Wednesday, 27 June 2012

FOMO

I recently learned the term FOMO. Typical of my nature, not knowing what this meant killed me! I had to know because, well, just because I had to. Ironically, this is exactly what FOMO means - Fear Of Missing Out. It made me sit back and look at life, where we are, how we live it, what motivates us, where we seek approval, what affirms us. Without delving into anything too deep, and yes, I am generalising, but for most of us the simple (and not-so-shocking!) answer, is Social Media. I- we - live with such a FOMO, that the radiply escalating trend of social networking has become the norm rather than the exception.
Between my Blackberry, Ipad and Computer I have Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, Whatsapp, Twitter, Uber Social for Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, apps on my ipad dedicated to pinging me when anything genuinely newsworthy happens (CNN, Media 24, BBC etc) and a hord of blog links that I regularly follow. And none of these is neglected! As soon as something mildly interesting happens (and embarressingly, its often only newsworth to a select few who are directly involved in my everyday life)  - its on facebook; snap a pic of my weekend activities (because of course everyone wants to see yet another picture of my kids!!) - its on facebook;  a glib observation (or sometimes passive aggressive jibe) - its on twitter; a divine (or mediocre - being selective is not important) meal out - picture on twitter with the accompanying hashtag #tweetwhatyoueat; my kids do well at school / on the sports field / survive a weekend of parental inflicted boredom (*blush*), the whole cyber world is alerted via one or all of these means.

I am admitting to my dependency, my FOMO, when it comes to social media. And I am not alone in my behaviour or mindset. I have friends (too many to name and shame!), who update their BBM status, profile pics, and Facebook status more often than you can click refresh!! Its mind boggling! There is very little that is private and discreet anymore. We "check in" when we go out, post photos of any and every event in our day (we even doctor these pics to be kinder to ourselves - thanks Instagram!), we vent, we rant, we disparage, we preach, we divulge - from a platform of relative security, often forgetting or dismissing the fact that once we hit send or post or update, its in cyberspace FOREVER.  I recall a pin on Pinterest stating something along the lines of "just imagine, all of this would be in peoples heads if Facebook didn't exist!" How true is that!

In my (admittidly social media obssessed) opinion, we use these platforms as some form of escapism. Its what we do while real life happens. Its an outlet. Pinterest is a wonderful example - our boards reflect homes and designs we don't have, clothes we desire (all displayed on bodies we pine for!), food we probably never cook, craft that we in all likely hood will never master (although pinning it makes us feel like we have used our creative outlet well!), places we dream of going should we ever win the lotto. Not much about pinterest is reality, yet it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there. And its addictive (I highly recommend it!).
We are not insular beings, and the web connects us like no family tree ever could. It keeps us in touch with those we would have lost years ago (and unfortunately, if we are not selective enough, opens up our world to those we WISHED we had lost years ago!!). It is largely for this reason that I refuse to quit social networking. I need it - I NEED to know who's done what with their lives, who is getting married, having kids, doing amazing things - even though they are a million miles away. And I NEED to share (I am a sharer by nature). 
As long as social networking does not replace real life, does not hurt or harm, is used for good and not evil, and does not distract us from what is important, I believe it has a place in my world. I will continue to brag about my kids, tweet about my life, Pin my way to a creative fantasy world. FOMO works for us in a lot of ways - it keeps us on our toes, keeps us moving forward. If it wasn't for my FOMO, and a very good friend convincing me that smart phones were way better than my old nokia, I would still have cell phone bills that could rival a small office park! FOMO keeps us striving for the next best thing. And I don't want to get left behind. I'm Just Saying...

16 comments:

  1. At first glance, I was confounded that you didn't know what MOFO was..... hehehe.... but that would be in a completely different kind of hood.... in all likely hood..... Where's your spell check app!? hehehehe

    Great blog, hunny! *kisses*

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  2. I didn't know what FOMO meant until now. Liked this post. It reminded me of one I had written: http://momtuition.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/mr-needy-not-interested-in-a-threesome/

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  3. Oh why I didn't know what FOMO meant either! I think social networking might be dangerous for our civilization as it is, but who can give it up now? It's a total addiction!!! I found myself getting worse when I started my blog!!! arrgghhh which brings me to tell you I'm your new follower on networkedblogs!!! ;)
    Esmeralda @ www.sciencesosexy.com

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  4. I suffered from FOMO my first semester of college and my grades reflected it. If social media would have existed at that time I probably would have flunked out.

    My current use, though my husband would disagree, is all about learning something new and building my blog. (My husband thinks my usage is excessive). I spend very little time on FB which kind of creeps me out. Too many personal details about people I know or barely know.

    Stopping by from SITS.

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  5. I know! It's getting crazy out there! Ha! It's too much pressure to be all those places and I just am not willing - trying to find a reasonable level of involvement...

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  6. Hi

    Stopping in from SITS sharefest today. I don't know all the slangs/initials at all, But, I am right there with you on social media. I actually took a little break last week, and it was nice. Don't get me wrong, I was still on, but maybe hit twitter just once. LOL!

    It's interesting though with my personal facebook page. I have a friend who does not like social media so she rarely posts anything, and when she does, she gets all these comments and likes, whereas I think people may tune me out more because I do post more often, and the same five people always comment..those that are truly active on FB. I don't post any more than once a day, but my friend may go weeks or months. I find it an interesting study. The more we post, are we more ignored? LOL?

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    Replies
    1. Interesting theory and likely very true. I'm sure I'm "one of the hidden ones".

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  7. Oh yes, we are SO tuned into the virtual world, aren't we? I do think it's nie to tune it all out once in a while though. Just live real life for a change - I don't want to miss out on the real-time moments!

    Stopping by from SITS Sharefest.

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  8. That's why I have a much easier time waking up at the crack a$$ of dawn on the weekend....FOMO! The first thing I do is fire up the laptop!

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  9. Sometimes it's hard to remember what life was like before social media. Hm. Kind of ignorant bliss, most of the time, I guess.

    Fun post. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend.

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  10. I think I just miss out....on blog exposure. I still don't Tweet or use Instagram. I feel like if I add any more social media, my time will get all eaten up.

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  11. I absolutely love the honesty behind this post. You shared what so many others are thinking. I enjoy all my social apps and it honestly does keep me connected with many people that I probably would lose contact with if I didn't have the apps to rely on...they would move or change their phone number or something and then oooopppps...they are gone.

    Irish

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  12. Great post! Found you on the mingle. Now following via twitter and pinterest. Would love follows back

    http://cumminslife.blogspot.com/

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  13. Found you on Mom's Best Net, Tuesday Blog Hop! Great post. Social Media has us all feeling like we will be missing something big! Which is why I'm always on Pinterest! Will be following you. Thanks for checking out Lemons for Lulu!

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  14. Hey, Found your awesome blog at Blogaholic. Started following you, please follow me. Thanks!
    http://thesweetspotblog.com

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