#ThinkingAloud

Hello, FOMO!


FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a social anxiety characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. FOMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one may miss out an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying events.

On a beautiful drive to Coorg The Husband pointed out a glorious setting sun to me. I grunted in response but didn’t look up from my phone, as I was busy texting my views on a conversation I was having in one of the many online groups I am part of. The Husband pointed out the sunset again, but I was still busy texting away. When I finally looked up, the look on his face was so disparaging that I actually cringed.

I kept my phone aside, for the time being.

My phone was back in my hand again after a while though. We drove the rest of the way in silence. When we reached our hotel all The Husband said was, ‘Think about what you are doing’.

Those simple words hurt deep, and made me think.

What was I doing?

I am connected to the online world for anything between 6-8 hours a day. If not the lap-top then the mobile phone aids in keeping me glued to Social Media. Being part of innumerable groups I can’t help being connected to the happenings there.

After the Husbands remark I started observing myself, clinically.

I feared that being away from the lap-top or the mobile I would miss out on an assignment, some important information, or being part of something worthwhile.

Then I studied myself for all of last month of being online.

What had a I gained from being online for 6-8 hours every single day? Nothing of importance.

Did what little I gained make any major impact in my life? No, it did not.

Though dark circles, a slight pain in the neck and eyes that hurt were the unwanted gifts I got.

At the same time, I also realised that what I was actually missing out was on living, life and small everyday moments that went unnoticed as I was caught in the whirlpool of the virtual world.

I realised I was FOMO inflicted.

My Fear Of Missing Out kept me glued to the virtual world. I was caught up in conversations that were inane, with people who themselves were ill-informed and shared wrong or half-baked information related to blogging. My writing suffered as I started concentrating on quantity instead of quality. That was when I decided I had had enough and I needed to make changes.

Hello-FOMO-Sirimiri

I took a critical look at my writing and decided to let go of what wasn’t working for me. The answers to the blogging related questions came to me through asking the right people and independent analysis. Then I started cutting down on my interactions in SM groups, and even exited a lot them. This didn’t go down too well, and I had people ganging up against me and passing snide comments at my ‘exclusivity’. 

What difference did I see post these changes?

I enjoy the time I spend online, as I ration it. I am hoping to cut it down further. I now have right information. I have also realised that things, whether it is a writing assignment, some bit of knowledge or being part of something exciting, have found their way to me, irrespective of the fact that I may have not been online then.

I am concentrating more on Quality than on Quantity, be it writing or people. And I am beginning to feel much better already.

No more, FOMO!:)

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa

 

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9 Comments

  1. Hey Mayuri! Kudos to you for breaking out of your own demons. But your write up is extremely thought provoking and relevant in the current times. Its not just the bloggers, but almost everyone who is inflicted by FOMO. I see so many people around me constantly busy on whatsapp and obsessed with taking selfies to update their DPs. Its sometimes sad.

  2. FOMO explained well Mayuri, self introspection always helps be it professionally or personal.
    Few tips from this post I am definitely going to implement.
    Thanks for sharing with your readers.

  3. Great post and my thoughts exactly! We need such jolt to reality before we get addicted to the virtual world

  4. I think we all suffer from FOMO in our life. Agree with you, the obsession of social media is bad and without realising we are glued to it all the time. Family time is equally important. Quality over quantity should be our priority. Good one Mayuri.

  5. I have added myself in so many groups and at the end of it have 1000 messages which I dont read and makes my urge to check online more stronger. I agree that we have developed a fear of missing out which is not good for us. I would make a conscious effort like you to take care of myself

  6. So happy for you. Ultimately, social media will be around whether we log in or not. Turning off all app notifications as well as rationing my time online has helped by leaps and bounds. Plus, family always comes first. It wasn’t easy at first. Now, it’s so much simpler. Well done and good luck with managing fomo for the future too.

  7. You are one of the few people who has realized the problem of spending so much time online and missing out on small joys in life. I know many more who shrug and continue being glued to their WA groups or twitter profiles. In that sense, I am hardly present on any social media these days. Login, logoff and just reply to any comments. It gives me a lot of calm and lets me spend my time on my professional work and other activities. Good on you, Mayuri, for taking this step.

  8. Thank you is not enough for this post Mayuri! Off late, I am dangerously inclining towards the virtual world. And as in your case, Mr Balanced has recently informed me that I am missing a lot too many magical moments of our everyday life.
    I better mend my ways before it becomes a challenge!

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