one over the other. I’ll keep finding a balance between the two worlds. Your turn. Do you know someone with FOMO?