Why You Should Stop Your Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) (3 minute read)

The other day, I was rolling around the floor with my daughter when she picked up one of my husband’s lame CPA magazines and chucks it at me. 

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She proceeds to grab one of her own books and starts reading. I get it...I begin reading.

I started to peruse an article about spending habits (you know because accountants love all things related to money). In it, it said that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is an actual reason why millennials overspend.

Are you fucking kidding me? People my age spend money because they have a “fear of missing out on”....what? Like that beautifully pictured cappuccino and notebook placed precisely on the edge of a table? Or that perfectly timed photo of someone mid-jump on top of a mountain, looking super cool and dangerous?

So I’m trying to wrap my head around this article (I guess the magazine's not as lame as I thought since it's making me think). That means some of us see these images and/or statuses on their social media feeds and they start buying cappuccinos and Moleskine notebooks, and going on vacations to where the highest mountains are even if they can't afford to?

My mind = blown (explosion sound)
I’d like to consider myself as someone who is not easily persuaded by what others are doing. I'm not the typical consumer. 


I remember when I was in Grade 4, I got invited to be part of a girls focus group for some advertising company. Let's just say after the first session, I wasn't invited to the next. I guess I didn't fit in with who they were looking for. 
I think I said something about ads and gender stereotyping. I told them they should think about having a girl throw a football around for once and stop making everything pink. I've been a feminist since I was a kid. 
I don’t have many vices. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I'm not a shopaholic. I don’t overspend. I’ve never paid for a new phone; I just take the free one that comes with signing a new contract, whatever model that is. I drive a Toyota. I eat leftover soup and drink my homemade drip coffee black unless I paid for it.

I wasn’t the popular kid. I’ve never been the one who would get a swarm of invites every weekend to the latest and greatest shindig. 

At work, I’m the one going to the gym during my lunch hour and then scarfing down whatever I packed at my desk as I scan through emails. 

I’m not the social butterfly, gossiping about what's going on with so and so. I’m not ‘in the know’. Sometimes I was included and sometimes I was excluded and honestly, I don't keep track.

Through every stage of my life (single/in a relationship/married/with kids) I’d see pictures of people out and about, doing cool stuff like eating extravagant meals, travelling to all corners of the world and posing in front of exotic scenery in the most fashionable outfits.

Or more recently, parents posing with their kids, all fancy at home, creating crafts or baking treats with the beautiful sun shining through their massive floor-to-ceiling windows, highlighting the mother’s well-rested face, the father’s slight stubble, and the kids’ pearly whites.

We post stuff so others can see what we want them to see. How can we not feel like we want what others have since we are purposely putting things out there to drive that feeling for other people?

What's trending now? What's the latest fad diet? Where's the hippest joint in town? I have no clue. I don't know. I don’t care. 


FOMO is the feeling that if you don't own a certain thing or have a certain experience, you're missing out on life's best opportunities.

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As I reflect, what are these opportunities? What exactly am I missing out on nowadays? I feel like there is so much going on in the world that I can't possibly do it all. And instead of trying to do everything that I might find interesting, I pick what I know will give me joy.
So perhaps FOMO isn't what's driving millennials to overspend. Rather, it's the overwhelming burden of choice, having all the opportunities in their faces and wanting to do everything at once. And YOLO goes hand in hand with FOMO which is the real excuse millennials give themselves to overspend.
By not experiencing FOMO, am I closing myself off to new and exciting things that others are already enjoying? Or am I just managing my expectations and keeping things content? For now, I'll just enjoy the things I enjoy. 

Maybe one day I'll Instagram my family in our kitchen, making Valentine's Day cookies or some shit...but it'll be real, raw and messy with bad lighting and bad hair. 

So Readers, do you experience FOMO? Do you do things because you really want to? Or because that's what everyone else is doing?


Let's Socialize...C'mon, You Know You Wanna

                                          

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