A friend asked me to read an article in ‘Oxygen’ – the supplement that comes with the local Marathi newspaper ‘Lokmat’. It talked about a new kind problem popping out in this digital era. It’s called FOMO – Short form for ‘Fear of missing out’. I don’t remember the exact content, but the idea of the article stuck with me. It had a story that goes something like this –
It’s a saturday night. Nothing to do. I have no thoughts of work. I am ready to spend a quiet night at home. I think of browsing through the internet before hitting the sheets. I switch on the Laptop and open my Facebook account. Suddenly I see a flood of recent notifications on the page. Some friends have gathered at a venue near my apartment. But why? What was happening there? Then I see pictures of other friends enjoying fancy milkshakes at a trendy restaurant. Suddenly, my simple domestic pleasures start looking pale in comparison with the things I could be doing.
The flurry of possibilities set off a rush of restlessness and indecision. I am torn between nesting in my cozy roost or rallying for an impromptu rendezvous, and I just don’t know what to do.
– That was a story published in the supplement along with a logical explanation of why this happens. Out of curiosity I searched about it and found a similar article published in NYTimes and the term ‘FOMO’ listed in urban dictionary. That proves, thousands of youngsters must be facing this state of mind (though were few will reluctantly agree.)
FOMO refers refers to the blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can flare up while skimming social media like Facebook & Twitter. Billions of Twitter messages, status updates and photographs provide thrilling glimpses of the daily lives and activities of friends, co-workers and peers. The upside is immeasurable. Viewing postings from my friends scattered around the country often makes you feel more connected to them. But, occasionally, there is a darker side.
When we scroll through pictures and status updates, the worry that tugs at the corners of our minds is set off by the Fear of Regret – The fear of missing out!
90% of the people, burdened by this ever-increasing peer pressure, won’t have a clue on how to handle it. This the reason why we see so many people going out of the way to do all those things that their friends are doing. No! Really! – How could I be the one left out? 😐
PS: I agree that the image is quite irrelevant. 😛