The art of FOMO


This is not a click-bait, and it is for real. At least for me.

I have FOMO of what is happening out there, of what others are having, and what could have been. It is a mental disease, and i believe, it is worth knowing about, and valuable to understand so i, we can handle it well.

Perhaps, it is driven from my boredom of doing unchallenging things, or tasks that i find little meaning of. I always am excited to work on difficult things, and i find my motivation waning, as i draw closer to figuring it out. I reach zero motivation, when i see it work. I need additional pushing, or need to manufacture reasons, so i can get going.

Sure, the intent to earn money is probably the easy, ready-to-use motivation. After all, it is practical, given the array of things you can use it with. However, once i have earned enough money, i find no reason to keep doing it, and end up spending the earnings on useless things. Things, that my FOMO has convinced me to get.

Or, sometimes i reason, i need to earn more money, so i will have the capacity to buy any that i want. However, the “what i want”, is often vague, and refers to an abstract reference, like camping gears, which may only have meaning, if i have a definite camping trip in the future. I over plan, over prepare. So earning money in this regard, is FOMO in reference to the future. (Though, it may also just being prepared)

Perhaps, life is better had i not know what’s out there. Or, i am constrained due to a limited capability. But i do not want that, since i worry about not achieving my highest potential. So i work hard to remove barriers.

We wonder, and search for what could be better for us. This constant longing, place us in the position of knowing, and endless decision making in what and what not to do. If we are not aware of our intent, and what truly matters to us, then it is easy to have FOMO.

I can’t fault social media, since i imagine, even without it, i probably will still find ways of being FOMO. For example, ever since i went online, i have been reading blogs, websites, from people i have not met personally. The contents i read, is what drove me to work in a startup, it what convinces me that i can develop my programming skills, to a point i can make money out of it. It gives me an idea on what may be possible.

Sure, social media multiplied the FOMO effect since more people are sharing online, and it is easier to see what other people are showing off. The kind of environment, which can trigger jealousy or insecurities in my mind. There is clear evidence that people behind social media platforms know this, and they continue to take advantage, since it works. It influences our behavior, and can be designed so we are addicted.

For example, Instagram is rumored to be making a standalone shopping app, after realizing, the effectiveness of influencing us, by the shared photos of friends and people we follow. We also find ourselves delighted, when we know people follow us and are inspired by what we do. This cycle of influencing and being influenced, accelerated our addiction in the platform.

Perhaps, we are hard wired to compare ourselves with others. By always comparing, it steals our ability to enjoy life. Since we will always find aspects, that we believe we are missing on. I am deliberately calling out FOMO, since it is unhealthy. I do not always win, and i am mad about it. But, i remind myself, that being able to recognize it, and have the chance to influence it, is probably the best scenario i should aim for. And not necessarily total control.