Living at the Speed of FOMO

Posted on Posted in Culture


You know what that is, right?!

The fear of missing out. FOMO.

Do you struggle with this? Be honest. Is it a challenge for you to be fully present or “in the moment” some of the time (or even most of the time) because you’re thinking about where else you could be, what else you could be doing, or what’s coming up next?

How about your schedule? Do you push your calendar to its outermost limits in order to do more and more things — for fear of missing out on a great opportunity? Or the chance to connect with a certain group of people? Or because it’s one more thing that will look good on a resume or sound good in a conversation?

Do you know what I’m talking about? Can you relate?

I believe that FOMO translates into living a hurried kind of life. A life of mentally, emotionally, and physically rushing around from one thing to the next, to the next, to the next… It’s a chaotic way of living — and it’s not healthy.

Author Richard Foster once wrote:

In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness” he will rest satisfied.

There’s a lot packed into this brief statement. I’ve previously written here about noise. And for the sake of keeping this post on point, I’m choosing to focus in on this issue of hurry.

Believe it or not, Foster first penned these words back in 1978.

This was before cell phones, smart phones, social media, and even the internet. The world, back then, was as “fast” and hurried as it had ever been. And yet, whatever Foster saw in the milieu of life some 35 years ago has undoubtedly multiplied and magnified over the course of the past three and a half decades.

And this hurried way of life is not of your own invention. Unfortunately it’s a way of being that has been modeled for you for much of your life. The truth is, most people live with some level of FOMO.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to.

What would your life look like (and feel like) if you were to choose to slow down?

How would your schedule look if you were to choose to eliminate some of the items  and appointments from it?

How much more might you enjoy life, and meaningfully contribute to those things you do participate in, if you had room to breathe on either sides of it. Or even both?

FOMO, I believe, is one of the ways our Adversary looks to keep us distracted (from things that really matter — like Jesus — and living life the way He has modeled for us).

What do you think?

Are you ready to slow down?

Are you ready to choose a way of life that is not dictated by FOMO?

This choice is yours to make.

Jesus said:

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

And by “full” I don’t think he meant our calendars.