FOMO. The fear of missing out. The modern anecdote for the old adage, ”the grass is always greener on the other side.” The sinking feeling you get in your stomach when your friends tell you about a party you were not invited to. Its the thing that motivates you to join that sports team even though you are indifferent about sports but don’t want to be the only one of your friends who isn’t ‘on the team’- and so you’ll join even if you’re just a non-travelling reserve. Its kinda pathetic right?, but at least you’ll be a part of the team.. But what’s really happening? What does it mean when your own original plans seem so grossly inadequate in the face of of another person’s supposedly amazing plan? Could there be more to FOMO than just a feeling like others are going to be having a good time in your absence and your life is somehow wasting away? There could be more to this, that rather than just a cute hash-tag, its a symptom of an underlying malignancy. Its a state of being so loosely attatched to your purpose, so offhandedly aware of your destiny that anything that seems more engaging, exciting and rewarding that comes along, takes you along with it for as long as you can ride it. The problem lies not in the fact that there are so many engaging things in the world we live in with so much that is josltling for our attention, beacause there is nothing we can do about that. Rather its the slippery graspb that so many of us have on the real reasons why we are here doing what we are meant to be doing, living the lives we are meant to live.
There is the story of Jacob and Esau in the Bible (Genenis 25:19-24), where Esau, the first born son of Isaac, trades in his birthright, possibly the most valuable possession to his name- for what, a bowl of lentil stew? Again, how pathetic! We have created a scoiety with a lot of hype, a lot of showmanship and grand displays of ‘the good life’ , and these have the potential to attenuate our wholehearted pursuits of things that really matter to us. Our fear then, should not be of missing out on what is on offer, but rather missing out on what is already ours.