Is FOMO wrecking your relationships?
Chapter 3 of Lifted hits on a fear that is so real and so prevalent that it has its own label: FOMO. And while we may think of FOMO as a new thing, the fear of missing out is something you’ve probably experienced since you were a kid; you just didn’t call it that.
When I was a teenager, if I knew my friends were going to a movie or hanging out at another friend’s house, I wanted to go too. I remember pleading with my parents for permission to stay out past curfew because my friends could stay out later; I didn’t want to miss a moment of the fun!
No, FOMO isn’t a new experience. The advent of social media, however, has brought on a new level of intensity to FOMO. We have a hundred more opportunities a day to feel that twinge of I want to do that too! or I need to be there. We check our phones throughout the day to make sure we haven’t missed a post or email or call. More than ever, we feel the pull to be in the know and constantly connected.
As Lindsey points out, though, that constant connection comes at a cost. She writes, “I was exhausted and missing out on what meant the most to me: quality family time, time for me to read or be creative, and intimacy with my husband.”
The question is why do we sacrifice what’s most important for things that really have little to no real meaning or lasting value for our lives? Lindsey’s own honest reality check resonates with me, and perhaps it does with you too: “My fear of missing out was a quest to find wholeness and value in my own life.”
In the intro this week, you were invited to think about the things for which you’re grateful. What did you list? Did social media, the committees you’ve volunteered on lately, or the last party you attended end up on that list? Chances are, the answer is no. More likely, you listed the people or activities that matter most to you—even if those same people or activities get sidelined for things that mean far less to you.
It’s easy to say yes to “opportunities,” but in doing so, you may be saying no to real connection with the people who bring true meaning and value to your life. As Lindsey writes, “I realized that with my rushing around, I had neglected the relationships that mattered most.” Can you relate?
In your journal today, take a moment to count your blessings—specifically your relationships. Then, look at your schedule and find one thing you can eliminate so you can make more time for the people who matter most to you.
Finally, if you don’t already have daily quiet time with God, look at your schedule and make a space in the day for just the two of you. Even a few intentional minutes a day in God’s presence can reduce the FOMO by helping you focus on your most important relationship.
What will you say no to today?