The Fear of Missing Out is very prominent in the social media age. Instagram is everyone’s highlight reel
as we use Twitter to write our unedited scripts, sometimes in all caps to emphasize our emotions. In a
time where nearly everything is recorded in fifteen second intervals, some of us could look at our friends
at bars with their friends or on a boat on a Friday night and think “Damn, I wish I could be with them.”,
“Why am I not there?”, “I shouldn’t be at work right now, but I need the money.”, and more phrases
where we belittle our own choice to not do what they’re doing. In an indirect way, the day-to-day posts
our friends make become a part of our daily lives.
The Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO for short, affects people greatly through one of two behaviors: either
overcommitting to things or choosing to avoid as many commitments and agreements as much as
possible. The two possible actions are due to a fear of losing a chance to engage in other moments that
could bring greater satisfaction. I used to go through FOMO all the time in my years of being fully
immersed in the Virginia hip hop culture, since 2016. I used to go to so many events to do coverage or
hang out with people at times where my health wasn’t the greatest or if I was not mentally there. I was
living in a “Paradox of Choice”, where I have so many options to choose from that the more amazing
things are, the less happy I became. I was associated with
four different brands for events, coverage, interviews and more. I felt like I had to go to everything so
that way I wouldn’t miss out on any moment and push whatever brands I was going to events for
further. It was also to uphold an image as one of the hardest working people in the Richmond culture.
In the middle of 2019 however, I got over that fear. What led to me getting over the fear was mostly
trying to find a full-time job after college. I realized that I couldn’t go to those events anymore because I
didn’t have the bread to do so. I wasn’t broke but I realized that it wasn’t worth the money because at
a lot of these events, I wasn’t working on myself. I found myself investing in so many different brands
and investing in the events that I was not investing time into myself. I also found a pattern of the more
that I was going out trying to chase a great experience every weekend, the less I was having
fun. Things started to get dull to where I no longer had much satisfaction. I started talking less to people
at events and focused on whatever food I was eating and whoever was performing. I was mistaking the
quantity of times of going to events and making plans as the quality of having fun.
Some ways that I got rid of FOMO was having more gratitude for what I had. Going back to the full-time
job situation, I had to be thankful that I was making enough money to pay bills and having a place to
stay. I was thankful for graduating college. I had to realize everything I had at that time rather than
thinking about what I could have and what I did not have at that time. I had to log out of social media
like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat and stayed more on the LinkedIn and Gmail apps. I also had to
focus on enjoying the process of how I was working on the applications as well as making time to relax
and chill. When I was doing my own thing of working, exercising, focusing on myself and personal
goals, I did not feel obliged to be at events anymore. I felt a relief of not having a fear of missing out.
When I became more stable with a full-time position, I returned to the scene and the same people that
used to see me regularly appreciated seeing me more. The quality of going out was better than what it
was before I had to dial in my focus on getting a full-time position. I began focusing in on the simpler
things and enjoying the simpler things such as going to the gym on a Friday night and watching old
wrestling matches when I get back home, reading a book, or just binge watching Explained on Netflix.
It’s perfectly fine to focus on you first. How can you win when you ain’t right within, right?