My experience with FOMO syndrome (“fear of missing out”)

“All friends” is the [Tweetdeck] column that corresponds to the main news feed you’d see when logged into Twitter.com: the complete, real-time feed of all the tweets from everyone you follow. In my case that’s more than 600 people, so reading everything in my  ”all friends” column would be pretty much a full-time job. But that’s not what turned me off: after all, I don’t feel obligated to read everything that gets posted, and in practice I just dip into my Twitter feeds through out the day.

The real reason I gave up on “all friends” is that it makes me neurotic. I have a pretty  bad case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) at the best of times, and Twitter is like a 24/7 FOMO immersion.

I’ve not heard of FOMO before but once Ms. Samuel identified it as such, it rang a bell with me.

When my primary reading media consisted of print materials 15 years ago, I didn’t feel anxiety that I couldn’t get to all the books and magazines and journal articles that made it to my to-read list, even as the pile on the nightstand grew higher and higher. So I haven’t really identified why it is that I feel this way when it comes to links and posts that come through my feeds. (I think it has something to with just how much good stuff is there, and how much easier it is to actually connect with authors and exchange ideas, whereas before, reading a book was still a distanced activity from actually connecting and conversing with the writer. But this is a separate topic that deserves deeper consideration.) 

I was en route to developing total FOMO-related anxiousness but like I’ve posted before, I’ve come to realize that there really is just TOO much information, too many posts, people, conferences, articles out there, some really really good ones, too, to be able to catch all the ones that relate to my interests and passions. I have to accept that I will miss out on some, and that’s a part of digital life.

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