Putting The FAUX In FOMO Syndrome

By: Ariel Fixler

Fear of Missing Out Syndrome can mean assuming if you miss out on one event or outing, you will be sidled with a syndrome that makes you ache with envy. Well using the word FOMO around a patient with a chronic or terminal illness seems FAUX and FALSE. It is like telling a real sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that you have “minor” OCD.  There is nothing minor about OCD.  Think about if you told someone who is bipolar, has borderline personality disorder or schizophrenic that you are kind of psychotic and crazy.  Think about if you said I am so full I could just puke around a chronic bulimic. The list goes on of comparisons in the mental health field.

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People who are bed-ridden, homebound, insulated or spend their lives in a hospital room or treatment/long time care facility are CONSTANTLY MISSING OUT. They cannot experience the fear or missing out because they are always missing out. It is a chronic disorder that goes hand in hand with their chronic illness. It makes social media hard to cope with on a daily basis. WHY? On the social media, everyone is out living their best selves or telling the world that is what they are doing.  They proclaim what they think people want to hear. It may be an exaggeration to look cool and chic. That is the reason social media is a massive hyperbole.

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Sufferers of chronic and terminal illness have nothing to show off on social media. Why? They are not current socializing or any social mood. They could state how they really feel and scare everyone off in one “post”. So they stay on the sidelines. They watch and observe all the comings and goings on their feed. They don’t have much to contribute on a forum that focuses on the innate ability to brag and humble-brag. The patient hopes one day they can post “I AM IN REMISSION”. Until that day arrives they are consummate observers.

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Their fear of missing out is not so much a latent fear it is A CONSTANT FEELING. So, if you think your fear of missing out is real. You post the hash tag #thestruggleisreal #FOMO, #Humblebrag, #luckygirl, and #sorrynotsorry.  There are so many more but I want to spare your gag reflexes. Your real hash tag should be that you are #blessed.  Not the ironic #blessed hashtag people post. Your humble brags are not humble nor brags, they inhabit a criteria section we call bold braggart under the guise of “cute” language. You did not just #wakeuplikethis. That hashtag was hyper-planned and muted in tones of undetectable war paint. Your actions are pragmatic and not at all soaked in the honesty of that natural beauty and synchronicity of that hashtag. They are veiled in careful planning and sadly not irony.

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You have your health and that is a blessing.  Be authentic in your life and also be in authentic in what you post and choose to air publicly. Nothing is more humbling and gratifying than authenticity.

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Anything you miss out on can be revisited again. You can live your best life with your faculties intact and have the tenacity and courage to attend great events and opportunities in the future. To you the struggle may be real, but maybe table “the struggle” when speaking to someone who is chronically or terminally suffering. You have so many chances to attend a party, event, concert or dinner in your future. In the end you won’t be missing out anything by keeping it to yourself.  Conversely you will be authentic and that in turn makes you the pinnacle of support and admiration.

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