I should be immune at age 50, but I’ve managed to catch FOMO over the past few weeks.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It’s an affliction that usually affects social-media obsessed teenagers.
HuffPo describes it as “basically an anxiety or apprehension around the idea that others might be experiencing something that you’re not. It’s the fear that your experiences aren’t good enough when compared to those of others.”
Lately, my Instagram and Facebook feeds seem like they’re filled with photos of people I used to know having fun without me.
I haven’t seen some of the people for more than a year, some for more than five years, some even longer than that …
But, for some daft reason, it stings to see their social lives continue without me
It’s ridiculous to be knotted up about people who don’t get in touch when I have lovely friends who do.
Especially when my life is so full – between work and family and love, there’s not much time for anything else.
I’ve whittled down my socialising to walks with a few local friends, family catch ups and swims with DD. Occasionally, I squeeze in a wild card.
Oh, and here’s the irony of me suffering from FOMO … I’m socialising like nobody’s business this week.
Last night I had a drink with a former workmate, there’s a cocktail party in the calendar with DD, I’m catching up with a former long daycare mum and I’ve organised dinner with some old friends.
I’m not missing out on anything. I lead a full life with people who care about me.
So why does it matter that I don’t hear from others? Surely it’s natural that friendships wax and wane?
The sensible part of me knows it’s not personal, I don’t have a giant “L” tattooed on my forehead. People are just busy – they’ve had to whittle down their social lives too.
I think the reason it troubles me is because I feel that I’ve failed every person from my past that I haven’t spoken to lately.
So why … a little voice whispers in my head … don’t they feel the same way?
A friend reassured me that she used to suffer the same guilt about not getting in touch with people, then she reminded herself they weren’t contacting her either.
So she let it go.
And I should too – there’s so much good stuff to focus on, like being at the beach at sunrise yesterday.
After swearing off early swims following last week’s two-hour commute home, DD suggested a back way I might try. It only took an hour and 15 minutes to get home, which is progress, though still bloody frustrating.
But look at how beautiful it was …
Give me an ocean swim over a party any day.
Oh, erm, and expect to roll your eyes at all the ridiculous updates on my social life over the next few days … because there’s nothing logical about FOMO
What he said.
Song of the day: Matchbox 20 “Unwell”