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  1. #1
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Default FOMO - the Fear Of Missing Out

    I ran across this article on Facebook this morning, and found it insightful and reassuring - perhaps especially pertinent for those of us with a touch of e7.

    From The Art of Manliness' Brett & Kate McKay, "Fighting FOMO: 4 Questions That Will Crush the Fear of Missing Out". I've taken a few excerpts from each bulletin point, but the whole article is really worth reading for specific examples, and the bonus question at the end.

    Fighting FOMO: 4 Questions That Will Crush the Fear of Missing Out | The Art of Manliness


    [image from Huffpost]

    To set the stage, FOMO often starts when we hop on social media and see our peers' updates about the fantastic travels they're on, vacations they're taking, challenges they're conquering, and life milestones they're celebrating. At first you're interested and engaged by the bright and colorful pictures. Then you feel the nagging, quiet feeling of emptiness creeping in... and the little timer running out... why aren't you travelling like this? Why aren't you on vacation right now? Why haven't you reached the summit of K2, helped build hospitals in the Caribbean, or seen the Northern Lights? Why aren't you working on your dissertation, sending Save-The-Dates, or breaking ground on your first house...?

    That sinking, belittling feeling can cast a shadow over your day - but it's not always particularly rational. To help turn FOMO from a gloomy little cloud into a useful tool, the article offers the four following directive questions to ask oneself:

    1. Is this something I really wished I was doing?

    The funny thing about FOMO is that it doesn't always arise from seeing someone do something that you wish you were doing yourself [...] It's important to realize that FOMO is often spawned not from your desire to have made another person's specific choice, but simply from the reminder that other people have made different choices from your own. Such a reminder not only creates an awareness of this one alternative choice, but in fact brings to your mind the entire plane of seemingly infinite choices before you. To see that another person is somewhere else on the map is to remember that choosing one path means missing another, and this triggers the essence of FOMO: insecurity in our own choices [...] we are frequently beset with one nagging worry: Have I made the right decisions?
    2. Is this feeling telling me something that I need to change?

    While FOMO may sometimes be caused by the field of life choices suddenly flashing into your consciousness, sometimes it does point to something deeper: that you aren't happy with your current life and there is something out there you wish you were doing instead. Therefore, you should examine the source of your FOMO before dismissing it; there may be a good reason you feel insecure about your decisions.
    3. Is this something that is viable for me right now?

    Sometimes the source of our FOMO is indeed something we wish we were doing, but, it's not the right time or the best time for us to be doing that thing.

    Something that we've mentioned before on the site, and that I think is incredibly important, is embracing the idea of different seasons in your life [...] Even if you love skiing, there's no sense in pining for it in the middle of July, and you're better off concentrating on what you can only do during the season you're currently in (swimming! wake boarding!)
    Is this an accurate representation of reality?

    [...] Everyone's online personas are carefully curated representations of how they want others to see them and how they wish to see themselves. [...] it's not just the negative stuff that gets edited out - all the neutral, mundane tasks of life don't make the cut either. [...] Steven Furtick said it best: "Never compare your behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
    One last excerpt:

    Even if you aren't feeling FOMO, be aware of what you're posting, and that it may contribute to other people's FOMO. Are you trying to build yourself up in the eyes of "friends"? Or are you legitimately trying to share life's moments with those you care about?
    Do you guys deal with FOMO? I definitely do from time to time, especially when I see people I look up to going through major life events. Sometimes, too, it's fun to get lost in someone else's "dream world" without the details of reality setting in. I try to use it as an opportunity to envision and refine my own plans, though sometimes I just have to close that browser window and jump back into the nitty-gritty of my life.

  2. #2
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Eeenteresting. And something I've been thinking about lately. Will follow.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.

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    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    yes. GOD YES.

    every day of my life.
    7w6 - 2w3 - 8w7 sx/so


  4. #4
    Senior Member senza tema's Avatar
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    For sure. I was JUST bitching to a friend about how I wish I could travel more. But I do have a job I like that also leaves me free time to explore my own interests. I'm going on vacation this winter with a dear friend I haven't seen in years and I'm also applying to grad school so I definitely don't feel like I am wasting my life ... so even if some days are blah, I have enough to sustain me.

    Can't deny that I do forget this whenever someone posts pictures from some exotic locale or of their new house or engagement ring or baby or whatever. But I traveled a lot in my teens and early twenties and I am nowhere near ready to settle down and have children ... and the thought of being a homeowner and doing all that maintenance myself and paying MORE BILLS ... oh god. Just, no. So if I wish for things I don't actually want, then I guess I shouldn't complain about not having them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    25 guests?????
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    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    I think FOMO (Oh Lord, I'm using it) is particularly acute when you're not engaged in your own life, in the flow of things. More accurately, you don't feel like you are.

    That's when FOMO can punch your in the liver. And I'm sure it varies, but (and I did read the article) I'm guessing anything from general restlessness to full blown panic attack.

    But yeah, it's not so much that so-and-so is traveling, but that I'm not really doing anything new and interesting and stimulating like so-and-so, it could be traveling. It's not envy really, but kind of.

    It's that feeling, for me, of just sitting around mindlessly picking at life, when I should thrust myself into it, uncomfortable or not. At least uncomfortable is something to tell a story about, or a cause to say I was a part of.

    Great find. I'll be back. FOMO. At least I have a word for it now, or acronym, dang youngsters these days! Get awwf my lawn!!

    (btw, I stay off Facebook completely. Not sure why I even have an account. I think I'll deactivate it until it's my turn or "Season" to brag)
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.
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  6. #6
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
    So if I wish for things I don't actually want, then I guess I shouldn't complain about not having them.
    I can't deny I got a case of the FOMOs, but I do find myself getting anxious about not having/doing things I'm not even sure I want.

    I guess as I mentioned earlier, it's an equivalent "lacking" for yourself. And I'm just speaking in the 1st person.

    When I feel I'm really working towards something, I don't even have to know the outcome, I feel good. Like, I dunno, is Purpose the cure to FOMO?

    But if that falls off, or I have days I doubt what the hell I'm doing, it's like I'm standing still.

    But this lyric cheered me up today (I've been listening to a lot of Blues lately. They don't make me blue).



    Was driving down the expressway,
    I was goin' to pay my bills

    Everyone was passing me so fast, I,
    Thought I was standin' still.

    I say,

    It's a jungle out there
    Oh, It's a jungle out there.

    Everybody's in a hurry,
    And there ain't nobody goin' nowhere
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.
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  7. #7
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    I think FOMO (Oh Lord, I'm using it) is particularly acute when you're not engaged in your own life, in the flow of things. More accurately, you don't feel like you are.

    That's when FOMO can punch your in the liver. And I'm sure it varies, but (and I did read the article) I'm guessing anything from general restlessness to full blown panic attack.

    But yeah, it's not so much that so-and-so is traveling, but that I'm not really doing anything new and interesting and stimulating like so-and-so, it could be traveling. It's not envy really, but kind of.

    It's that feeling, for me, of just sitting around mindlessly picking at life, when I should thrust myself into it, uncomfortable or not. At least uncomfortable is something to tell a story about, or a cause to say I was a part of.
    All of this exactly Johnny!

    The main problem for me is that any time I'm not doing something, whether it be going out to the city with friends, finding a potential SO and chatting them up, etc, I get that feeling almost automatically. I can reflect a bit and think "I had a good time today" but then there's still so much more I want to do and then that feeling of unfulfillment kicks in. So basically it's like constant mood shifts depending on my environment.

    I agree it's not so much other people's adventures that make me feel this way, it's just a general sense of urgency that life is really short and I want to make the most of it. Every second I spend suddenly feels wasted, and I want to cry but I don't even want to waste time wallowing in my own unhappiness. When people post stuff about their adventures I don't really get jealous or wanting to do what they did, but it makes me reevaluate my own life and whether I'm spending every minute the way I think it'll make me happiest.

    The one thing I wish I had more of is time so I'd have more time to spend not worrying about the future. In the moment I feel satisfied and everything is going to be great, but then afterwards I just wish I had already experienced everything I wanted to so I could feel fulfilled (and even then I know that doing everything you want to do doesn't necessarily lead to fulfillment). I just wanna lie on my deathbed with no regrets, and the fact that I kind of have to wrestle with life to achieve that is one of the hardest parts to accept.
    7w6 - 2w3 - 8w7 sx/so

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  8. #8
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chanaynay View Post
    All of this exactly Johnny!

    The main problem for me is that any time I'm not doing something, whether it be going out to the city with friends, finding a potential SO and chatting them up, etc, I get that feeling almost automatically. I can reflect a bit and think "I had a good time today" but then there's still so much more I want to do and then that feeling of unfulfillment kicks in. So basically it's like constant mood shifts depending on my environment.

    I agree it's not so much other people's adventures that make me feel this way, it's just a general sense of urgency that life is really short and I want to make the most of it. Every second I spend suddenly feels wasted, and I want to cry but I don't even want to waste time wallowing in my own unhappiness. When people post stuff about their adventures I don't really get jealous or wanting to do what they did, but it makes me reevaluate my own life and whether I'm spending every minute the way I think it'll make me happiest.

    The one thing I wish I had more of is time so I'd have more time to spend not worrying about the future. In the moment I feel satisfied and everything is going to be great, but then afterwards I just wish I had already experienced everything I wanted to so I could feel fulfilled (and even then I know that doing everything you want to do doesn't necessarily lead to fulfillment). I just wanna lie on my deathbed with no regrets, and the fact that I kind of have to wrestle with life to achieve that is one of the hardest parts to accept.
    Maybe you should just keep going until you drop from sleep deprivation I'm half serious.

    I recall some of the most peaceful, relaxing times of the evening were when I'd spent most of the day running around or doing physical work to the point where my body just had to rest, still awake though with a Buddha smile.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.
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  9. #9
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Oh. That is not what I thought this was going to be about.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  10. #10
    Senior Member senza tema's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think FOMO is more an indication of my internal sense of restlessness which I normally keep somewhat suppressed in everyday life ... and the sense that I don't have as many choices as I deserve.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Oh. That is not what I thought this was going to be about.
    What did you think it was gonna be about?

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