FOMO… It’s an ever-so-real phrase that our generation made up that means the “fear of missing out.” Every heard of it?
It’s something that’s so real that we’ve all experienced from time and time again. Especially being young in a culture that is all about FOMO, we want to take every opportunity to travel, hang out with friends, go on dates, etc., which is not always a bad thing. FOMO becomes a problem when it starts taking away the joy of the present.
Let’s look at a situation for example. Your friends are all hanging out and, because you don’t want to miss out, you drop what you’re doing to go join them. Even though you may not have the time or money to do so, you’re so worried about missing out that you forget to stop and actually think about it.
Obviously, that’s a milder example, but I’m sure you’ve been there multiple times! You probably experience FOMO on a harsher scale, which can be both exhausting and draining. You may even overthink and overanalyze the situation so much that FOMO isn’t your only problem anymore.
I read a quote that describes it perfectly: “Do not fear missing out at the expense of missing now. There is magic all around and joy inside. Do not be mindlessly chasing all shiny new things and miss what matters most – the appreciation, gratitude, and generosity in this very moment.”
We get so caught up in what we may be missing out that we forget to enjoy the moment we’re in now. It’s a cycle that never ends and it takes away the joy of the present.
What does the Bible say about enjoying the present? In the MSG version of Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, it says, “We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now…” You can’t receive joy when your mind is so consumed with worry and thoughts of the “what ifs.”
God also commands us to rest. You don’t always need to be doing things that fill up your time 24/7. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When we live our life waiting for tomorrow or worrying about missing out, we don’t get to experience this rest that God wants for our lives. Our bodies need rest! We need to take a day off every once in a while, even if that means potentially missing out in the end.
Although it’s good to be busy and to make time for things that are important, it’s also good to take time for yourself and for God. FOMO can take you away from the present, but we only have so much of it!