Sunday, April 10, 2011

FOMO? nope

In my mind's eye, I'm still 25 years old.  Comfortable in the fact that I am at my physical and intellectual, (or so I thought at the time), best.  While I was never truly happy, I didn't miss out on much back then.  I was a bartender, so nightlife was my life.  If I wasn't greasing the wheels for others in pursuit of a good night, I was imbibing myself, enjoying the dark side at my leisure.

Age and maturity descended upon me at my own bidding, as I chose to remove myself from that lifestyle, get a "real" job and find my way in the world of adults, leaving the head-pounding days and giddy, selfish nights behind.

The beast within rears it's egotistical head from time to time, but this is easily put down as I am reminded that those days and nights belong to the next generation of party-goers and social malcontents. I'm okay with that.  Really.

Social media seems like a great way to bring the world into the bubble that I live in, affording me views of the world and all of its happenings. "Traditional" media, news on TV and print, can only scratch the surface of the human response to the world, try as they might to include it in their efforts. But, with this influx of humanity into my safe, little world comes the events in the lives of others, and the feelings of disconnect from the larger world party. I was never so glad to be disconnected as I am now.

"FOMO", or fear of missing out, seems to be a syndrome people are experiencing due to the constant, up-to-the-minute exploits of friends and strangers in their social circles.  That others are having a good time while I am home on the couch doesn't faze me at all.  I consistently turn down "event requests" and "invitations" on Facebook to occasions that I'm sure will offer 10 minutes of interest within two or three hours of boredom. Likewise, photos of vacations, rock climbing, bungee jumping, et al. have only a momentary effect, as I remain comfortable in the knowledge that I can do such things if and when I choose.  I feel no remorse about not doing them at that moment.

For such a syndrome to cause real changes in someone's behavior, either through the choices they make or the interactions with others they embrace or disregard, seems foreign to me.  I cannot imagine allowing myself to be pulled in many directions in pursuit of fun or leisure.  Work, sure.  But fun? Nah.  That would seem too much like those days and nights when I lived selfishly, with little regard for anything beyond my own pleasure center.

I feel lucky to live now, without such a dilemma facing those lacking the self-regard it takes to avoid the "Everyone is having more fun than me" feeling.  So, I offer up a side note to those who undergo such a feeling; While your friends are having all of this fun without you, they are also checking their phones, lamenting the fact that others are having more fun than they are.