Stands for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, a subject of a recent TED lecture, delivered by a young man, accurately describing what most yuppies feel in being left out in a world of social media and instant events. In fact this is an affliction experienced by people like me too, someone who is afraid of missing out on the next big thing, constantly driven by being in the know. The speaker said that one must not shun this feeling but instead go further and explore why, why does one have this feeling instead of just saying no and enjoying a quiet time at home. Good question. One was not always like this and recalls of times when just prefers to stay home, away from the hustle and bustle of active socializing, then one realizes he is old and approaching middle age, that he wonders what was lost, what could have been and the results is a mad scramble, succumbing to the fear of missing out. I think I should watch that video again and see if the speaker offered any clues on how to proceed, to learn one’s inner motivation and find out what to do next if one realizes that he just wants to give his life some meaning, perhaps a last grasp of his youth.
There is also an economic component in this fear, to lose out on relevance in the office, to be wholly ignorant and unaware of what is happening around him. But it is a sad cycle, to constantly watch movies and borrow books to be relevant that one realizes the others around him are trivial and ordinary, not the sophisticated and smart people that one sees in movies or television shows. The realization that one has more sensitivity than the others around him is difficult, requiring one to hide his own and live under the cloak of being ordinary. Another TED lecture was significant, about embracing oneself, told by a self-proclaimed creative gay Latino, with cerebral palsy, being the ultimate outsider. Another lecture was about building ice castles and another about comparing burn outs and post-traumatic stress disorder, in turn requiring the same sort of medical benefits and consideration. I guess I was close to burn out several times, driven not only by the expectations of work, FOMA and attribution errors due to cognitive bias, something that I had hoped to cure by cognitive therapy, journal writing, exercise and meditation.
Burn out also comes when one experiences change, meeting new conditions and trying to live up to new expectations. Recently one realizes that one has bitten off more than he can chew, especially being area governor when one is moving into a new and demanding role plus continuing the stress of FOMA. But instead of more exercise and museum going, to engage in more constructive distraction, one indulges in narcissism and alcohol which further exacerbates stress. Again one has the paranoia felt when one seems to feel that he is persecuted behind his back, perhaps thinking that his pay is too much, surrounded by mediocre loud mouths when that is the culture of the people around here, trying to avoid the disdain that one feels when one has a mistaken sense of superiority, driven by the sense of not missing anything and being in the know. What a laugh. Now one hopes to be part of a new project, not as a manager but as a tester, striving to fill up the time needed for his time sheet as the chargeable hours are less in the new role. But one also loses time at home where there is much to do to be a writer or internet entrepreneur or a stock trader because one is watching or reading because of FOMA.