Throughout the school year, I know that I am not alone when experiencing FOMO. We see our friends gleefully hanging out, and if we are not there, for most, a feeling of isolation consumes us. Perhaps it is a question of: why was I not invited? Why did my parents not let me go out? Why do I have so much homework? Why did I say I didn’t want to go?
We all gravitate towards people in some respect. Whether you are an introvert and you recharge at home alone or an extrovert who thrives on social interaction, our lives are, in fact, grounded by the people around us.
If you stick to the notion that you are an introvert who is comfortable away from people, perhaps think about the time you spend on social media. In that sense, people are ever present in your life as you scroll through their profiles absentmindedly or check their stories on Snapchat.
Amid tragic deaths and fumbling leadership, there is a silver lining to the pandemic and our “new normal.” I, among others whom I have talked to, have discovered the comfort of isolation.
Last summer, if I was in town, I could not possibly imagine spending the day cooped up in my house. What would I do?! What about all my friends? Like most, I would seek out the sun or the water, or maybe just hang out with friends. A normal summer surely seems appetizing right about now, yet, I am much happier in my home than I have ever been.
By that, I mean that I have become much more resourceful, relaxed, and goal-oriented. Usually, if I spent more than half of the day at my house, that was a bad sign. Somehow, if I was at home during summer, I was doing something wrong. Now, though, I happily wake up, drink my coffee, and spend the day pursuing existing passions or finding new ones.
In regards to FOMO, I see lots of tantalizing Snapchat stories. Friends, classmates, and acquaintances from across the region are proactively flaunting their ability to hang out with large groups of people without any immediate repercussions. I, thankfully, have been advised by my parents not to do so, but now, I do not envy them. I do not envy them for a couple reasons. Obviously I do not want to get sick, but, secondly, I would rather be alone, at least for a little while.
I think that my friends and classmates would not be socializing if their parents did not allow it, and if they did not have FOMO. There are many ways to stay in touch with friends digitally, and perhaps it is not the same and as rebellious as going out at night, but, I do sincerely think that a lot of the mid-pandemic parties are rooted in one’s desire to not miss out.
None of us want to think of ourselves as excluded or missing out on something valuable. However, the seniors who thought they were going to be “missing out” ended up going to the beach as a large unit and contracting Covid-19. They did not just infect themselves, but they also wreaked havoc on the others’ lives.
At this time, I urge my fellow students to not succumb to this pervasive idea of FOMO. We will see our friends either in the classroom or on Zoom soon enough, and as this virus spreads, the FOMO-driven socialization is contributing to your complicity throughout the pandemic.
Chloe Hunt '21