Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a term I just heard about today.
These Me In Maine blog posts have common themes about using common sense and distilling down into what it really important in life.
FOMO, learning more about a topic can be turned into a blog post as we explore the condition together.
So here we go exploring the anxiety called FOMO or fear of missing out. Crafted and created from a native Mainer’s perspective.
(Cracking of knuckles sound in preparation.) FOMO is a social anxiety.
Fear of missing out, believing others could be having fun while you are not present. If you are a stranger to social media circles, FOMO might be hard to grasp as so life and death important. But if you post lots of selfies. If you make your social media channels designed to create envy in others in look at me and all the exotic places I go that you don’t. You my friend are stoking the FOMO fires burning from within the followers you try to make envious.
FOMO is regret, that you missed a once in a life time opportunity that will scar or limit you down the road forever.
FOMO is worry about missing a social event or consciously opting out that may be the wrong choice to take for your perfect life ahead. Pressure, guilt, and frankly too much time watching or coveting others. Comparing yourself to others based on their social media feed. Simple living in Maine is not consumed by watching others. And for starters, life is not always as it appears from the outside looking in on a social media channel.
Spin, giving a different perception, a slanted agenda hidden from view fuels FOMO.
That’s what highly effective marketing is all about.. to create a call to action. To spark a desired need for something being sold. To improve your life that is seemingly only available for a limited time. That you suddenly think you can not live without and better get on the stick to order before midnight tonight. Something is missing. You need something, you want something you don’t have and can’t quite put your finger on it as a consumer. Others will tell you exactly what you need and where your life is going astray. Lots of opinions out there and they are getting louder.
But like Tom Petty crooned “You don’t know how it feels to be me”.
People come, people go
Some grow young, some grow cold
I woke up in between
A memory and a dream.
Miss you Tom. Now there’s a guy that would not back down if you are looking for musical inspiration.
To delve into FOMO, you have to back it up a step to anxiety itself.
Anxiety is dread, a feeling of fear or uneasiness that can keep you up at night. Make you feel restless or tense and affect your eating or drinking habits or the lub dub pace of your heart. Anxiety is not taking it easy. Not just doing the best you can and knowing things usually work out for the best in the long run. Anxiety is not confidence, not believing in yourself. Or maybe it is knowing you did not study enough for the test tomorrow crammed for tonight.
Preparing yourself for failure ahead is suppose to lessen the pain and suffering. Knowing that you are ill prepared and somehow not deserving a good grade because you did not work for it. That is what ignites a spark to create the blaze due to a swell of insecurities that sinks your boat over and over. There is a better, more prepared way to live.
I think FOMO is boredom, not enough to do or poor use of your time management.
We have an expression in Rotary that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. They size up the situation, attack a problem not a person and git it dunn’ as Larry the Cable guy advises. These people’s life is full and productive. Sitting around swiping social media screens up, down, sideways. To study others to learn what everyone else is up to is a waste of time if hours of every day are consumed. Something else is suffering if that is happening. Like retail therapy, the buying stuff to fill a hunger hole is temporary and artificial and does not last.
This is where a place like Maine comes in.
The way life should be. Less people, more wildlife, a greater sense of your natural surroundings. Hiking up Mt Katahdin, a day trip to the Maine coast, on your knees in the flower or vegetable garden. Working on your house to get it painted or DIY projects completed is satisfying. You learn to entertain yourself, to work hard and create a life you enjoy based on what makes you tick inside. Not by watching what seems to satisfy others that you are told you need to adopt. You are not one of those sheep pictured above right? Right?
There is no YOU in that habit of watching others.
Maybe that what the younger generation in the turbulent 1960’s described as being lost, trying to find myself. Far out. Right on. Anyone know how to get to Woodstock? Let’s hitch hike in that direction together, want to? Turn up the CSN&Y.
When you have regular chores around the home growing up, you develop a skill set.
You gain confidence. Taking care of yourself happens and not being dependent on others. Maybe it’s not glamorous that you know how to mow a lawn or do laundry, cook and clean. But you learn to care more and more on your own. That prepares you for life. To fend for yourself. You don’t expect others to do these tasks. No one waits on you. You learn the feeling of accomplishment from a job well done. It defines you and you gain a source of pride.
Maine simple living is the cure for FOMO. Having far less free idle time to watch others and wishing your life looked differently.
Social media channels are programing, not so “real” reality in most cases. Rehearsed, photo shopped, practiced with a teleprompter. Marketing is the desire to get folks receiving the signal to buy a product or purchase a service. Or groove on you for attention. Something you need that you can not live without or that will somehow improve your life is what is being sold and are you buying it?
Time and money, how you spend it when you live in rural Maine is much more practically approached.
That wood pile for next year’s house heating that is worked on slow and sure whenever you can return to the splitter. It is energy independence and good exercise to be boy scout prepared. Not just writing a check to the fuel oil supplier for whatever they want to charge per gallon. You could but you don’t. The climbing up a ladder to strip a garage roof and re-shingle it is confidence. You gain self satisfaction because you know how and were taught not to hire everything out in life.
The youngest in a Maine family and right on through up the line have a role to play in the daily chores.
Set the table, your turn to do the supper dishes. Help pick up. Don’t hog the bathroom. Please, thank you, be considerate. Remove your shoes, don’t leave a mess. No one sits out or is carried and the responsibility increases the older they get. Because the parents prepare them for life flapping their wings outside the nest.
In small town rural Maine, money is not handed to you and if it is to be, it is up to me.
But the sky is the limit if I am willing to work hard and make good decisions. Get my sleep, eat good nutritious food, exercise, volunteer to help others. Those basic but to some boring life ingredients can provide rich real lasting results from the no pain, no gain learning lessons.
Patience, respect for property to take care of what you buy with impulse control shopping to make sure to get quality.
People pay Dave Ramsey to learn this stuff that was missed because no one else showed them the ropes to healthy rewarding simple living. Your parents, family, teacher, your boss because you have a job for spending money are all your mentors and life coaches for free.
FOMO has already been around to a small degree.
Keeping up with The Jones meant awareness of a few successful people around you. But social media channels amplified the watching just a few to hundreds, thousands as you make lots of new “friends”. The needing to fit in, to have more friends than others means conformity to the sea of faces. Letting others make decisions for you to fit in and be hip is not living your life. It is mirroring around others that are not you. More on how FOMO does not help your self esteem.
Embrace JOMO (joy of missing out) because you started making your own unique set of choices.
That’s when you start living your own life and stop the habit of shaping it modeling only others perceived day to day based on social media insertions. Remember the mirror mirror on the wall habit of one aging queen? The need for attention, to be envied or coveted by others is not healthy. No time for it in small town rural Maine where happiness is not found on a glowing eerie blue screen but in the drop dead gorgeous full color outdoor landscape.
True Mainers are outdoors everyday, just dressed a little bit different to reflect the season.
We get what we need from out in nature. What we have is earned the old fashioned way. Not by buying a power ball chance for a million dollar pay out, because we are high on what we already worked hard to earn.
Are you addicted to know what is happening in other people’s lives?
Is social media making you feel inadequate or depressed?
Shut it off or at least limit the screen time to create time for healthy rituals. Or use it for inspiration ideals from a Pinterest pin or a DIY YouTube video to glean ideas and skills. But not to see how your life sizes up compared to the thousands of so call online friends. Maybe those you follow are not so happy and part of the enjoyment is to take you down a peg or two to feel like a loser. Who needs friends like that? And who wants to be a toxic friend like that?
Thank you for stopping by our Me In Maine blog post weekly installment on FOMO.
Being grateful for all you do have, for what you cherish. Worked hard for to create, protect and to enjoy living in up in Maine.
Counting those blesses and not lamenting or longing for a long list of what you think you want that you don’t need. That’s the right direction I think most down to Earth Mainers decide to take. Less whining and watching others and more pitching in to help out. And that they pass on to their children by living those kind of examples in the mentoring and skill building to not just survive life. But to glean more from the life they create. Living it fully and richly by keeping it simple all natural outdoors in four seasons Maine.
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