Okay, this is a test…what does FOMO mean?
Have you heard of this?
I read about it the other day. It’s a new “problem” or “issue” people are dealing with. It stands for “Fear of Missing Out”.
I’m not joking.
I blame Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and whatever other social media platforms are making us all think “everyone else is having the time of their life and I’m a loser at home alone”.
Here’s the truth…Everyone else is not having the time of their life. If they were, they would not have time to post pictures about it or tweet about it. If they were having the time of their life, their phone would be not with them.
The other day my daughter fell asleep face down spread out completely on the bed, sweaty, drooling, and exhausted. Her whole body was limp except her right hand…her right hand was CLUTCHED to her phone, hanging on for dear life. At first, I found this funny. I wanted to take a picture and post it on Instagram (I recognize the irony in this) but then decided against it. This isn’t funny, it’s sad. WHAT IS GOING ON???
How will our kids ever find peace or stillness?
What if you left the house and you did not have your phone? Would you panic? Would you turn around and get it? What if you left it for a day? Would you be okay without it?
What if you don’t check Facebook, do you fear you are missing out? Does Facebook ever depress you or make you angry or sad? Do you look at other people’s pictures and feel like you are not good enough, not happy enough, not having enough fun?
I saw this image the other day and I think it’s hilarious. I don’t like the word, “hate” but it makes a point. It made me laugh and think, “Hmmm…that’s kind of true”.
I love that commercial where the daughter is looking at Facebook and saying what “losers” her parents are because they only have 10 friends on Facebook and she has hundreds. Then they show her parents and they are mountain climbing with friends – laughing and having fun. The point is they are LIVING while their daughter is on the computer. BTW, they are not posting pictures during their day either.
I tell my kids to remember everyone posts the happy, pretty pictures on Facebook. It’s like a personal PR puff piece. Of course, if you can choose, you would not post ugly pictures of yourself. However, that is a snapshot that is often staged in anticipation of it going on Facebook. That is not real life. Everyone has happy moments and sad moments. Sometimes we are with people and sometimes we are alone. Smiles don’t always mean contentment. Action does not always mean happiness.
I remember something my mom said about clothing. She said you should never dress in too revealing clothes because you should always, “leave something for the imagination”. (I think this was around the same time I learned about the cow and not giving away the milk for free.)I think this applies to what we are talking about here. You shouldn’t post everything on the internet because then what mystery is there? How can you have those moments of discovery and revelation with others if you’ve already “put it all out there” – bikini shots and all?
Remember the philosophical question about the tree falling; “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It makes me think of all the social media, if I didn’t post it, did it happen? If I didn’t take a picture and share it with the world, is it not real?
This summer, I’m going to walk the talk. I am going to power down in order to live it up. I’m going off the grid. I will be off line for July. I hope maybe you will be too. Then when August comes, we will have a lot to talk about.
I’m not going to lie. This will be difficult for me. I love my computer and the internet and this blog. I will miss “talking” to all of you. This will be a challenge. I will be so excited to start posting again in August. I will be thinking of you all and wishing you infinite blessings.
My wish for you is the same wish I have for me. I wish that you have a happy summer with real living and laughing and talking and loving. I wish you long walks on the beach and that feeling you get when you’ve been in the sun all day. I wish you morning coffee and afternoon Big Gulps of Diet Coke and happy hours with friends. I wish for good books and lazy days with no clock and dinner at 8. I hope you do art and yoga and play music. I hope you enjoy rainy days filled with reading and playing games and napping and sharing dreams. I hope you dance and braid your hair and don’t shower for days. I hope you go on a boat maybe skiing or fishing or sailing. I picture guitars and surfboards and bonfires on the beach. Or maybe it’s a convertible and art fairs and flea markets and lemonade. Maybe it’s the pool and friends and camps and books at the library. I picture swinging on swings and jumping on the trampoline. I picture a hammock in there somewhere too. I just hope it’s all the things you love.
And since this a wish for authenticity, I wish you tears too and moments of doubt and pondering and quiet and wondering. I hope in the stillness you can find peace and joy and truth so that when you come back to the noise and the texting and the constant influx of pictures and the updates on Facebook and Instagram, you will not experience FOMO. You will be content. You will have really experienced life and you will know this in your heart and soul which is where it really matters…Even if you didn’t post any pictures.