There’s something happening to our generation. It’s the kind of sad thing none of us would necessarily want to admit to, but it’s there. It’s there every time we look at our phones, or talk to our friends, or stalk the weirdoes we used to go to school with on Facebook.
We’re confronted with detailed information about other peoples’ lives all the time, so it’s only natural that we’d want to compare ourselves to everybody. It’s a bit weird, we can all admit that. It is, however, perfectly normal. Whatever gets us through the day, after all. The problem comes when we suddenly start to fear that we’re coming up short.
We’re not going to as many parties and this person, or that person, and we don’t seem to have as many friends as that guy (who you always dismissed as kind of a man-whore anyway, and yet you still find that you care about how many photos he’s tagged in). Our lives aren’t moving as fast as that one friend who got married crazy young and already has two children and her own house, and has enough time to make bento boxes for her kids everyday while you drop a tenner a day on lunch because you just don’t have time to do anything else. At the same time, though, this nuclear mother is probably sitting there, sandwich cutter in hand, flicking through Facebook, looking at pictures of you having fun with your disposable income and busy city life, and wondering if she made the right choice.
Here is the secret: We’re all just doing what we do, and trying to get by. There are no benchmarks for exactly what anybody should be doing on any given night or weekend, and the Fear Of Missing Out (or FOMO as no doctor ever, but all of the rest of society, calls it) doesn’t have to be something we give in to. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but one that’s totally worth it. Imagine a world where you’re too busy to even worry about what your colleagues from two jobs ago are doing with their evenings. Personally, I already feel calmer.
For more on FOMO, and ideas for how to beat it, visit notofomo.com