As fall comes along, we watch the leaves fall and the days get shorter, we are also heading towards Halloween. Every year, on October 31st, thrill seekers would make their way to haunted houses looking for spirits, ghosts, the supernatural, and whatever else you could think of.
Hi. I am Minna from the Foolish Couple. And in today’s episode, I’m going to talk about FEAR.
Halloween is really about being scared and facing your fear. So, what is fear? I think we all know what FEAR is, and we all have our own fears. But have you ever counted how many of your FEARS actually become real?
In other words, most of the fears come from our imaginations. What I’m saying is that FEAR, stands for Fantasized Events Appearing Real.
As humans we are fearful of different things. Andy is afraid of spiders because he watched the movie Arachnophobia and every time, he sees a spider, it reminds him of the movie.
I am afraid of snakes, even though I have never touched one or been bitten by one. It really is just irrational fear.
In general, FEAR really do us no good. Especially this one:
The Fear of Missing Out
In fact, this “FOMO” syndrome has become so widespread that it has become a social phenomenon.
The Oxford dictionary even put the word FOMO into the dictionary in 2013. So you can see, FOMO is a real thing and it is affecting our society in a big way.
Wikipedia called FOMO a ‘pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experience from which one is absent’.
It is a social anxiety that you need to know, whatever it is, the instant it happened.
Many blamed FOMO on technology, but, in my opinion, the fear of missing out has been happening forever, way before the internet came along.
What I mean is, even before there was Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, we’ve always had news. People would read that same piece of news from the newspapers in the morning, listen to it on the radio, and then watch that same darn piece of news again at night watching the news on TV.
Let me give you an example. Let’s just say that, in the morning, you read about a plane crash. Tragic right? Sure. And that morning, you are also heading to the airport and taking a flight to Hawaii for vacation. How do you think you would feel that day? During the flight? Fear from the news stays with you even though you would have been perfectly fine not knowing the news at all. And you’d have been happy, confident, and you’d felt safe.
Nowadays, news expands to sports scores, reality TV, the Kardashians, social media posts, the election, chats, popups, notifications, and whatever else you could think of.
What this ‘FEAR’ of missing out is doing to us is that it is causing us massive distractions, affecting our productivity, giving us negativity.
Following other people’s lives is costing us our own lives. While we could’ve spent that time and energy on improving ourselves, working on our own dreams and goals, we are wasting our time and energy watching someone else live their lives.
And, just to add to it, distractions can be a real, life threatening problem. Texting and driving, for instance, can cause you and someone else’s lives.
Just remember, the fear of missing out, is fantasized, it is not real, but it does cause you to miss out on your own life.
So, what can you do to save yourself from FOMO?
Well, first thing, just like alcoholics anonymous, you have to admit that you have a problem. You have FOMO and you want to own up to it.
Once you are aware of your FOMO, then you can work on yourself. And there are a variety of things you can do. My phone gives me a summary of my screen time every week, so I can track how much time I spend on my phone.
At one point, I was so distracted by WhatsApp, I had like 6 different chats going on with people from 3 different time zones so it’s pretty much beeping me all day long. I got so annoyed with myself and how much time I spent on it, eventually I turned off my notifications on WhatsApp and I was immediately relieved, and I felt so much happier. These days, I look at my WhatsApp chats twice a week. I still know what I need to know. But I just don’t get distracted all day long. You can also turn off the notifications to your email, social media, and whatever else you could think of. I guarantee you that you won’t miss out. You will feel much happier, calmer, and much more productive in your work and in your life.
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