My most expensive hobby is FOMO

I go through phases of introversion and extroversion, as I am one of those personalities that takes to things with great enthusiasm until they burn out, and then I leave the ashes scattered on the ground somewhere to blow away in the wind as I move on to something else. At this point in time, I am in a phase of do-all-the-things, which is an extraordinarily expensive hobby perpetuated by FOMO.

FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out

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Things I can’t miss out on:

  • birthdays
  • parties. Of any kind. Going away parties, welcome back parties, housewarming parties, coming out parties, going back in parties… all the parties.
  • holiday dinners, even if they’re not for my family
  • new restaurants or bars
  • new TV shows (strangely enough, I care little for new movies though)
  • DJs, folk singers and rock concerts alike

Fears that feed the FOMO:

  • not meeting someone cool
  • not getting to see something funny as it happens
  • not getting to be in photos
  • my friends having experiences without me
  • not hearing an update on my friend’s life¬†honest answer: gossip
  • becoming irrelevant. Like people won’t even know I’m missing and then they’ll forget to invite me to future things because I wasn’t at the last thing and everyone will be like, whatever happened to that girl?
  • being the last to know/see something or go somewhere

FOMO affects everything. I hate saying no to anything, from a benign coffee date to a concert by an artist I’ve never even heard of. Some of my best adventures have started out as mid-day margaritas on a Sunday, some of my worsts have been Friday nights I’ve looked forward to for months. You never know when “epic” (or bad) will hit, but fun is always there in ample supply, and I can’t get enough of it. I will schedule dates back-to-back, I will party hop, I will buy all the tickets to all the events and I will throw a full tantrum — yes, with tears and panicked screeching, like a child — should something ever fall at the same time on the same day. I don’t even want to talk about how much anxiety I have when traveling, thinking that I am missing something amazing back home. And if I miss a trip, god help me, I am certain it was the best and my life is forever lessened by not going.

As you can expect, FOMO is hard on the budget. Tickets to shows don’t always run cheap, and dining out multiple times per week is costly even at the cheapest places. The only solution?

LEARN TO SAY NO.

Which is boring, and therefore, very difficult to me.

 

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Comments

  1. I hate being in pictures so I’d have to say that it is a bit easier for me to miss those opportunities :)

    • ROFL. I hate some pictures but most of the time I’m like “oh me! do me! take a photo of meeee!” I’ve gotten over a lot my insecurities about my eyes/nose/cheeks/teeth/hair/whatever and just feel “this is what I look like, I’m going with it”

  2. And, not just learn to say no, but learn to let go. Zen Habits had a post on this focusing only on digital life: http://zenhabits.net/unline/

    Stastically, you are going to miss out on almost everything the world has to offer. Your chances are much better if you have limited your FOMO to your home city / friend group. :)

    I hate missing out too, but don’t indulge my FOMO too heavily

  3. I used to have FOMO very very badly when I first moved to NYC. Since I was now living in this giant city that has 8,000 events a night (not an exaggeration) I wanted to do all 8,000 of them every single night!

    Your post is interesting because our fears of what we will miss out on are actually quite different. I had always assumed everyone’s fears with this were the same. Thinking about I’d say my fears are/were:
    * Regret: Never being able to say I saw a particular band live; Or missing an especially amazing performance; Missing a special guest (this happens a lot in nyc with bands and comedy shows)
    * Missing out on meeting new/cool people: I like to look at every night out as an opportunity to meet someone new and that can’t be done if I sit around at home.
    * Missing out on having a story to tell

    My biggest dilemma during this phase was back-to-back dates. I would want to have as many plans/dates as possible to not miss out on something exciting with certain people, however that meant leaving the good time I was already having and, possibly, missing out on something epic that happened at the end of that night! These were really stressful dilemma’s and even now I refuse to do more than one thing a day. Even if something is in the afternoon and something else is in the evening, as you said, some mid-day margaritas can turn into big adventures and I no longer want to cramp up my schedule that way.

  4. I think the first thing that needs to change before even saying NO to things is realizing that hanging with yourself or doing your own thing for a night isn’t boring. Why doesn’t Bridget want to hang out with Bridget from time to time? She seems pretty cool.

  5. This FOMO used to rule my new year’s eve every year! Having to go to the best party, hit three, four in a night, usually resulted in spending midnight in traffic and a lot of frustration. I miss out on a lot of things now since my family is a 12 hour flight away, but when I come back I realize it was not that much. I prefer to have a couple of nights out with my friends every year, that we will remember fondly, than go out with them every Friday night, listen to the same stories and repeat the next week.

  6. I suffer from FOBB (fear of being bored) at events, so I tend to just skip them all together and opt for quiet dinners/coffees with friends. I think I’m more of an introvert than most people think I am, so I tend to be a bit of a wallflower at events … UNLESS I get a few glasses of wine in me.

  7. bahaha. Hilarity wrapped up in a fine point that is well made ;)

  8. That is a pretty legit statement, FOMO being expensive. I used to be that way a LOT. My energy levels have died since the latter part of university, so it’s less of a thing for me, though the emotional end still exists.

  9. This reminds of when I first started college. I want to do everything and I did. However, I realized that I really didn’t enjoy it as much as just hanging out. I would build up expectations so much that most events were crappy. Yes, I would throw tantrums if things didn’t go my way….sometimes….not proud of it.
    Almost glad I’m not like that anymore. Now, I enjoy hanging out home with my hubby and going out occasionally with friends. Talk about being domesticated…or maybe it’s just a temporary phase??

  10. This is so interesting because I’m so the opposite. My favourite thing is to stay home and relax. That’s probably because I’m constantly overbooked though. One question: How do you get the energy for it all?

  11. I am getting old…so maybe this is a strong point for me. I purposely try to miss out on things at this point!!

  12. I’m more of an introvert, so this doesn’t apply to me :)

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