Nowadays we live in a world where the most of us have two lives: an offline one and an online one. About everybody has these, even the elderly.
The offline life consists of the people in our direct environment, our fellow students or our colleagues. The online life consists of the people we know and with ‘know’ I mean that we had eye contact once, sent a friendship request on Facebook and now like each other’s stuff on Facebook without even knowing what that was.
Technology and social media have a lot of benefits and it makes it possible that can stay updated on everything we want 24/7. Sounds cool but it’s also a curse. Especially when you’re lying on your couch on a Friday night, watching TV and scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Suddenly you see your friends somewhere in a bar and you couldn’t be there so now you have ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, also known as ‘FOMO’. This is a phenomenon that most commonly describes ‘my’ generation (the Millennials) and everybody after my generation, I presume.
We can know so much about each other (well, we think that because we can only see each other’s little perfect life on the internet) that we can see who does what at what time and thus have a lot of moments that we want to be there as well, followed by that we cannot and that we feel bad about this.
As a result, we want to be present everywhere just because we are afraid to miss things. The only thing I am wondering: what are we exactly afraid of? That we will be forgotten for the rest of our lives by our friends and family and end up as the weirdo with a thousand cats without any social skills?
Naturally it’s easier said than done and of course I have had my moments of FOMO but I realized I did not want something like fear to have an influence. Will I really be happier if I pressure myself to be present everywhere because I’m afraid to miss something? Do I really think my life is so boring that I get worked up about where I’m not present?
Rocher Koendjbiharie is a masterstudent International Public Management & Policy