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)
26 thoughts on “No-FOMO – the stuff I’m not missing”
I love this. I was only thinking yesterday of a list of things I’m ok with having zero interest in and Cheltenham and Football both featured. I get serious fomo about Electric Picnic obviously and I’ve even tried some of the GBBO recipes. I would quite like a NutriBullet but then my George foreman and food processor are used loads (unlike the juicer I found in the attic recently). Great post.
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Oh I’m delighted it makes sense and that there’s at least one other person who feels the same!
Cheltenham obviously has us thinking 🙂
I can totally understand you Andrea. For me baby-led weaning, Instagram and veganism are my current no-FOMO topics.
I think where men have a problem understanding this cncept is that they have so little fear of missing out on things they are not interested in that it doesn’t even register with them.
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That is so interesting – I think you’re right. My husband has zero FOMO about anything. Is it down to confidence? Are they more confident in their choices – if I like it’s good, if I don’t like it, it’s not good? Do we doubt ourselves more?
*makes note to grill husband about this later
I reckon we women are naturally more curious. We hear about something – kale juice say – and wonder “What’s the fuss about? Is it a fad? Should I be trying this? Would it really change my life?”. After considering for a while, we either jump on the bandwagon or put it to the back of our minds. With men, or at least mine, it is more a case of “Kale? Oh a vegetable. Not worth further thinking about” or the other extreme “Did someone say paintball? Where’s that bandwagon? I need to get onto it NOW!”.
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I am laughing my head off – that is brilliant! Scarily true.
Love this. In fact, I think the first thought was.. fuck yeah, but I wouldn’t want to contaminate your gaff with such foul language. A resounding thumbs up to all except Electric Picnic. There’s nothing I like better than being incarcerated in a field for three days with 60 thousand other people for company but I am not here to convert you. That’s the implicit understanding: no amount of proselytising will budge the not-arsed among us.
Others off the top of my head..
Smartphones, iPhones, iPads or whatever latest technology you’re having yourself. Bring back the bakelite! Ditto Facebook, Twitter etc. A ‘career’ (whatever that is anyway), heels, getting published, sun holidays, home décor, anti-aging interventions, voting (I jest), owning my own home, paying tax (another jest *holds stomach from laughing). Lena Durham will have to wait a few months till I make it through the pile-up of books in the corner, and sometimes isn’t too busy at Lidl to suffer the whining while we wait for a car-parking space.
This is less to do with any wilful determination to resist modernising, but a reflection of my inherent laziness that’s becoming harder to conceal by the day. 🙂
Yes, the implicit understanding of non-conversion is key. Because of course, I think Electric Picnic sounds brilliant, I’m just very at peace with not feeling the need to be there. And it’s why listening to people talking about Cheltenham this week makes me very happy.
You have a great list there – I’m not even going to tell you about all the things that are on your list that I really quite like – because again, the implicit rule (but it’s not sun holidays or home decor )
Hehe. Love the special amnesty quality to this.
Oh yes I get this! I feel the exact same about Electric Picnic, Oxegen too although I did go there one year but only for the day and because someone bought me a ticket. I felt like Iw as missing out on football so tried to enjoy it for a few years, even so far as owing a few Liverpool jersey’s but I’m totally ok with not having interest in it now, I’ll leave that to my other half.
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Yes we were at Oxegen once (or Witness maybe!) with a free ticket and just for the day, and didn’t enjoy it – perhaps we have both been turned off hankering after EP for all the wrong reasons! But hey, we’re happy in blissful ignorance – one less thing to worry about
I think sports in general, for me. I’m happy that as a couple we have no interest in sports, especially here in America where you have to know your team and support them and yada yada I don’t care, think of all the things we could be doing when you have to be home watching the game.
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I love thinking about things I can do when other people are watching sport – it feels amazing. It’s very satisfying. I imagine in the Staes it frees up a good bit of time compared to your neighbours 🙂
I’m with you on Dr. Who and any sort of horse racing – I actively dislike Cheltenham. And I like kale, and my Nutribullet and only like to attend EP in some sort of non-standard arrangement i.e. not like a paying member of the public. I got such things out of my system i the Witnness days too!
I do not have Greys Anatomy, Breaking Bad, Good Wife or House of Cards FOMO, which it feels like everyone watches except me. Though I do love GoT.
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I was thinking of you when I thought of Kale and was going to link to your blog (you did blog about Kale recently I think?) but then thought it might be a bit rude since I’m dissing the veg and all that!
*Desperately resisting urge to start raving about the amazingness of The Good Wife*
I am with you on most of it but not Cheltenham. Cheltenham is the MOST wonderful week of the year. The high’s, the low’s , the free money- It has it all.
I think I saw you say something about Cheltenham last week and it reminded me how happy it makes me – I associate it with this time of year, and I like seeing snippets about it on the news and on social media, and I loved listening to people in a coffee shop talking about it on Tuesday, and hearing names of horses, and how much they were going to bet, and I love not being invested in it myself. So thanks and enjoy it!
Great post, and agree with so many of them (except Cheltenham, which in a former life was a HUGE deal).
I especially agree with being ‘on trend’, couldn’t handle the pressure of that, so am delighted to not participate.
•buying anything on EBay
•following any television series and therefore feeling invested in the characters
• the latest super foods, will happily read about them but happy to not get involved.
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That’s the key – the superfood – enjoying reading about them but not being involved. Totally get you on that.
Now, I do love getting invested in a TV series, so we’ll have to agree to differ on that one 🙂
Brilliant, ha ha ha! I didn’t even know I had “no FOMO” about anything but I’m going to start appreciating it from now on. I can start my list with everything on yours, I have no interest in any of those either. Great post, I really enjoyed it.
Thanks Joanna – it’s nice to enjoy not enjoying things – kind of!
I rarely feel I’m missing out as I do what I want, but my closest friend is a disaster. If there are two parties to go to she is in a heap wondering which to go to, and spends the night thinking she is at the wrong one. Sometimes she tries to go to both which works out even worse. I think watching her over the years has taught me to enjoy what I want and forget the rest.
I will admit though that I get very cranky if I think ‘everybody’ is going away or on nights out and I’m stuck at home.
I love your list, and you’ve got me thinking, especially about game of thrones.
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It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t have FOMO Tric! I aspire to be someone who is generally happy with my decisions. I have definitely become better at it over the years. It is too easy to fall into the trap of enjoying nothing because of worrying that we should be doing something else – faraway hills always look greener in the distance so sometimes it’s better not to look!
FOMO (Love it!)
Also a sufferer of this. Specifically:
1. Encouraging ball sport proficiency in offspring.
2. Encouraging musical instrument proficiency in offspring.
3. Disney – Euro or USA, either one.
4. Christmas markets.
5. Fifty Shades of Grey (the movie)
8. Tayto Park.
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I am so with you on Disney! My husband and my three kids desperately want to go there sometime and I’m totally meh about it. Now Pilates is another story – LOVE Pilates. But I won’t try to convert you, because them’s the rules of No-FOMO
Oh love this! Don’t know how I missed it. I can suffer desperately with FOMO but never thought about my No-FOMOs before.
Mine would include – bicycles/cycling – actually sport of all kinds, nights out ‘dancing’, most forms of lettuce and ipads/tablets (my phone will do me grand thanks).
I’m also with you on the Dr. Who thing.
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