FOMO? The Cure!


For an acronym such as this to come into existence, the fear must be so real and that is sad! FEAR OF MISSING OUT aka FOMO is common parlance these days. In 48 years of my life which is a substantial period of time, I believe, it is only in the last five years at most that this term has caught my attention. It was, in fact, coined in 2004 and got included in the Oxford Dictionary in 2010 (clearly letting me know that I am lagging way behind to have any fear of missing out). For those very few people, my age or older who are still unaware of the term, FOMO came into being, on and because of, social media, to describe or define the anxiety caused by the perception of missing out on fun and all things pleasurable, that others were seen to enjoy. The other aspect of the same is the addiction to keep checking in despite feelings of depression, negative thinking and low self-esteem that it may cause.

The underlying issue is Comparison. Now, comparison has always existed and unfortunately with others despite being told every now and then by a few wise people that “your competition should be with yourself and nobody else”. The whole concept of glorifying who won vis-a-vis who lost right from the time we are little kids, sets the ground for us to be in the rat race at every stage of our life. With social media, this has taken on a whole new dimension. At one time we looked at film stars and celebrities for little tidbits and to ape styles once in a while but now it is the pressure of keeping up with the jet setting Joneses!! “Likes” can have such a major effect on your psyche. Viral videos that have made many lives are ruining many more! Most youngsters are aware that picture perfect scenarios are not always the reality (they know it theoretically and understand it too) but it still messes them up. In fact, it is not just the youngsters. Since each and every one of us wants to stay relevant, we’ve all got ourselves a smart phone which is probably not the smartest thing to do. While apps have been created to get in touch with long lost friends, it has somehow got us into a web (world wide web indeed) which wants us to keep attachments from years gone by, a reluctance to move on, on some level. At the same time, we seldom, actually connect. It feels like an illusion of friendship which is warm but is still an illusion except for a very few close friends who would have remained even without these apps. Somehow, the whole system is wired to keep us hooked and we, who have no sense of moderation and who are weighed down by our own stresses use these platforms despite their, often, negative impact on us, as a way to numb ourselves. We cannot pinpoint where the anxiety has come from.

The Cure

1.     Acceptance that no matter how hard you try, how rich you are or how accomplished you are, you are always going to miss out on not just a few things but a lot many things and a lot many experiences. Instead of eyeing what others are up to, be totally involved in what you are doing and make the most of what you have. Also you can enjoy perfectly without validation from others that you have indeed enjoyed!!

2.   Nothing that is meant for you will ever pass you by. Believe it.

3.   Self-worth is priceless. It is the only thing that can get you out of this vicious cycle. Know that you are good enough, just the way you are. If you desire change, you can make it happen. Do it because you want to, because that’s what your heart wants and not because it’s the trend. Dream what you want into reality.

4.   Death is inevitable and a great leveller and the only truth. We don’t know when but we know for certain, so live every day to the fullest, doing things that make you happy, truly happy.

5.    Be Authentic. Be YOU. It is the only way to be. Yes, with all the flaws and embarrassing stuff!!

Credits: YouTube

6.   MOST IMPORTANT! Watch Eric Carle’s “The Mixed-Up Chameleon”. If FOMO is your problem, then you have missed this very important lesson as a child or you just need a reminder. The link:

It is May 2022 and we can still feel the aftermath of Covid 19. That should tell you about how unpredictable our world is. Let’s go beyond the superficial and embrace life in depth and give back to this abundant Universe in whatever capacity we can!


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