The Fear of Missing Out

When I was in the fourth grade, I had a bad case of FOMO.

I contracted it when I realized that all of my classmates (or so it seemed) had Nickelodeon, and I didn't. They talked about cartoons and television shows watched the night before — something about a game show where the losing contestant was “slimed.”

One day, I decided to take this to the top.

“Dad, can we get cable?” I asked.

“Cable? Uh, no.”

“Why not? All of my friends have cable. And I'm bored.”

“Go outside or read a book.”

“Daaaaaaaaaad! Everyone else has it!”

“Buck up, little trooper.”

(That last line really was his response, by the way. Another classic Dad-ism was to wake me up for school by saying, “Time to make the doughnuts!” as cheerfully as possible.)

In my mind, every, single kid in fourth grade knew who got slimed except for me. But Dad wouldn't give in. He'd buy me any book, a microscope, a bike, or build me a clubhouse, but he wouldn't budge on cable. So when talk turned to television shows in the school cafeteria, I was the odd kid out. That was one of my first experiences with FOMO, the fear of missing out.

FOMO and the Joneses: Potato, potahto?
I attended SXSW Interactive this week, and there was a presentation about how marketers can tap into the fear of missing out.

When I first heard about FOMO, I thought it was another way of saying keeping up with the Joneses, and the two are pretty similar. Keeping up with the Joneses is conspicuous consumption that occurs when people compete with their peers by buying what what they buy and doing what they do. Your friend gets a new sports car, for example, and now you want to trade in your late-model Camry so as to appear to be just as successful.

FOMO, according to JWT, a marketing communications agency, is “the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you're missing out — that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.” For example, someone could be fearful of going to the hottest restaurant and ordering the wrong thing. Often FOMO leads to buying something — a bigger TV than your neighbor or booking a vacation with your friends because they're all going and you're afraid of missing out.

In both situations, people act based on perceived social pressures and fear of being out of the loop or excluded. The problem is that most of us can't continually give in to FOMO and reach our financial goals. One of my Facebook friends might post about buying a MacBook Air, another about a trip to Tahiti, and a third about eating at an exclusive restaurant downtown. Now I'm trying to “keep up” with everyone I ever knew, plus people I've never met in person.

Social media sets FOMO on fire
We humans seem to be hard-wired to worry about our status in relation to others and feeling included. But what was interesting were the findings on how FOMO is escalating because of the popularity of real-time, location-based, and social media tools. It's not just about what our peers in real life are doing, it's about happenings in our entire social network.

During the presentation, Ann Mack, director of trend-spotting at JWT, discussed findings from the their March 2012 trend report. She explained that because we're exposed to more of what other people are doing, we question more whether we're making the right choices, and not just when it comes to Kindle versus Nook, but even in life stages. If my best friend from kindergarten has three kids already, am I waiting too long? If my attorney cousin buys a sailboat, should I have picked a more lucrative career? (Note: These are random examples. If I did have an attorney cousin who owned a sailboat, I'd still want to be a writer, but I would have a new favorite cousin.)

Among American millennials (those aged 13-34), the findings included the following:

  • 43% say social media has increased their FOMO
  • 8 in 10 say people use social media to brag about their lives
  • Millennials feel most left out when their peers: are doing something they're not (57%), find out about something before they do (46%), or buy something they haven't bought (36%)
  • 50% said they spread themselves too thin trying to keep up with their peers

And in case missing out on the party wasn't enough, some people post photos of their group spelling out “FOMO” with their arms and hands (think Y-M-C-A, but F-O-M-O) to remind others that they're missing out. Ouch.

Do you suffer from FOMO?
According to JWT, the following are signs that you have an unhealthy amount of FOMO:

  • You're always on your phone, checking your Facebook notifications, and texting friends, even when you're at a party, supposedly having a great time.
  • When you're at home, you're still constantly checking Twitter, Facebook, and text messages.
  • You have a hard time making a buying decision because something better might come along.
  • You don't want to commit to making plans until you've heard from everyone and can pick the most exciting option.
  • You think other people are having a better time, buying better things, or living happier lives based on their profile page or tweets.
  • You feel anxious and inadequate after reading your friends' Facebook updates.

If those sound familiar, you might have a chronic case of FOMO. The good news is that it's possible to manage your FOMO. My prescription is as follows:

  • Tell yourself it's okay to say no. Let's say you've set a budget because you want to pay off your credit card, and you've already exceeded your allotted amount for eating out. Your friends invite you to check out the new (really expensive) bistro that's getting rave reviews.
  • It's okay to say no if you can't afford it. There will be other dinners, and if they're your friends, they should understand that you're paying off debt.
  • Make an impulsive decision. What? That's crazy-talk on a finance blog! Hear me out. I don't mean to go to Target for socks and walk out with an iPad. I mean that sometimes you have to quit worrying about whether you're making the “best” buying decision or whether something better will come along in five minutes. For example, earlier today I was considering two wallets, one pink and one brown, and I couldn't make a decision. Would the brown one work with everything? Was the pink one more my style? I left the store so I could think about it some more, and also to think about what had just happened. It's okay to just pick something sometimes and be done with it! (But seriously you guys, brown or pink? Vote in the comments.)
  • Unplug. I read a lot online, and I use Facebook, Pinterest, and now Twitter. I almost always have my e-mail open. But I try to unplug once a day with a book, piano practice, or by hanging out on the porch while my cat chases grasshoppers. I put my phone on silent when I'm eating or working out. It's not easy to remind myself to step away from the network, but it clears my head and calms my senses.
  • If you have-to-have-now-or-you'll-die, put a pin on it. Similar to the 30-day rule, I bookmark things I want, then wait a couple of weeks to see if I still feel it's a must have. Sometimes I lose interest, other times I realize I already own something that serves the same purpose. If I still have my heart set on it, I can revisit the bookmark.
  • Create reminders about your values. You've probably heard the advice about putting your diet goals on the refrigerator. I suggest putting your life and financial goals on your computer as wallpaper, and include visual representations of your goals. For example, maybe you want to retire early and travel the country in an RV, so you might use a photo of an RV. Find ways to remind yourself what you want so that you aren't sidetracked by what others are doing.

Finally, the last tip I have is the one that works most often for me, but it's a little cheesy, so promise not to laugh, okay? Okay. I'm going to hold you to that.

There was a quote I read (on Facebook) that said “…we always envy others, comparing our shadows to their sunlit sides.” (The source is The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George.) When I think that someone is “always” traveling or “always” knows what's going on, while I'm sitting on the couch or wondering why I'm not savvy enough to get free movie passes, I think about that quote and remember that each of us have our shadows and our sunlit sides. As J.D. recently said, we often form perceptions based on exceptions, not the rule.

Epilogue: I still don't have cable. Dad won that battle for life, it seems. So if you can tell me what's happening on The Walking Dead, I'd appreciate it. People on Facebook can't stop talking about it, and my FOMO is really flaring up.

More about...Psychology

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Fredrik
Fredrik
8 years ago

AAargh! I’m suffering from FOMO (up until today I’ve never even heard of the term…) – especially when it comes to news.

Now to check Flipboard. And FB. And the Reader…

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Fredrik

“FOMO”: April coined the term on a dare! “Hey April, can you write &%$! on GRS?” “Sure, but only as an anagram– watch tomorrow’s post! ” 😛

Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity
Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity
8 years ago

In my younger days, I definitely suffered from FOMO. I think for the most part, it’s natural at that stage of life to go through it to a certain extent. But, when it reaches the point of what I describe when I asked Is Technology Ruining Society? then there is a big problem. Somewhere I reached the point where I just didn’t care enough to miss out on sleep or spending my time doing things I enjoyed. Of course, it was easier to get over it back in the late 90’s since technology wasn’t as far along as it is… Read more »

Savvy Scot
Savvy Scot
8 years ago

I think though, that people often wait to long to make a decision and buy. Fair enough, research if the release of a new model is imminent, but sometimes you have to just take the plunge and buy.
I think Apple’s strategy of releasing new technology with minor updates of the previous version helps with this. Their updates also retrofit older models too, which helps to instill confidence in buyers.

Audrey
Audrey
8 years ago

I agree about that too. Nikon and Canon both just made big announcements about new gear, and lots of people are excited about buying. Half the people are really excited about the new gear that is the latest and greatest, and the other half are really excited about all the “old” gear that will be sold off by the people that are upgrading. There can be reasons to wait. In addition, I have problems justifying things until I “need” them. I am not waiting for the newest gadget or the next best thing, but I’m wondering if the money would… Read more »

KzooMatt
KzooMatt
8 years ago

Interesting article. Loved the whole thing, but one thing jumped out at me. “I attended SXSW Interactive this week, and there was a presentation about how marketers can tap into the fear of missing out.” Not only is FOMO real, and probably not well understood (I’m not the only one that hasn’t heard of it right?) but marketers are exploiting it to get people to buy their stuff. I know these things happen, but it still makes my skin crawl to think about a group of people sitting in a room discussing how to make people buy stuff out of… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago
Reply to  KzooMatt

I have FOMO about not being at SXSW!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

Meh, don’t sweat it– SXSW IS OVER! 😛

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  KzooMatt

Apple used FOMO with the iPhone advertising campaign “everyone can have one” when they were $99.

Krishanu
Krishanu
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

Apple’s whole campaign, their whole focus is based on FOMO. “You are not cool until you get the latest iMoon”, or whatever product they are launching, even though iMoon next version will just have a brighter halo.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

Thanks, April! That’s a good reminder. It’s so easy to slide down that slope. Also, I vote pink!

Steph
Steph
8 years ago

Very insightful post. I do think we all feel some form of FOMO. We have cable, but not HBO and it always seems like everyone is talking about True Blood or Game of Thrones. At least I was able to check the books out from the library. And I say go with the pink. If it’s more you, I think it will find most of what you have anyway. And it’s a wallet, which will only come out from time to time anyway. I had one that was glittery red like the shoes on The Wizard of Oz. I received… Read more »

K
K
8 years ago

I’m reading articles writtn by people young enough that cable EXISTED when they were kids?

Oh, boy….

Kate
Kate
8 years ago
Reply to  K

Dude, I’m in my mid thirties and we had cable for a short while when I was a kid. My parents had HBO and taped a whole bunch of stuff before we moved out to the country.

babysteps
babysteps
8 years ago
Reply to  K

Cable may be older than you think? Although the special channels mentioned are certainly newer. I’m almost 50 and we had cable as a kid. Back then cable just meant you could see channels 2-13 and sometimes even 14-21 – the regular over-the-air channels, which thanks to a hilly neighborhood didn’t reach us without cable. Cable did mean that we got a couple channels that even folks on the top of a hill might not if they didn’t have cable (we lived just south of Seattle and got 1 or 2 Canadian channels – great at the time for even… Read more »

K
K
8 years ago
Reply to  babysteps

In the midwest US where I lived, we didn’t have cable till the 1980’s.

And I was in a major city.

babysteps
babysteps
8 years ago
Reply to  K

Definitely varies by region.
Cable didn’t come to some parts of Western Mass. until the 1990s. And at least one place near San Diego (Rancho Santa Fe – fancy but relatively un-dense for the area) still doesn’t have cable (satellite is the only way to get the ‘extra’ channels – at least as of 3 years ago phone company TV wasn’t available there either).

Michele
Michele
8 years ago
Reply to  K

Eight miles outside of a good-sized city in the midwest, we still don’t have cable in our county, and cable service is dial-up. Otherwise, it’s a nice, peaceful place to live.

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago
Reply to  babysteps

Cable actually goes back to about 1950. New York City has had it since the 1960’s.

bareheadedwoman
bareheadedwoman
8 years ago
Reply to  babysteps

I’m from the land of satellite dishes. My parents’ golf course subdivision has one cable trunk line for about 200 houses (traffic overload is a pain) and it’s the only cable in the county…it was installed in 2003.

Miser Mom
Miser Mom
8 years ago

Pink, definitely. Much easier to find in a heap o’ stuff if you lay it down, and much harder for some light-fingered guy to claim he thought it was his.

Alyssa
Alyssa
8 years ago

Go with the pink wallet. It’ll pop, and by not matching with anything, it’ll match with everything. Plus, if you misplace it, it’s easier to spot a pink wallet than a brown wallet. FOMO has gotten exponentially worse with the advent of socials networks. People are either bragging or whining on facebook, hardly a happy medium. I force myself to step away because I catch myself silently lamenting my life because I didn’t just get back from a cruise. And really, I can’t complain because I’m doing some pretty awesome things this year. I just have to remind myself of… Read more »

Louise
Louise
8 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa

Also keep in mind that the “sunlit sides” on Facebook can hide those shadows. A friend posted vacation photos and it was ironic to see people commenting “You two look so happy!” when I know that this couple is hardly even speaking to each other. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Maria
Maria
8 years ago

Sigh. So true. The thing is, realizing that’s what it is doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Here is a hypothetical conversation with myself to illustrate why. Me 1: Your friends are going out to play bar trivia tonight! Wouldn’t it be fun to go? Me 2: Yes…but your “fun money” budget is hovering around $10-12/wk right now because you have a tiny income, live in an expensive city, and are trying to save on top of that. You spent $8 a few days ago, so you can’t afford a beer now. Me 1: This SUCKS. I’m saving so I won’t… Read more »

Audrey
Audrey
8 years ago
Reply to  Maria

It definitely about finding balance of happiness now and later. Unfortunately with a tight budget, finding that balance is a lot more difficult. One suggestion as a weekly bar trivia goer is that you could order a soda. We have several people at our table who do that, and usually sodas at bars are cheap or free (yea for designated drivers), and if they do cost, they usually have free refills. We also do have at least one who drinks water. But, if you’re going to go and not have a good time not drinking, then maybe you wouldn’t want… Read more »

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  Maria

Story of my life. I turned down 5 invitations over the past couple of week due to lack of money. Who’s going to go to a restaurant and only order water? Ha! The rest of the events had a cover, a small one, but still…

Marianne
Marianne
8 years ago
Reply to  Maria

You could offer to be the DD and then maybe the others will buy you soda and bar food? and still like you. extra much.

bareheadedwoman
bareheadedwoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Maria

your Me’s must know my me’s.

Tootie
Tootie
8 years ago

Loved this article!

Normally I’d say to pick the brown one, but I think you should pick the pink. It’ll be more fun 🙂

Savvy Scot
Savvy Scot
8 years ago

GREAT article – unfortunately I think I suffer from many of the symptoms. I am making a conscious effort to cut back on checking facebook and managing my addiction of being ‘connected’

Keagan
Keagan
8 years ago

I would go with the brown wallet. As for cable, we never had it. We just plain disconnected our tv. So much bad stuff on it. I can remember some cousins coming over and asking where our tv was. We said it was downstairs. Did we have cable? No. What? You’re crazy! Oh well…

Clint
Clint
8 years ago

Brown … but do you really need a new wallet?

Get Rich Point
Get Rich Point
8 years ago

The best way is to carve a “Blue Ocean” for yourself. FOMO is like fighting in the “Red Ocean”. Read Ocean is the result of intense competition, whereas Blue Ocean makes competition irrelevant. This is a business strategy that I am suggesting to apply in personal life.

abby
abby
8 years ago

PINK!!!!! and the walking dead is pretty awesome. my brother buys it on itunes and watches it on his computer. and i know netflix has season 1 streaming

Doter
Doter
8 years ago

I really enjoyed this article — it was a great read.

I thought it was interesting that it assessing whether you suffer from FOMO, “checking email” wasn’t one of them. I’ve noticed this with my students — they don’t email each other anymore. They communicate via FB, twitter, etc. Sigh.

Coming from the perspective of the “ivory tower” I chuckled thinking that many of my colleagues suffer less from FOMO than they do POMO — Post-Modernism. Shudder.

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago

Dude, it’s a wallet. Why should it match anything? Go with pink. Also, The Walking Dead is kicking ASS this season. I’m sorry, but it is. So good. I will freely admit that I suffer from FOMO. I recently had to upgrade my cell phone and I did not get a smartphone. There were a lot of good reasons to not get one and I don’t regret it, but it’s become painfully clear to me that I am the only one of my friends who doesn’t have one. It’s makes me a little squirmy when everyone pulls out their phones… Read more »

TB
TB
8 years ago

Well, I’m a dude, so I say brown wallet. But along that point. I had a friend who would get frustrated and annoyed when people would take too long to make a decision. His advice was always, “Make a decision. Live with the consequences. Let’s go.” And it’s true, don’t get too bogged down in worrying if the brown wallet is better or the pink, or maybe you don’t want a wallet but a wrist hangy thing instead, so many choices! Ice cream or oreos? Screwdriver A or screwdriver B? Just make a decision. Live with the consequences. Let’s go.… Read more »

bareheadedwoman
bareheadedwoman
8 years ago
Reply to  TB

that sounds an awful lot like “do SOMETHING, even if it’s wrong”

no offense to your friend, but I prefer to choose my actions by their consequences.

Denise
Denise
8 years ago

PINK! Fo’reals!

I suffer from FOMO. I tend to hem and haw do over little purchases but then I find myself dropping $100 bucks just like that. grr!

I finally took all my credit cards out of my wallet this week.

Walking Dead is so awesome! My husband and I don’t have cable either. So we go over to my parents house to eat dinner and watch the show with them. Nothing like bonding with the family over zombies! BTW: We all know how to zombie proof Mom & Dad house now.

CJ Belle
CJ Belle
8 years ago
Reply to  Denise

I’m having FOMO wondering what the Walking Dead is (we don’t have cable, but we have Netflix! so I’m bound to find out eventually, right?)

*Voting* for pink

Marianne
Marianne
8 years ago
Reply to  Denise

We have a whole zombie plan that was around prior to the walking dead but has been tweaked heavily since..

Katie Glenn
Katie Glenn
8 years ago

Haha, I momentarily suffered from FOMO when I was reading this and didn’t know what FOMO meant! Luckily you told me and the FOMO crisis was averted…I almost had to go buy expensive shoes to compensate for my FOMO.

David Hunter
David Hunter
8 years ago

Do what makes you happy and never stress over what other people have or do! Start your own trend!

John @ Married (with Debt)
John @ Married (with Debt)
8 years ago

That’s why I’m not on Facebook. It is a place for people to brag about their lives. I know if I were on there I’d probably fall into the same behaviors. I don’t want to be that person, nor hear about everyone’s new iPad or car.

It’s time for a Back to the Land revival like in the 70s! Who is with me????

lol
lol
8 years ago

Nice irony, since SXSW is the posterchild of FOMO.

Tara
Tara
8 years ago

I’ve spent the last decade of my life choosing the brown wallet – because it goes with everything. I’ve recently decided to go pink – more fun, and who cares if the wallet matches?

It’s freeing – go with the pink:-)

Nora
Nora
8 years ago
Reply to  Tara

I have also been brown all my life…just gone pink and it really is more fun!

I vote for the pink wallet!

Jason B
Jason B
8 years ago

I’ve been off Facebook for about 4-5 weeks now. I used and abused it. It wasted time and kept me busy with social (aka drinking) events. Now I drink less and spend a lot more time learning, growing and exercising. And as a bonus, I’ve got a new workout buddy that is helping me realize all the adventures I can go on. This is going to be the SUMMER OF GEORGE!

Doter
Doter
8 years ago
Reply to  Jason B

Serenity now!

Ms Life
Ms Life
8 years ago

Be bold, be outrageous, be different, be “springtime” and so go with the pink!

I had FOMO as a young adult, but fortunately that mostly disappeared as I got older and had more disposable income. Surprising the more money I had, the more I felt that I should not compare myself with somebody else. Of course, once in a while I have FOMO eg. when a friend adds another degree to her already educated self and I wonder what has happened to me. Fortunately, it’s a feeling that I have learnt to control.

fantasma
fantasma
8 years ago

My younger sister has a Facebook problem. I read this article to her. Not one day goes by when she doesn’t log into Facebook.

Personally I am not a fan of Facebook, all of my siblings are.

Social media is great for certain things but I think it is alot worse than cable.

amber
amber
8 years ago

Everyone here says for YOU to go pink, but if it were US, we would go with the brown. That is the other side of FOMO – we get to live through your wild decisions posted online even if it is something we would never want for ourselves.

(I have a pink wallet. and a brown. But the pink gets used way more.)

bareheadedwoman
bareheadedwoman
8 years ago
Reply to  amber

yah, i suppose i’m in the brown camp. tho’ I think pink is great…specially if the purse is pink

i’m not matchy about anything usually but for some odd reason a matching purse and wallet gives me a happy sigh…but that’s just me.

Well Heeled Blog
Well Heeled Blog
8 years ago

I say your wallet should be something that stands out and makes you happy. So mine is bright red. Go with pink if you’re prefer it over brown. There, decision solved! 🙂 I am going to business school, and if you put a bunch of Type-As into one setting and a bunch of activities and recruiting and networking events and social things, there is massive, over-the-top, almost uncontrollable FOMO. Not so much FOMO as buying things, but FOMO of experiences – did my classmate join Club A, B, C, D, E, and F, and I’m only in Club A, B,… Read more »

Jen
Jen
8 years ago

Your comment reminded me of a discussion on FOMO at another blog written by a Harvard MBA: http://nomoreharvarddebt.com/2011/09/02/money-and-stuff-isnt-everything/

Maureen
Maureen
8 years ago

My family never had cable when I was growing up and we don’t have cable now either. I guess I’ve scarred my kids for life too.

I vote for brown.

Joe D.
Joe D.
8 years ago

Brown…And The Walking Dead is the only reason to have cable. When it’s over next week, I may be canceling to save myself the better part of what is now close to a $160 monthly bill (bundled service). TV’s just not worth it to me anymore.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe D.

So, $160/month, 1 episode per week, that’s $40 per episode you’re paying? Daaaangg!!!

AJ
AJ
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

That’s $160 for the whole bundle, not just the TV–he’s spending a good chunk of change on Walking Dead, still, but not quite THAT much.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe D.

But then Mad Men season 5 starts, and it is an excellent show! Then again, I don’t have cable either. I sucked my brother into the show a couple seasons back and invited myself over to his place to watch it every week.

Karla
Karla
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe D.

just buy the series on iTunes..you’re only 1 day behind.

and that’s much cheaper.

now if HBO would put out Game of Thrones in real time…

bareheadedwoman
bareheadedwoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Karla

uh oh, I really really didn’t need to know Mad5 was gonna be on iTunes

Veronica
Veronica
8 years ago

An excellent article! Though I must comment on The Walking Dead as a specific example of how being resourceful can allow you to have your cake and eat it for free. I am also a big fan of the show, but cable was just too much of a financial sacrifice. I’ve found I can get by with watching the highlights online. Then, I discovered a local movie theater (a movie/restaurant combo) live streams the Walking Dead for free admission! Sure, I’ll buy a soda or something for courtesy, but comparing $1.25 to $65 a month for one show is quite… Read more »

mike
mike
8 years ago

Yeah but I have found there enough good shows on tv to to justify the starter bundle package. If I were to get broadband internet alone its atleast $50+ just for that, I prefer the home phone, as we have a low amount of minutes on our cells plus our alarm system goes through the line. So actual cost of TV doesn’t really add up to much. What comcast nails you for is the hardware fees though. So to have the sports, all the shows, most of which are free on comcast demand for a bit after shown makes it… Read more »

Krantcents
Krantcents
8 years ago

My children did not have cable either. When we rented a townhouse it was included. After that, I was hooked.

Terry
Terry
8 years ago

Go with the pink wallet! It will be easier to find in your purse or tote. And it will be cute and fun.
I know not of this Walking Dead of which you speak, since I have low-level cable and I only watch a few shows a week.
My cell phone is used when I’m away from home and I share it with my daughter.

chris
chris
8 years ago

Just for clarity of reading and accessibility, you should also write out the full words before you present the acronym. It is wrong to assume every reader knows what you are writing about.

Josh
Josh
8 years ago
Reply to  chris

I absolutely agree. I came to make this exact same comment, I was so frustrated. It’s RIDICULOUSLY alienating when writers do that. Take 5 seconds and tell people what the acronym means.

CJ Belle
CJ Belle
8 years ago
Reply to  Josh

so…you were reading this post right? Most likely you have internet access, and so it’s not so frustrating as you can easily google or wiki it like I did. no problems here.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago
Reply to  chris

I agree, actually. I changed the title of the post to help clarify things, and then bolded the definition. Hope that helps.

chris
chris
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

That helps! Also, for future reference, it is correct to spell out the words first then present the acronym, not the other way around. After you do that, you can just use the acronym in the body of the work. Sorry, but this is what I do for a living (English instructor), so these types of things always jump out at me.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
8 years ago

Two things: I read the whole article but I still can’t tell how this is different from “keeping up with the Joneses” (aside from the part about worrying if a newer version of a product will come out just after you’ve purchased the old one).

Also: what does it mean for a 13-year-old to be “spread too thin”? The only thing I can think of is that they’re signed up for too many after school activities, but this seems more likely to be parentally-inflicted than because they were really that afraid of missing out on clarinet lessons.

Doter
Doter
8 years ago

I think one aspect that differentiates FOMO from “keeping up with the Jones’s” is the fear part. Fear doesn’t have to have any basis in reality. You don’t have to see what your neighbours have to assume that they own things or are experiencing things that you aren’t. With FOMO, there isn’t anything specific that is being coveted… it’s just a general feeling, or in this case, fear, of being left behind. When one “keeps up with the Jones’s”, jealousy or an increased desire to buy consumer goods is fuelled by visual examples. (S)he sees the neighbour’s new care, manicured… Read more »

Nancy
Nancy
8 years ago

Go with the brown wallet. Unless you love, love, love all things pink, and have for a long time. Otherwise, a couple of years from now, you may be tired of pink and feel you need a new wallet when the pink one is just fine. (Or check the thrift store–they often have great wallets lightly used.)

Mrs Random
Mrs Random
8 years ago

Pink.

PB
PB
8 years ago

We got cable in 1969 in North Carolina, out in the sticks. It was either that or no tv at all.

That being said, our new sun room should be started next month, and we are debating whether or not to run cable to it. For me the whole idea of a sun room is to sit in the sun. Evidently other members of the family do not agree with this.

Thoughts?

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  PB

no tv in the sun room. 😉

Laura+in+Cancun
Laura+in+Cancun
8 years ago

We didn’t have cable until I was 12 years old… I missed out on all the Nickelodeon stuff as well. 🙁 You’re not alone! You can always watch Walking Dead (or any other TV show) online, usually within a few hours after it airs. Now I spend way too much time checking Facebook, but I don’t feel left out of much, probably because we do so many things already. Pink wallet, all the way. I got a hot pink phone last year, and it’s the best thing ever. Plus, your wallet doesn’t have to go with your clothes (or your… Read more »

Melinda
Melinda
8 years ago

Pink. I have a red one and it’s really easy to spot in my purse. Can’t help with The Walking Dead because I also don’t have cable.

Jamie
Jamie
8 years ago

Pink! Brown won’t go with everything (think all black outfits), but pink will perfectly clash with everything, thus making it perfectly match with everything.

Patti
Patti
8 years ago

I’d pick the brown one because it goes with everything, BUT, if you’re more of a girly girl…go with the pink. It will make you happier!

Patti

adrian
adrian
8 years ago

I had to share this because it was just so funny! I had FOMO over a camping trip, of all things. I HATE camping, but I coordinate the campouts for our Scout troop. It sounded like everyone was having so much fun that I signed up for the one this weekend. Then last night, I sat awake all night stressing out about freezing in a tiny cabin all weekend and having to haul river water to flush the toilets! I will be one of 2 women camping in winter conditions with 48 men and boys. FOMO indeed – what the… Read more »

Ellyn
Ellyn
8 years ago
Reply to  adrian

You will have fun! Fun is good, even if you have to haul water to flush toilets (you have toilets?!) Cubs Scouts is extra fun.

Ellyn
Troop Committee Chair

Jennifer Gwennifer
Jennifer Gwennifer
8 years ago

I was also woken up by “Time to make the doughnuts” in a sing-song voice:-) My grandfather used to call up to my mom “Are your feet on the floor?”

Kathryn
Kathryn
8 years ago

Pick the wallet that will make you smile everytime you pull it out of your purse. All else being equal, this is the most important factor.

Bethany
Bethany
8 years ago

I say go for the pink wallet. Not only the fun factor, but it’s brighter and therefore easier to find in the depths of your purse. We don’t have cable either, even though I work in the television industry. When I was growing up my parents restricted us to one hour of television a day. We got to pick what we watched, but once you’d watched your hour you were done. As a result, I don’t just turn on my television and look for something to watch, or leave it on in the background for noise. I pick my shows… Read more »

Carla
Carla
8 years ago

I have FOMO, but its rarely about material possessions. “I’m the only adult my age group who still doesn’t have a university degree.” “All my friends have jobs but me.” “I can’t do XYZ because of the MS.” It then usually goes back to just being broke. You don’t need Facebook to experience FOMO, just read some of JD’s posts about his travels. I know he’s not trying to be a braggart but that doesn’t stop someone else from experiencing it that way. Its not a Facebook or a cable creation, someone can have FOMO about anyone at anytime for… Read more »

olga
olga
8 years ago

I have only one FOMO – to run mountain races. The rest doesn’t bother me one bit:)

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