My biggest problem is that I can’t be in two places at once. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this and I know there have been numerous articles written about the Fear of Missing Out or FOMO, but nonetheless, I thought I’d throw this out there to join the big cloud of already-anecdotes out there. Paolo, this guy I know said something on his Facebook status a few months ago that really struck me: he said that ambiverts are those who are hit the hardest by FOMO because there is always conflict between wanting to be out and about and wanting to do your own thing—I definitely agree with this.
While I’m sure FOMO impacts people in general (especially in today’s wonderfully addictive Insta-culture which I am not denying I take part in), I feel like the difficult with being ambiverted is that you feel it all the goddamn time: no matter where you are or when you are. FOMO like a MOFO.
I think that the reason for this is that whereas extroverts are afraid they’re missing out on happenings and events and introverts are either afraid of complete isolation or afraid of not being able to have alone time if they go out and partay, ambiverts are just scared of everything. It doesn’t even have to be on Twitter or any kind of feed to be able to make you feel like you’re missing out on the best thang ever and that that makes you some kind of defunct person who just wasn’t there and who will inevitably be forgotten: sometimes it can just be in your head. Just having the option of doing things drives me fucking crazy.
Take last night, for instance: my officemates and I hung out at the park near our office for a little bit after work. I was going to go meet my best friend at the mall nearby at six, but there was still stuff to be done so I was already running a bit late. They decided to go out and have a drink or two. I personally haven’t had a drop of alcohol since well, sometime ago that feels really long—plus my officemates are really fun to be with so I definitely wanted to go. However, I also really, really missed my best friend: despite working really near each other, we hardly get any QT these days because she’s always assigned for out-of-office thangs and I am always preoccupied with MoarBooks when I’m not working. So, yeah. I began weighing the FOMO in my head: what would I be able to live with less?
I decided to go meet my best friend. I figured: there would be other days for these office thangs (oh, the things we tell ourselves that we don’t really believe). I ran through the entirety of the mall and was (thankfully) able to catch up. I had fun talking to her as we walked toward our stop but there just isn’t ever enough time! As soon as she left me, I found myself again torn between two options: to go and catch up with my officemates or to get my butt back home. You know you have FOMO like a MOFO when the thing you’re FOMO-ing about is a motherfucking shuttle van. But I was there and I couldn’t resist the pull of the non-existent line. So I went home.
And while I’m happy I got on the shuttle, to a certain extent there is that twinge of regret that I didn’t catch up—even if they said it ended early, anyway; even if there will be other times. There are upsides to FOMO: for example, I’m never absent because the thought of missing a day at work just kills me. What happened? What’s going on in the world of my office e-mail? What is happening on the tracking sheet? But at the same time, it would be nice to for once, be like aw, fuck it.