FOMO Fear of Missing OutDear Kid,

There is a new disease rampant in the universe: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Actually, social media obsessives and techno-geeks are saying it’s new. They’re wrong. FOMO has been around absolutely forever. It just looks different now.

These days FOMO means checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ (et-cetera, et-cetera) before, after, and during pretty much everything. It means interrupting a Pinterest session to check another social media platform (who am I kidding? No one ever interrupts themselves on Pinterst. Entire planets have been sucked out of the space-time continuum because someone was too focused on pinning.)

But FOMO isn’t new. Back In The Day, we spent hours on the phone catching up on everything that happened the previous evening. Or might have happened. Or could conceivably happen the next evening.

Prior to the telephone, people actually got together to catch up on News and Gossip. (Isn’t history wonderful? Can you even imagine a time like this?)

The fear of missing out is a good and bad thing.

FOMO can perhaps drive you out of your dorm room to go to an event which is good if you were going to stay in and watch Pawn Star reruns, but not so good if you were going to stay in to study.

Fear Of Missing Out can be a powerful incentive to catch up on the latest news about campus. It can also be a mighty powerful reason to gossip inappropriately.

My advice is don’t worry too much about Missing Out. Worry just enough to go out and do things so you don’t actually miss out.

And we can reinterpret FOMO to be FOr Mom Only. Or something like that.

Love, Mom