FOMO: the fear of missing out- plaguing the ranks of Generation-Y. Life is full of happenings and things; happenings you would hate to be absent for and things you feel you need to see. I get the feeling all the time- that restlessness that comes across you when you start to believe that you have been sitting idly for too long.
But here’s a little secret that I would like to let you all in on: the worst thing to miss out on isn’t that event, that party, or that movie; the worst thing you could miss out on is stability and balance in your life.
In this fast paced life that almost all of us now live, it’s easy to overlook the simple things- mainly because they aren’t quite as glamorous as shooting pool with your friends or drinking PBRs at your regular watering hole. Sure, you work hard and you like to play hard- and you should. But life requires balance; balance that cannot be achieved if you spend more time drinking and chilling than you do relaxing and taking things slow.
FOMO is your worst friend. It makes you believe that the second that you decide to take a step back and spend some quality alone time, you’ll miss out on something spectacular. When the hell was the last time you experienced something truly spectacular?
The most spectacular thing I’ve seen hanging around bars and lounges was that one time some schmuck fell asleep sitting at a table and his fellow bar-goers decided to see how many beer cans they could stack atop his head. Four- they were able to stack four cans, one on top of the other, on top of his head. True story.
Rushing around all day and all night, day in and day out, is stressful and unfulfilling. The only thing worse than that is spending all of your time surfing and living on social networking sites.
With the world getting smaller and smaller, the number of people that we interact with, whether in person or through cyberspace, is continuously increasing. Unfortunately, the hours in the day are still the same. So most of us spend our time glued to our laptops and smartphones keeping up-to-date with everyone else’s happenings.
Now ask yourself this: do you really need to know how Timmy’s French toast looks on Instagram this morning? Do you really need to be informed about the traffic that Jesse is sitting in? Does it matter to you that Johnny uses single-ply toilet paper to wipe his ass?
The funniest thing is that while all of you are trying to keep informed on other peoples’ lives in order to feel some sort of connection with the people you lackadaisically call friends, these friends aren’t doing anything more with their lives than updating their Twitter feed and trying to keep up to date with everyone else’s. You only end up missing out on real human interaction.
So what exactly are you afraid of? Why do you feel the need to constantly keep busy? Is it because you don’t enjoy your own company?
If that is the case then you really do have a conundrum on your hands. If you can’t manage to spend a whole day with yourself and yourself alone at least once a week, then you either forgot how cool you actually are or you’re so unhappy with who you are that you try to avoid your own company.
Let us hope that it’s the former and that you have just gotten so sucked into everyone else’s life, craving shallow interaction, that you forgot how lonely you really are.
That can be easily fixed- just use your next day off to cut away from the rest of the world and go for a nice and very long walk, avoiding your electronic devices and your stagnant friends passed out at the bar. If you’re avoiding your own company, on the other hand, then you need to reintroduce yourself to yourself. You’re more gangster than you know.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson