Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

fear of missing out

Have you ever suffered from FOMO? Fear Of Missing Out. These days, FOMO is epidemic. Our culture constantly assaults us with a barrage of marketing messages that cultivate a fear of missing out. And nothing cultivates FOMO as effectively as social media.

Reading about the good times other people are having can foster a sense of envy in us. Learning about social events we weren’t invited to can cause us to feel isolated. Looking at all the beautiful pictures of beautiful people with their beautiful families can make us feel as if we’ve failed in our own family.

FOMO is real. And the more we give in to it, the more addicted we become to our social media accounts. We may find ourselves checking posts every few minutes for the latest news about local social activities.

FOMO is treacherous because it fosters a sense of discontentment. Dissatisfaction. Ungratefulness. Not that we’d ever admit it, but we feel cheated because someone else is having a better time. Travelling to more fun locations. Being more successful.

Black Friday sales are a prime example of FOMO. At least it used to start on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Now Black Friday sales begin on Thursday. We spend the afternoon celebrating gratitude. Then we leave family at the dinner table while we chase sales from store to store, worried that we’re missing a better bargain down the street.

It’s ironic that those who are not at all concerned about spiritual things are religious about keeping up with everyone else in every other area of life. Yet they aren’t at all concerned about missing out on the most important experience of all. This temporary life consumes them, while eternity isn’t even a blip on their radar.

But Christians can fall into a similar trap. When I get caught up on the fear of missing out, I’m so busy focusing on the temporary that I lose sight of the eternal. I can become consumed with trying to do it all in this life, without considering whether the things that mean so much to me now will be as significant five months from now. Or five years from now.

As I enter this holiday season, I commit to kick FOMO to the curb. Rather than fear what I might be missing out on, I will focus on doing the next right thing. Taking the next right step. Considering the next right decision.

Will you join me?

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  1. Deb

    Yes, I will join you! FOMO has been a huge part of my life before I even recognized it or called it as such. For me, it centers around books, articles, etc – knowledge, I guess in part. Definitely need to kick it to the curb and regain balance in that area! Not quite sure how to do that though.

  2. Mary Ann

    So very true! Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Ava, because even though we don’t like to admit it, FOMO creeps in when we least expect it! My prayer is that I remain thankful and content in all things throughout this wonderful time of the year.

  3. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Deb & Mary Ann.
    It’s definitely easier to say than to do!

  4. Vicki Wickert

    FOMO creeps in to all of our lives due in part to all the
    The media and internet bombard us with 24/7.
    These words from Corrie Ten Boone have helped me
    Stay focused on what truly matters to me and I remind
    Myself daily it’s not “bigger, better, more” but living
    Each day thanking God for His many blessings.
    “Look within and be depressed, look around and get
    Distressed; seek the Lord, and you’ll be blest”!
    Thanks Ava, for your timely reminder! Love, Vicki

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