FOMO: it's the dread disease suffered by social-media users. No, it's not a repetitive-stress injury, at least not the way carpal tunnel syndrome is.
But Fear of Missing Out is a problem. And it can cause stress.
Sometimes it's easier not to get on Facebook at all rather than try to remember where I left off reading last time--that is, IF I can get Facebook to stop showing me stuff that's 3 days old rather than posts made only 3 minutes ago. I don't want to miss any important updates from my friends and family, so I find myself struggling with the system, trying to get it to show me what I didn't yet see.
It's even worse, for me, on Twitter. If I haven't logged on in 24 hours, I'll only get to see about the last 7 hours of tweets. What if something important happened 9 hours ago? I won't see it!
This is probably why power users of Twitter who are promoting their blog posts will schedule those tweets several times over--that way no one will miss them. But I obsess about being able to see ALL THE TWEETS.
Clearly I'm way too invested in my social-media life. And I have no intention of walking away from it.
So what's a compulsive social-media user to do? I don't want to devote more time or energy to social media. It's part of my professional life as well as my personal life, after all.
Using Twitter lists (explained here) does help, but I haven't found a technical solution to my anxious double-checking of timestamps that ensures I haven't been left in the (digital) dust.
One thing I didn't miss on Twitter was this gem from Pope Francis (follow him @pontifex) who tweeted while I was writing this piece:
"May the Lord free us from all temptation that separates us from what is essential in our mission and help rediscover the beauty of faith."
That's good advice for me and my fellow FOMO sufferers.
Do you have FOMO? How do you deal with it?
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
About the Author
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.