Some friends of mine are meeting for dinner on Friday, and I can’t go. The pull to cancel my plans in order to join them is strong – hovering at the fringes of my mind ever since I saw the email. I’ll resist, but I’ll be wondering if it’s a good night, if they’ll be out late, what they’ll talk about, and if I’ll be invited to the next one. A moderate and not unfamiliar case of FOMO – the fear of missing out.
I get FOMO about the school-gate, because I’m only there once a week. And I get it on Twitter, if everyone is talking about Game of Thrones, because I don’t watch it but suspect it might be good. And I get it when I hear about other people’s kids playing tennis, because I think mine should too, except I’ve never signed them up.
But there are also some things about which I have no FOMO, and this makes me very happy. When I see these No-FOMO topics and events mentioned, I get a small glow inside. Because they are for other people, and I don’t mind missing out. They are things that I totally get – I understand why other people enjoy them, but I’m OK staying on the outside. It means I have one less thing to worry about. And it’s OK if this isn’t making sense – my husband has been confused by this for years. I’m not sure if anyone else feels like this, but I am curious to find out.
Here are some things that make me happy, because I don’t mind missing them:
For years, I watched colleagues from work take the week off and travel over (or watch from home on TV), and felt glad that they were enjoying it but even more glad that it goes over my head completely and I don’t have to use my annual leave.
It must be amazing, but I’m OK with not adding it to my long list of TV programs to obsess about (I’m still talking about The Wire five years after watching the last episode – there’s only so much obsessing I can handle)
So, so healthy, but so, so fine with never having tasted kale.
It’s very pretty, and I understand that people get lost there, but I’m totally grand with almost never looking at it.
I absolutely know that this one is amazing – I’ve heard the stories, seen the photos, read the really good reviews. But I don’t need to go. So every year, when people go there, I feel happy that I don’t have to worry about going there. I say to my husband, “Isn’t it great, everyone’s at Electric Picnic, but we don’t need to think about it.” And yes, this is the one that has made no sense to my husband for many years now.
It sounds great but it would sit in my cupboard unused, beside my broken food-processor and my George Foreman grill. I’ve just saved myself €120.
Being on trend
I’m happy to leaf through magazines showing denim culottes and dungarees and head to toe white, but I’ll leave it to Alexa Chung to do the actual wearing.
I love cake, I know the acronym, and every other tweet in my timeline tells me when it’s on TV, but I’ve never watched The Great British Bake-Off and I have no urge to. I feel like I might be extra productive at getting other things done, when people are watching GBBO.
My husband watches football whenever, wherever and by however means possible. I totally understand why he loves it, and in a parallel universe, I probably do too. But I’m fine with paying almost no attention to it when it’s on TV – I can use my time wisely looking at tweets about GBBO and Game of Thrones.
There’s one caveat – I tend to jump on bandwagons eventually, so I’ll reserve the right to retract everything I’ve said above. See you at the Kale-juice stand at Electric Picnic – I’ll be the one in denim culottes.
Does anyone else enjoy No-FOMO? What’s on your list? (if the answer is “no” and “nothing”, at least now I know)