Weekly Blog July 8th, 2018: Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

Hello Internet!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! I know that all over the United States that summer is in here to stay. Lots of places had temperatures between the low 90’s and even above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s really hot. If you’re like me, you’ll probably missing snow, or at least something closer to Fall. Also, God bless Willis Carrier who was the inventor of the Air Conditioning, which is a blessing for all humankind. Anyway, I hope you are staying cool. This week we had another great week here on the website. Last Sunday I published a Weekly Blog all about how The World Is Getting Better, not worse, so if you need a pick me up or would like to hear about the state of the world, check that one out. On Wednesday I published a part six to the list of Six Word Memoirs which is a format I like to come back to from time to time, so if you haven’t read those or any of my other Six Word Memoirs, you can check those out under the Poetry tab. Now there wasn’t a Writing Prompt piece published this week due to my own criticism. I had an Image Prompt piece planned, but ended up retracting it at the last minute, because I didn’t think it was good enough. I really liked the art and wanted to have a piece match it in quality. But I promise I’ll make it up to everyone this week. If everything goes as planned, there should be some extra stuff published this week, so keep on coming back for all of that content. Also you can spend some time checking out the website and reading pieces you haven’t read yet. There are a ton of stuff ranging back a year and a half, so you should be able to find something to read. Ok, now onto this week’s topic.

This week I wanted to talk about a topic that affects me personally. I suffer from The Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, a lot. I know that this fear is something that people deal with from time to time and it happens to varying degrees. Maybe you’re someone who wants to go an event or party because it’s exclusive or someone who wants to go to a concert because that band or artist is never having another one. Or maybe you’re someone who wants to collect special, one-of-a-kind objects that no one else will have. Or maybe your FOMO is smaller scale and you just want to spend as much time with certain people. You want to be in on whatever is going on and when you’re not, you feel like an outsider. All of those things, and more, fit into the idea of FOMO. To me, my Fear of Missing Out comes in many forms, but it usually falls into two categories: 1) Movies or TV shows I haven’t seen or 2) Exclusive things I want to buy, but have no money for. Let me break these down.

So the first one revolves around Movies or Television shows that people tell me I need to see. You probably know what I’m talking about here. It seems like as certain shows get bigger and bigger and movie studios are launching their cinematic universes, seeing everything is more important than ever and also harder than ever. There are TV shows that people have to watch in order to talk to people in their everday life. Some of these include Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and West World. If you don’t watch these things as they happen, you are left in the dust. Sometimes it means that you literally can’t have conversations with your closest friends or coworkers because you haven’t seen the newest episode and that’s all they want to talk about. You’re throw out like a leper because you don’t know what White Walkers are or what the Red Wedding refers to. (I haven’t seen Game of Thrones). For me, one example of this was The Walking Dead. I’m a half season behind now, but when I was watching it, I had to make sure I watched every episode as it aired, or I had to avoid my friends to avoid spoilers. When looking at movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe springs to mind. You have to watch those things as soon as they are released in theaters. I knew I had to see Infinity War (NO SPOILERS) as soon as it came out or the internet would ruin it for me. Now Ant Man And The Wasp is out and it’s only a matter of time before the internet ruins it. I have to see it immediately. I don’t want to miss out on the newest Movie or the hippest Television show and there is just so much media to consume. Between HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc. there is just so much to watch and so little time to do it, but if you don’t do it, you’re tossed out for not watching whatever everyone else is watching.

The second way FOMO affects me is through exclusive items connected to the things I love. The best way to get me to impulse buy something is by slapping an “Exclusive” sticker on it or give me an expiration date for an item. If I know that this really cool, exclusive T-shirt is going back in the Disney Vault forever and never coming back after [insert date here], I am more likely to buy it. Something I might have not considered before I will buy just because I know that I might miss out on it. What if it’s the hip, new thing and I don’t have it? Then I’ll be an outcast from society. Ok that’s a little overdramatic, but that’s what FOMO does to me. I have a recent example of this which I want to talk about. So you may or may or not know that I’m really into the Online Dungeons and Dragons show Critical Role (Weekly Blog). Well last week they announced that were doing a Kickstarter for Miniatures for their Season 1 and Season 2 characters. The Kickstarter was for only 10 days. 10 DAYS!! I knew I had to get them. So I did. They were exclusives and they were awesome and I was psyched for Vox Machina and Mighty Nein minis! But that’s not the end of it. Then they announce that they are coming out with an even more exclusive Winged Valixdan figurine special for Gen Con. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, that’s ok. All you have to know is that it’s exclusive and I really want it. Will I actually use it for anything…uh…maybe. But that’s not the point. The point is that I do not want to miss out on this. FOMO strikes again.

Let’s break this down a little bit, because through my wants and needs over plastic figurines, I think I narrowed down what FOMO is really all about. It’s a fear that you are going to miss out on something and therefore you are going to have regrets later in your life. It’s not something that plagues you right now. It’s something that plagues you later. We all live our lives not wanting to have any regrets. We want to pick the right choices in a way that makes our lives flawless. You don’t want to think back and think “What if I did this thing differently? Would my life be better if I chose something else.” What if you don’t go to that concert and it’s one of the best experiences of everyone else’s lifetime? What if you don’t get the really cool object and it’s the best thing ever? Those feelings coupled with the fact that you don’t want to be an outsider or someone left behind leads to the fear of missing out.

We wall want to be included. We all want lives full of every awesome possibility, but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. It’s possible that picking Door A will lead to awesome things, but maybe Door B also leads to awesome things. What if I buy the figurine but that means I don’t have money to buy a movie ticket when my friends want to go buy a movie. Those choices both have pros and cons to them, but it’s impossible to tell which one will be the best a year, five years, or even ten years down the road. Maybe one will lead to my life being changed or maybe neither will really affect things at all. It’s impossible to really know. Hopefully we can all take a minute and think about our decisions and how they might affect our lives. I know that I need to put down the credit card and really think “Do I really need this” before I spend money on exclusive items. I also need to prioritize television and movies. I can’t watch them all and I have to be ok with that. I can’t let the fear of being excluded dictate my entire life.

Well that’s all I wanted to say about The Fear of Missing Out. I hope that you enjoyed this week’s Weekly Blog and you’re not struck with FOMO. If you liked the Weekly Blog, feel free to give it a like. Also you can leave a comment down below talking about how FOMO affects you or how you bought something exclusive because you’re like me and you can’t control yourself. Did you regret your decision or do you stand by it? Let me know in the comments down below. Also there is a super exclusive club you can be a part of. All you have to do is Follow this website. Ok, it’s not exclusive, but if you do that, you can see all my stuff in your Reader feed when it gets published. We passed 200 followers last month and we’re continuing to grow.

Thank you for all your support and I hope you have a fantastic week!

-Allen_The_Writer

 


Header Photo Credit to Fodder and Plonk
http://www.fodderandplonk.com/new-blog-1/2015/10/9/fomo-fear-of-missing-out

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