FOMO versus LTLYW
June 25, 2015 § 2 Comments
Mr. H and I hosted Father’s Day this past weekend for a total of thirteen people (including us and our two young nephews — and two dogs, who opted for chilling in our bedroom). In spite of the rain that put the kibosh on my tent and outdoor lunch in the garden plan, the day went off well and it even cleared up enough for our party to spend a little time outside later in the afternoon. So, overall, a win. But over dinner that night, somehow Mr. H and I got on the topic of how within just a few minutes, going to a place like Facebook can make you feel like your life is really not what it should be. This is a well-covered topic, and one that has given more prominence to the concept of the “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO), from which I suffer more than I care to admit.
Some of that has to do with my only hitting certain milestones that are universally relatable. I am married, but Mr. H and I don’t have the common problem of not being able to spend enough time with each other on account of our jobs. We also have the unusual situation of running our own company, that sometimes feels more like an episode of a fake Aaron Sorkin show than a regular work life. I don’t have children, so I don’t have photos of my kids doing adorable things to post on Facebook, or to talk about at social gatherings and the like. And Mr. H and I are pretty private people (which, yes, makes one wonder why I write this blog at all), so there are few, if any, photos of us with our friends and family doing the things we enjoy doing. I don’t even post selfies! The result is that sometimes I look at all the things that others are sharing online and feel like I am doing it all wrong. (Sounds familiar? I hope not, but I guess that maybe it does.)
My life is largely — though not entirely — the product of choices that I have made. Choices of how I wanted my life to be. And when I am not busy looking around at other people, they are choices that I feel content with having made. So what’s up with feeling like I am somehow not “living up” to life??
I wish I knew. But what I do know is that when I feel a FOMO attack coming on, I try to remind myself that the digital world is not the real one, which is where I find the most comfort and happiness, even in its unedited version. And that really, Living The Life You Want (LTLYW…yeah, I made this up) is generally the best course of action if you have the privilege of doing so. It still doesn’t keep the FOMO away, but it certainly makes my time off of screens feel like I am exactly where I want to be*.
* Unless I am somewhere that is really cold, really hot, smelly or otherwise unpleasant.
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)