A Case of FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, TheSilverPen.com

Hello!  We have just returned from a 2 1/2 week vacation. I can’t even begin to tell you what a Silver Lining it is to be HOME. Though we had a phenomenal trip (photos and stories are forthcoming!), I’m pretty exhausted. When I say exhausted, I am actually epically under-exaggerating. On the flight, I realized that in the last month, I have been in 11 different time zones, 4 countries, 4 states, and 11 cities.

On the trip, WiFi was unpredictable and inconsistent. The Silver Lining was that I was able to turn OFF and unplug and even find some mental stillness. The downside was unanticipated feelings of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Geesh. I’ve never really had this before and it felt really weird.

Apparently, FOMO is a new condition resulting from living in this all-consuming, 24-hour/day, 7 days/week digital age. Technically, FOMO refers to “the fear of missing out on something or someone more interesting, exciting or better than what we’re currently doing.”

My FOMO issues definitely addressed my very real tendency to want to be everywhere, all the time. Post-FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers), I have an intense feeling of trying and doing as much as I can, everywhere I am (think: energizer bunny on steroids!). As a result, I check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest multiple times a day. Ugh. Did I really just write that?

I will say that one Silver Lining of FBC is that I’ve become really good at smelling roses, watching hummingbirds and, well, finding Silver Linings.

So, by the 3rd day of the trip, I began to think not about what I didn’t have (internet access and missing out), but rather of the adventure, togetherness, and joy of time with my family and friends! This was a great Silver Lining indeed!


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  1. says

    Welcome back! So happy to hear that you had a wonderful trip with family and friends. It is doubly beneficial to our mental health when we "unplug" and live only in the present; no looking back or looking forward, just enjoying the stimuli of the present.

    I can relate to the FOMO, but when on vacation I make a sacrifice to tune out and disconnect from the internet, just so I can be fully present in the here and now. In no time you will "catch up", and wonder why you don't "tune out, and turn on" more often. I think I must credit Timothy O'Leary of the hip generation for that last phrase.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your note, Carolee…and for checking in on me when you didn't hear from me. So very thoughtful of you! Love that phrase: Tune out and turn on. Fabulous!

  2. Kim C says

    Welcome Back Hollye! What an incredible month. It sounds like you've been doing so much for the greater good.:)
    About the FoMo – give yourself a hug for being aware!
    As I read your post, I was reminded of the book Be Here Now by Ram Dass. Three lovely little words – and easier said than done!
    Take good care,


  1. […] 1) FOMO – So this is a new term for me. I heard, just this past weekend, a young friend lament about being plagued by “FOMO” – this “fear of missing out”. It apparently is exacerbated by all the social media which tantalizes us about friends getting together and going to all sorts of exotic places. C. S. Lewis, in his essay, The Inner Ring, actually exposes the danger of FOMO. Photo Credit: The Silver Pen […]