A Moment in My Life – Thursday, February 18, 2021
When you talk with people, you learn all sorts of things. Like, acronyms you hadn’t heard of until that day. Afterward, you can’t unhear it. You’ll hear it everywhere. That’s what happened to me. The other day, I told a friend that I felt overwhelmed and exhausted by these long meetings that I’ve been attending. I needed a break from them. I don’t want to attend them anymore, but I won’t know what’s going on if I don’t. She ever so calmly said, “That’s me. I have FOMO.” Huh? FOMO? What’s that?
FOMO is 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.” Interesting. I never knew there was such a thing. Now, I hear it all over the place. Also, interesting, I didn’t know that about her. Once she shared some examples, aha, I saw what she was talking about. That explains a lot. It took forever to get a text response from her. She’s busy from the start to the end of each day. She rarely slept. Forget about taking a day off. I’ve never even heard her take a few hours off, let alone a day. Keeping up with her schedule drains me. I tend to run myself ragged, but eventually, I need my hermit days when I shut out the world and rejuvenate.
She was rarely home. Home was just a place to store her stuff. I always thought her lifestyle was due to her popularity. I never guessed it had to do with FOMO. She revealed that if something was happening, you had to be there. She must try everything. She had to be included. She overcommitted.
I don’t think I have FOMO. My dilemma with my meetings is a stand-alone issue. What’s the opposite of FOMO? Another acronym invisible to me, JOMO, the “Joy of Missing Out.” What does that look like? I Googled, and here’s what I found, “it is where you simply relish the time alone, unplugging emails, texts, and all social networks, and simply cultivating your very own relationship with yourself.” Nah, that’s not me, either. Regardless if I’m busy or a hermit, I always make time for my networks. I do enjoy my alone time, though, but I have no problem responding to messages throughout my personal day if I get a message.
I wondered what cause FOMO. Google says, “sadness.” That might be true for a small number of people. I can’t imagine for all. I have never seen my friend sad, ever. She’s happy-go-lucky and the go-with-the-flow type, which cancels out the sadness probability. Google also said social media exacerbates the problem. This part I get. I grew up with the old saying “keeping up with the Jones,” and some folks got into a lot of trouble competing with others. That’s where social media comes in. I don’t get it. I don’t know why some people feel they need to pretend they are what they aren’t. I tend towards gullibility. If you show me a picture of you in front of the Grand Hotel, I believe you, and I’m happy for you. I wouldn’t suspect that you were staying in the 2-star motel next door.
I haven’t done a lot, but I’ve done enough. I don’t need to experience everything. I’m content. We do what we do because we’re all striving towards the same thing—finding happiness. It’s subjective. The key to happiness is having a heart of gratitude, and everything else will fall into place. That’s my belief. Pondering all this, I am neither FOMO nor JOMO. What about you?