I've been working with High School and College Students for almost 15 years, and the other day, well...I got a new one.
FOMO - The Fear of Missing Out
With my work on Loneliness in a digital age, I wass careful not to simply dismiss this new concept, and take a longer look at what's going on. Boy was I in for a SHOCK!.
The reason we're all so lonely isn't necessarily because we have so many friends on facebook, or followers on Twitter. It's actually deeper than I initially thought. There is actually an anxiety disorder plaguing youth today, and I guess a broader culture, FOMO.
FOMO is when we sit around wondering why we're bored and everyone else is having fun.
FOMO is when you have to check your iPhone to make sure no one is looking for you.
FOMO is having to respond to every text message you get.
FOMO is checking Facebook for what everyone else is doing.
And it's a serious problem.
Gone are the days of self regulation and patience.
Gone are the sweet moments of meditation.
Gone are the times when just sitting and enjoying the moment are enough.
NOW, we have to be involved with everyone else.
I would think it's just a micro problem, but from 13-60 I've heard several folks addicted to technology. It's not that we're just trying to be efficient, ITS A REAL DEAL.
We're continuing to provide a place at Camp KIVU where kids can experience Tech De-Tox, and we're seeing some really interesting results. They see Text Messages aren't the end all be all. They know Facebook isn't the answer to the problems. And they're seeing Instagram for what it is, a fun tool to enjoy pictures from other people.
Watch out for a little FOMO in your life. If you feel anxious to check your social media, it's time for a little detox time too.