Are you like me? Constantly looking at the clock? I don’t wear a watch at the moment – it’s broken. But I think my time consciousness hit a new level the other day.
I was watching ABC News 24 and it hit 7:58am. I had only just turned the TV on and I was now presented with two options. 1 – keep watching ABC News 24 as it went from the breakfast TV news show to the ‘straight news’ hour. 2 – change to a different ABC channel where the breakfast TV news show was being broadcast an hour behind.
I think the breakfast news guys on ABC are the best. Way less painful than suffering through Sunrise or Today. So I switched it to the delayed broadcast. But then when they went through the news headlines I had this nagging feeling.
‘What did I miss?’
Maybe a bomb went off in Europe and I’m missing one of the most significant live pieces of news coverage of the 21st century? Maybe they just caught a guy they had been searching for who had been on the run for 15 years? Maybe they’ll cross live to a helicopter showing a stolen car driving through Brisbane and it’s only a few miles away from where we are.
Or maybe I’m missing my life by worrying about any of this. What if I just need to get over being up to date with everything that’s happening in the world? How many diary entries from 1150 read, ‘today I finished my thirty year quest to hear about everything that’s happened in the world recently. Wow. My great-grandchildren will remember this moment.’
FOMO (fear of missing out) is an ironic punch-in-the-gut because maybe some people from our generation will hit 80, sink a bit deeper into their plush couch in their nice empty house that they live in by themselves and mutter to themselves, ‘what did I really miss?’ Aren’t people at the ends of their lives basically 100% concerned with their close family and friends, the big questions of life after death and potentially regret that they didn’t live life to the full when they had the chance?
Maybe FOMO is a myth. But we’re buying it and snorting it and then one day we’ll find out it had the devastating side effect of YAMETM – you’re actually missing everything that matters.