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Getting over my FOMO

2012 September 28
by Emily Hill

As much as I hate to admit it, I suffer from the occasional FOMO. And if you’re reading blogs, tweeting or regularly logging into Facebook, you probably suffer from FOMO as well.

What does FOMO stand for?

FEAR
OF
MISSING
OUT

You know, the feeling that you’re the only one not at that blogging event or lunch date or party. And your not being there could lead to you being excluded from future events, lunch dates and after-parties.

I first learned about FOMO recognized I suffered from FOMO when I came across Anna Pursglove’s article, “Getting Over Your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out),” in the August ’12 issue of Marie Claire.* Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

I can, at least, take comfort in the knowledge that this form of social anxiety is common. It’s been discussed so often recently that it even has its own acronym: FOMO (fear of missing out). The symptom? A nagging suspicion, fueled by the forensic details of other people’s lives we are privy to on social media, that our own existences are somehow lacking. If only we’d made the right decisions, we berate ourselves, we’d have the fascinating careers/relationships/opinions/offspring/social lives that we perceive others all around us to have.

Perfectly said.

Social media only adds fuel to the FOMO fire (duh). We know more about others’ lives than ever before—restaurants they frequent, DIY projects they start (and finish), three-course meals they make (every night), adventures they have (other than walking across a room full of Legos in the dark). This constant social news feed makes it super easy to compare ourselves with others.

And we all know that never ends well.

Recently I opted out of a blogger event at Gardner Village so I could enjoy a date night Nathan had planned for us. Don’t get me wrong, the date was fabulous (The Copper Onion burger, Robot & Frank at The Broadway), but in the back of my head I was well aware of all the fun I was missing. Instagram photos, Twitter and Facebook updates, Instagram photos as Facebook updates…dang! Those gals, many of them dear blogging friends, were having a grand old time.

And I wasn’t there.

I may have texted Kim, Lindsey and Megan asking if they missed me and telling them it was okay to let me know the event was totally lame. (Of course it wasn’t, but I wanted them to lie to me so I’d feel better.)

When it comes to that whole “don’t compare yourself to others” thing (or “compare what you’re NOT doing to what they totally ARE doing” thing), I’m pretty good at talking the talk.

I’m not so great at walking the walk.

I’m trying, truly I am. My most recent episodes of FOMO were less severe than they would have been a year or so ago. When they do hit, I quickly send a DM (direct message) via Twitter to Steph and she sets me straight. Her replies always involve humor…and it always works. She’s awesome like that.

Funny…I’ve discovered one of the best ways to combat FOMO is to step away from social media for a time. I do it figuratively by replacing Facebook and Twitter with WordPress and Downton Abbey or literally by enjoying a night on the town with Nathan.

Accept you can be in only one place at a time. If you’re going to do one thing, then acknowledge this will mean missing out on other things. People who excel miss out all the time–they just don’t worry about it.

Amen, sister.

You can read Anna’s article in its entirety here: “Get Over Your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).”

* The only time I ever get to read non-news magazines is when I’m getting my hair done or flying solo across country. Sad but true.


ps post script

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46 Responses Post a comment
  1. September 28, 2012

    I like you! You will never miss out on me saying that.
    Steph´s deep thought ~ UPDATED: I Planned Your Friday Night For YouMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    You’re right. Say it as often as you’d like. I think the same thing about you all. the. time.
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

  2. September 28, 2012

    I loved this post! I completely understand. FOMO I really think affects everyone! I totally love the break idea! Walk away people and actually live life away from your phones/computers etc.
    Thanks for posting this!
    Amber @ Posh Ideas´s deep thought ~ Simple Cake Bunting TutorialMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I love this: “Walk away people and actually live life…” Well said. Now, if we can just follow that great advice!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Story@Home 2013 {GIVEAWAY}My Profile

    [Reply]

  3. September 28, 2012

    This is an issue I’ve had my whole life. Great post – I love it.

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I know I’ve suffered from it since high school for sure. *sigh*
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Sneak peek of first Scheels store in Utah {GIVEAWAY}My Profile

    [Reply]

  4. September 28, 2012

    I like that we miss out on the same things…It makes it seem like I didn’t need to be there after all. Wait…I am missing out on tonight. I shall text you and Steph. Promise me you’ll say the food sucks.
    Tauni´s deep thought ~ What’s in My Handbag: Home Stories A to ZMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    The food will totally suck. It will be hard to gag it down but I will try. And it is kind of nice when we miss out on the same things. Is it bad that it makes me feel a little better?
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Homemade confetti cakeMy Profile

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  5. September 28, 2012

    Finally! There is a name for it, huh? Yeah. Actually, FOMO is the reason I slowed down so much. It was eating me alive and I realized it was making me miserable… then of course, I knew I was missing out on most things due to my ‘real’ life. It’s whatever though. My real life is what it is and I’m not actually sad about it, so I was tired of feeling sad about it. I stopped tweeting and reading because it was all consuming. I’m actually happier for it and enjoy blogging again. I know I won’t go to the million and one events and it’s the way it is. I’ll be home getting some serious snuggles from complicated kids who need me. That’s what I signed on for and it’s also where I really want to be. I love that you wrote about this! It actually makes me feel less crazy to have felt that way.

    Don’t get me wrong. It still crops up all the time. But it doesn’t make me miserable anymore either! xo
    Holly´s deep thought ~ Daily Delivery – Giveaway from Intermountain MomsMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Holly, you and Becca (Blue Cricket Design) are an inspiration to me. I don’t think I could walk away from blogging but I could definitely step away from all the social media stuff a bit more often. I do miss you…we need to see each other again and soon!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Look, Mom–I’m on TV!My Profile

    [Reply]

    Holly Reply:

    Well, the feeling is mutual then because you inspire me! We really do need to get together (an not just be stuck saying it!). We need to just pick a date and go for it! Maybe once a month, informal, real life get together. I just live at the wrong end of the valley! I’m still in though if we can find a date!
    Holly´s deep thought ~ Daily Delivery – Giveaway from Intermountain MomsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  6. September 28, 2012

    Hot dog, this was good. I have this fear and I hate it! Makes me crazy! Next, can you write a post on FOBCLWATBAYAFRS—Fear Of Being Completely Lame When All The Bloggers Around You Are Freaking Rock Stars! Uh, I suffer. (hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!)

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I will not write a post on FOBCLWATBAYAFRS because it’s so not true. You are NOT lame. I don’t really know of any lame bloggers…just rock stars. All of them. :)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Southern peach cobblerMy Profile

    [Reply]

  7. September 28, 2012

    Hilarious! And I am the same way! And I suffer from what Aleisha talked about – FOBCLWATBAYAFRS – so yes, please write about that next! I purposely turn my phone off so I’m not tempted to pick it up every other minute and check stuff — especially when the kiddos are around!
    Becky @ Babes in Hairland´s deep thought ~ Crazy Hair DayMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Becky, I love the idea of turning off your phone. I tend to plug it in by the fridge and forget about it, which works just as well (unless your husband is trying to call and you don’t hear the house phone either). Actually, I kind of wrote about FOBCLWATBAYAFRS–I linked to my post about comparing ourselves to others. It’s kind of a good read. ;)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Jury still out on Heelys HX2 Bolt shoesMy Profile

    [Reply]

  8. September 28, 2012

    Wait….there’s an acronym for it? Dude! I had no idea! Well, if anyone is getting of taste of this little phobia these days….it’s me. But to be honest, I’ve learned that great friends don’t care if you miss one event or another. Or all of them for that matter. And that if you are really missing out…you can just have your own event and make SURE to invite yourself. :)

    This was an awesome article. And i think you are fabulous! With love, L
    Lara Garner´s deep thought ~ Method Dryer Spray & Corn BlankieMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I really, really, REALLY like the idea of having your own event and making sure you invite yourself. And those same friends who don’t care if you’ve missed all events for the past few crazy months. (I’m one of those friends and I will come to your event as long as it includes hanging out in your bed in my pj’s and eating goodies.) xoxo
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

  9. September 28, 2012

    I’ve had this my entire life! Thank you for sharing this post. It’s awesome!
    Jess from Cox’s Corner´s deep thought ~ ARSTY CORNER-Linky Party #1My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I wonder if boys feel the same way or if it’s just in our feminine nature to feel like this. Dang it all–being a woman gets us every time!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Sneak peek of first Scheels store in Utah {GIVEAWAY}My Profile

    [Reply]

  10. September 28, 2012

    Sooo you’re sayin’ I’m not alone? WoW Thank you Em for sharing your deep thoughts and vulnerable side and making me feel normal. I deal with FOMO with every piece of my life and I hate it. I have to constantly remind myself what I’m doing is the coolest thing and everyone is missing out. haha
    Loves
    Cobilynn´s deep thought ~ MY TRUTH as I live itMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    What you’re doing IS the coolest thing ever and we’re all missing out. That’s why I had to visit your bake sale and stock up on goodies–I for sure didn’t want to miss out on that (and seeing your cute kids).
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Story@Home 2013 {GIVEAWAY}My Profile

    [Reply]

    Lucky Red Hen Reply:

    …especially if it involves ME :D

    FYI, I heart you long time.

    [Reply]

  11. September 28, 2012

    That’s super good. I find myself saying. Oh I need to check if some catastrophe happened today. Crazy! I like the idea of staying away from media for a while. An overload is so easy. Xo

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    An overload is definitely an easy thing. I find I start feeling burned out and then make myself go offline for a while. It always helps. (And then I get sucked back in every time…it’s a problem.)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ IKEA–the food prop super storeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  12. September 28, 2012

    I hear ya! I actually went to go see 9 to 5 with my son last night and the whole time, I was thinking this would have been so much MORE fun if I’d gotten to go last week with all my blogging buddies and instead I ended up hanging out with a bunch of smelly pimpled Boy Scouts!

    Big time FOMO, but like you said, you can only be in one place at a time, and one of those smelly Scouts was mine and he was a totally awesome emcee for the evening. And my son’s girlfriend really enjoyed the play in my honor.
    Adrian´s deep thought ~ Sick and Tired – ugh!My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I’m so glad your son’s girlfriend had a good time. It was a great play (and of course you were missed). But family always trumps blogging, so you get extra points for that. :)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Homemade confetti cakeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  13. September 28, 2012

    I think everyone feels this to some degree. There are times when I get invited to something, and then I see the dredded, “If you post a review about it.” Wah, wah, wah.

    But I have made a choice about how I choose to use social media and what works for me in my life, and reviews and all that jazz aren’t something I do, so I miss out. And I’m OK with it.

    That’s why I always loved the Sassies. Because even though I was the lamest blogger, without Twitter, and only a camera phone to my name, you let me be one of the cool girls, with YOU!!
    Kristina P.´s deep thought ~ My Blog is Just Like "The Satanic Verses"My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    You are always one of the cool girls. And you’re a rock star in the blogosphere even without all the social media add-ons. Plus, I like you. LOTS.
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Southern peach cobblerMy Profile

    [Reply]

  14. September 28, 2012

    I feel that way all the time! Thanks for the great article. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. xoxo
    Kathy´s deep thought ~ Friday Favorite Photo: This GirlMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    You’re definitely not alone. For me, that’s a very comforting thought. :)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Getting over my FOMOMy Profile

    [Reply]

  15. September 28, 2012

    I loved this post so much I had to share on both my facebook pages. I’m trying to figure out what to name my new board just so I can pin it too! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!
    jani lebaron´s deep thought ~ my friday fashion favorites – fallMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Thank you, Jani. You’re comment made my day!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

  16. September 28, 2012

    I love you to pieces, and if I am being honest, anything without Emily there just isn’t the same and I am, in fact, missing out! Seriously though, I feel this way so often that it gives me anxiety and I have been known to go to bed in tears and suffer from insomnia. It is SO stupid. I have to remind myself that I had a great quiet night at home with my family, and sometimes, that can be the best thing in the world.

    Love you! Thank you for this post.

    xoxo
    Kim Orlandini´s deep thought ~ Wasatch Front Farmers Market at Gardner VillageMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Why is it that we do this to ourselves when really, family and friends matter most? I have yet to figure it out, but I do know I love having you in my life. xoxo
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Getting over my FOMOMy Profile

    [Reply]

  17. September 28, 2012

    Spooky. Not because Halloween is the next holiday (SQUEE!) but because I was talking with another blogger just the other day about this VERY THING that she also overheard other bloggers say. Guess it is a ‘thing’ and now that it’s been put out there (Good job, girl!), I hope others won’t fall victim of having FOMO.

    “I got FOMO, and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!”

    (I’m not sure where that came from, but hopefully someone will laugh because I think I’m hilarious.)
    Lucky Red Hen´s deep thought ~ Las Vegas With Kids at Techatticup Gold MineMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    More cow bell always makes everything better.

    [Reply]

  18. September 29, 2012

    I think this always happens to me after having a baby…so I needed to hear I am not the only one who is suffering from this. :)
    evonne´s deep thought ~ friday photo dump: week 10My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    At least you have an excuse. I suffer from FOMO and my youngest is 5!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

  19. October 1, 2012

    LOL!!! I love this post! Aint that the truth?! Scheels, hello! Gosh, you’re the best, and this post rocks. Here’s to more events together!

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Lots and LOTS more events together. :)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

  20. October 1, 2012

    Yes yes. But still I think people need to still realize that you don’t talk about things in front of others that others aren’t invited to. You still have to be careful with people’s feelings. You know what our moms and grandmas told us to do growing up!! How do you do that with social media though?
    vanessa´s deep thought ~ Reagan Jo BrownMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I totally agree. For some reason people seem to forget that social media is a public forum and not everyone is getting invited to the party. I find this just as true in Madison’s world. I remind her all the time to be careful about what she posts on Facebook so she doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. That being said, she knows, as do I (though I often forget), she won’t be invited–oror abl-to attend every event. Learning to not let hurt feelings ruin friendships is the key…but also the hardest part.
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Getting over my FOMOMy Profile

    [Reply]

  21. October 2, 2012

    We assume people are happier than they actually are. Mostly because people don’t usually share their personal pain publicly. We only share the fun and best moments. Which is good because it could get to be too much to know the reality of everyone’s life all the time.

    I also call it jealousy: that someone landed a great sponsor or was a Disney Mom or….

    One side effect of FOMO is exhaustion. It used to drive me to try to attend almost every activity I was invited to. I’ve had to get the symptom under control though because the reality is a baby significantly adds to the time and complication of going to events.

    Another thing: we often neglect our family and spouses when we have FOMO because we don’t pay as much attention to them. We’re too busy planning what we’ll wear to the next blogging conference or our very hip business cards.

    Studies show we’re more isolated than ever, that we often way overestimate how much fun other people have (and how little they suffer) and that most of us don’t have even one close friend we can confide in.

    See http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tech-support/201204/is-everyone-happy-me

    Maybe we need a FOMO support group.

    Blog On
    Janet
    Janet Thaeler´s deep thought ~ GungHo Energy Shots – for Ninja Like FocusMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I think a FOMO support group is a great idea. And I agree–the worse your FOMO, the more likely you’re ignoring those things that are most important like family and offline relationships.
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Crock pot refried beansMy Profile

    [Reply]

  22. October 2, 2012

    Love this post! I have had this exact subject on my mind lately – there’s just too much awesome stuff out there in the world to experience and I want to do it all! But it is good to be able to tell myself that time playing Candyland with my kids means less time crafting, blogging, catching up with friends, reading, cleaning the house, etc. etc. etc….and that’s totally and completely ok. :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    It is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY okay. Of course, if it’s Chutes & Ladders, I may beg to differ. That game drives me crazy. ;)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Taco Bell chicken quesadillasMy Profile

    [Reply]

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