“I gotta work on my FOMO,” he said, sitting in my office frustrated he had no plans today.
“FOMO?” I said, confused at the term and unsure how to guide.
“Fear of missing out,” he replied.
So here we finally have it, the side-effect of #YOLO… a generation of young people so eager to live life that they’re afraid they’re going to miss out on something.
#FOMO is something I’ve seen for the last year but until today didn’t have a term for it until today.
From parents desperate to attend everything during Family Weekend (“why would you offer more than one thing at the same time? How are we expected to attend every mini-class?”) to graduating Seniors who buy every Senior Week Event ticket so they don’t miss something (“I don’t know my plans, but its better to cancel than to miss.”).
We can grimace and act like this is a new phenomenon owned by Millennials, but its not. Countless generations have felt this way, most recently with Generation X.
I find it hard to not reflect on the sage advice of one of my role models, Mr. Ferris Bueller –
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller
Truth be told, Ferris isn’t helping. That’s not going to stop anyone from feeling the effects of #FOMO. It only exacerbates their ultra-fast reality. It’s not about missing it… it’s about making sure it doesn’t define you.
I’ve been a fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for many years, but perhaps we shouldn’t be listening to Ferris. Perhaps, we should be taking some sage advice from his world weary best friend, Cameron.
“I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.” – Cameron Frye
Ferris lives by the concept of #FOMO.
We’re going to miss things, sometimes awesome things… but do you let that define you? Or, do you get off your ass and do something anyway? I side with Cameron.