This post is written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Read on for Christine’s thoughts on the millennial plague that affects us all:
FOMO. Otherwise known as ‘the fear of missing out.’
You know. It’s that niggling feeling that everyone’s going to the same party and you’re not invited, or you’re not feeling up for going.
FOMO is the plague that looms over adult life, and yeah, it sucks. Not only will it potentially haunt you through your first steps to adulthood, but also it is perpetuated by your peers. You’ve probably heard things like, “Oh, come on, it’s ONE party, you should definitely come!” or “Don’t be such a party pooper.”
The fear of missing out can be awful. But I’m here to tell you why it’s totally okay.
1. Because peer pressure is silly
What makes FOMO so effectively terrible is that it relies on The Power of Peer Pressure.
FOMO comes from the idea that you are not having fun but everyone else is. You’d be home, snuggled up, when suddenly you think, “Oh no why am I at home by myself?” “Why did you turn down the idea of fun?”
Here’s the thing. You shouldn’t let other people tell you what is fun and what isn’t. And if you’ve said no to going to a party, they should respect that decision.
2. Because expectations don’t necessary mirror reality
FOMO makes you feel bad because you see and/or hear proof of other people having fun at thinsg you didn’t go to.
Keep this in mind: you’re only shown those fun parts. Just because these people had fun at this One Thing you didn’t go to doesn’t mean you would have. Heck, it doesn’t even mean they had as much fun as they’ve portrayed.
An Instagram post does not a party make, my friend.
3. Because fun comes in many shapes and sizes
What you find fun might not be what other people find fun and vice versa.
For example, I’m really not a party person, but many have tried to convince me to hit da clubz. Deep down, I know it’s not my thing.
Having said that, I still felt left out and awkward when the people around me told me the stories about what they got up to. The FOMO was so real, but in the end I was grateful for it; I looked at why I felt that way and what part of their stories I found myself wanting to be in.
Feeling FOMO helps you figure out what you find fun and what you don’t, and what I ended up doing was reaching a compromise that suited me.
4. Because everyone feels it
Talk to anyone you know. Ask them, “Hey, was there ever a time you felt like you were missing out on fun stuff?” Spoiler alert: they will all say yes.
FOMO is perpetuated by the idea that you’re the only person in the universe who is not having fun, and the moment you realise that everyone’s going to feel FOMO at some point in their lives, it’s super comforting.
5. Because recharging is super healthy
Look, missing one party and taking the time to just recharge and breathe is super important. It is totally okay to not want to go out and be social and spend energy in an environment that is super draining occasionally.
Make like a KitKat and take a break, man. You’ll be grateful for it when everyone else has hangovers the next day. You’d have spent a relaxing night in (especially if you spend it listening to one of our night in playlists).
6. Because there’ll probably be another chance
Sometimes you get FOMO when there’s a party that screams, “I’m a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”But to be perfectly clear, there is a distinctly high probability that there will be another party to go to if you regret not being there for the one you missed.
It’s up to you to figure out if you want to act on that FOMO or not, and you’ll most likely have the chance to do so, so don’t sweat it.
7. Because you’ve made your decision
Even if you decide after all of this to definitely stay in and never go to another party again, or if you decide to use your FOMO to encourage yourself not to ‘miss out’ the next time you can, it’s your decision what you want to do with your time. Don’t worry so much about what other people are doing or saying, because your choice is yours and FOMO is okay either way.