Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do You Suffer From #FOMO ?

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles





Have you been on the receiving end of FOMO?  I thought I was in the know with the social media lingo but now that I've been involved with social media so much more these past few months, I'm realizing there is so much more I don't know about it!  Take that acronym, for instance: "FOMO".  It means "Fear of Missing Out. "  It's apparently become an actual epidemic of some sort since social media and our easy access to technology has boosted its presence.  It's not a new term but it was for me, most likely because I haven't really seen any of my friends on social media using that term and probably because it's mostly used by the younger generations.  No matter your age, I think we can all relate to it every now and then.  FOMO basically means that we feel like we're missing out when we see our friends via social media doing something that we're not, like hanging out somewhere, traveling, etc. 

Urban dictionary describes it as, "A form of social anxiety - a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites."

FOMO Strikes in Different Ways


I have to admit, I get this FOMO feeling once in awhile...

For me, I don't suffer from FOMO when it comes to partying or anything like that...that ship has sailed long ago and I have no desire to engage in that lifestyle.  For me, it's about going through a long day, being exhausted, frustrated and just wanting a break from it all so when I see friends who are engaging in something that looks more fun than what I'm doing, I get a little case of FOMO.

I need to stop looking at Instagram and Facebook

It strikes me in the social media aspect of missing out, such as...
  • Those weekend nights when I want to get away from the kids and I make the mistake of opening up my Instagram or Facebook and I see people who are actually out... with no kids in tow.  
  • It strikes me when I'm craving a date night and see photos of my friends or other people enjoying a night out with their significant other and they're both wearing something other than their pjs and actually hanging out somewhere outside of their house instead of eating left overs in front of the TV.
  • It strikes when I see photos of people on a fun-looking vacation. It makes me crave to be somewhere else that's at least outside of my area code.  I don't have to be anywhere exotic, just to take a mom-cation, even if it's at a nearby hotel, alone, watching something other than cartoons.

Career Life

FOMO also strikes, however, in a bigger way, like when I think about my career and that my full-time job has become motherhood.  I think about the years I've missed out on with my goals I had in life as far as being in the actual workforce. I think about those years I can't get back and opportunities I've missed.

Then, however, other thoughts enter...

I think about the adjustments I'll have to make when it comes to working for someone else and what that means for myself and my family, the positive and the negative that come with working outside of the home.

I start to think...

Maybe, I don't want to rush back into the work force.  My little girl will be turning three soon and then preschool will start in another year so working outside of the home will come soon enough if that's what I still want.  I missed out on a lot of things but they weren't for bad reasons that were wasted.  Time is something that was not necessarily wasted because I spent that time with my children and I discovered other talents I had that I wouldn't have if I never began working at home.

We May Have FOMO because Time Cannot be Returned

I think that's what FOMO means to many people...the underlying feeling that everything is measured by time...time slips away so quickly like tiny beads of sand escaping from the top to the bottom of an hour glass. 

So, then...FOMO for me turns into the fact that...

My kids are growing so fast, they won't always be this small, this young, clingy and needy.  Years tick by in flashes and those long, rough days we sometimes have together that I want to escape right now will just be blips in the past that I'll come to miss instead.  They won't always want to be around me.  These will be the days and time that I will want to get back.

A look into the future: My son decided to put on his Daddy's clothes recently because he said he wants to be 16.  That's 10 years from now...which reminds me that they won't always be this small.

I realize, I will miss it and am glad I'm NOT missing it now.  I'm here with them to experience it all...the good, the bad and the ugly!  It all comes with being a mom and luckily, I was fortunate enough to be able to be a pro-active part of it all.  Then, it hits me that this social media definition of "FOMO" is nothing compared to the real fear of missing out on my children's lives while they're this young.

My FOMO Becomes JOMO

This all leads to #JOMO...yes, there's a bunch of these acronyms out there!  "JOMO" is the Joy of Missing Out, which I know I need to embrace instead of FOMO ...unless, like I said, that FOMO is missing out on my experiences with these two munchkins!

My real FOMO is missing out on being here in the moment with these two munchkins.

Ways to Cure FOMO ...

so that you can instead have JOMO

Urban Dictionary describes JOMO as, "You’re enjoying what you’re doing in the here and now and not on social media broadcasting or seeing what everybody else is doing. Opposite of fomo or the fear of missing out."
To cure my FOMO, I need to instead embrace JOMO.  One way to do that is to look at my own pictures I've taken or posted on social media.

I realize that these photos show my kids having a good time; photos that remind me that I'm able to spend so much time with them.  I see photos of the activities we do, the food and recipes we create together and all the crafts we make and games we play.

I try to remember that one day, they'll see these photos, too.  They'll know that I didn't miss out...

Splashing around in the Jacksonville Zoo's splash grounds.

Enjoying the pool together during this summer.

They're always so excited to help out in the kitchen.

Spending time outdoors with them while they still enjoy going to simple places like the park.

...and that makes me not have FOMO in the social media way it is meant because I'm too busy avoiding the more important type of FOMO...missing out on these days where my current job is job of Mommy and my boss are my kids!  

For anyone else who may suffer from a little bit of FOMO every now and then (specifically other parents), here are some tips I'm telling myself to relieve FOMO which may help you, too:

  • Don't look at your social media networks when you're having these thoughts of FOMO or don't look at it while you are spending time with your family at home in order to prevent getting a case of FOMO.
  • Remember that you are where you need to be right now, no matter where that may be (at home with kids, working outside of the home, staying in on a Saturday night, etc.)
  • Remember that you're social media photos are just as awesome even if it's a photo of you relaxing on your couch with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.  Let's face it, for us parents out there with young kids who run us tired, that short time on the couch is a much-needed break!
  • Realize that someone else may experience FOMO through your photos.
  • Remember that time passes quickly when it comes to raising children.  Cherish those days that you can spend with them as long as possible because one day, they'll be the ones going out and spending time away from home.

But then again, when they want to leave home, those are the days you can enjoy going out, too!  Or you can choose to stay in with an actual movie of YOUR choice!

I also know that because I've been able to stay at home with my kids, other opportunities opened up to me, including doing things I may have never done like working on this blog and embracing other things I'm passionate about which inspired another post I'll be sharing soon, What I've Learned from Blogging, so be sure to come back to read more on that!

How about you, do you occasionally suffer from FOMO?

Take care,


I'm Having A Giveaway!

Just a heads up, I'll be participating in my first giveaway (I'm teaming up with several other bloggers) which will run from August 11th - 25th so I hope you'll be able to join in to win a fun prize!  I wanted to do this as a way to say thank you to you all and to show how much I appreciate each and everyone one of you!

If you are a blogger who wants to participate, too, the more the merrier!  Feel free to link up here before August 9th and join our Facebook group.

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