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Fear of FOMO

It’s very strange to talk about FOMO (fear of missing out). I recently made the decision to not attend MegaConLive in Manchester because I had such backlog of photos I want editing I didn’t want to add to my workload but also the trains services were on strike that weekend and I didn’t feel like driving to the event as I was very exhausted, therefore unsafe to be on the roads. But because of that, I keep seeing on my personal Facebook page, people selfies of the event and it made me feel so gutted I didn’t attend this event, see friends and familiar faces and also see all the cosplays at the event and create wonderful photos for them. 

What is FOMO? Fear of missing out is the feeling of apprehension that one is either not in the know or missing out on information, events, experiences, or life decisions that could make one’s life better.

I think I’ve always had a form of FOMO throughout my life without realising it. From my perspective I love being involved in things but seeing friends’ photos of them doing exciting things such as attending expo events, location shoots, just hanging out, or even video chats, I would feel a bit left out. It’s so stupid to feel like that because there are legitimate reasons why I’ve not been invited, such as not being close to that friend group, limited numbers, distance to expo event, etc, some are even personal issues such as lack of funds to go. 

It’s very hard to describe the feeling of FOMO, but partly for me, it’s that loneliness and emptiness. As of writing this article, I’m a single person and going home to an empty home isn’t a fun experience and at times this compounds the FOMO I experience. I do remind myself that social media is a window of the best times people upload to. For the most part, people who use social media use it to upload fun posts which give the illusion that their whole life is that but most likely isn’t and some posts are “manufactured” and because of this, I can see how FOMO is created from this. 

I’m currently thinking about how I deal with my FOMO and I think I just plan and distract myself as best as possible. I plan future expo events I would like to attend and make sure I save up money but I also try to plan location photoshoots with people so that I have something to aim towards. But as mentioned earlier, what I’m seeing is a small snippet of people’s lives and that FOMO is a temporary experience and that I have other things to look forward to. 

Also, the distraction of editing photos from past expo events helps with reminding myself fun times I had at these events and also concentrating on trying to edit photos with creating the best version of each photo. I have family and friends who drop in on me and help with this aspect of my FOMO.

I hope sharing my experience of FOMO both to an expo event and personal aspects had given people to relate to. 

Should you be struggling with your wellbeing and mental health and need someone to talk to, here is a list of services that we hope can help you.

  • Mind Info Line 0300 123 3393 (Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm)
  • Samaritans 116 123 (everyday, 24 hours)
  • C.A.L.M. 0808 802 58 58 (everyday 5pm to midnight)
  • HOPElinkUK 0800 068 4141
  • YoungMinds
  • Anxiety UK 08444 775 774
  • BEAT – eating disorder 0845 634 1414
  • Local Services (NHS Choices or NHS 111)
  • Student Minds
  • Boots Domestic Violence
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