Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The author is sick of people constructing long-standing social phenomena as a result of the new media age. People are people. Our shit has always been weird. Sometimes constant connectivity just exacerbates things, but it doesn’t create it. Let us consider the wisdom of  My So Called Life for a rebuttal. 

Huffington Post ran an article in February called, Fear of Missing Out, Lately?  And the term has since been running rampant in my group of friends.


Now I have FOMO

Stop emailing me! I’m out of town and you’re giving me FOMO.

Damn you, FOMO!

Urban Dictionary defines FOMO as:  “The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great”

Huffington Post’s Milosevic defines FOMO with a scenario: “Happy and firm about your decision to stay in, you’d already declined several invitations from friends for dinners, drinks or social minglings. But then your iPhone lights up and three different newsfeeds from three different social networks pop up, all reporting on how wonderful of a time your friends are having. That spells an end to your peace and quiet as you now begin to wonder — what am I missing out on?”

Milosevic says this is a symptom of the “new media” but I think Jordan Catalano of My So Called Life disproves this. He defined FOMO back in 1994 during one of the greatest case studies in FOMO of all time, Episode 9 “Halloween.”

[I recorded a video of the screen during the scene but WordPress doesn’t like video files being embedded and what not, so check out this YouTube clip starting at minute 1:05]

Leave it to that blue eyed, plaid wearing, monosyllabic Adonis to so clearly articulate a phenomena that seemingly governed his every social decision. That and fear of judgement from his drumstick wielding friend constantly looming in doorways and under bleachers, cock-blocking Angela Chase like it was his job.