Do you ever get the urge to hop onto a bandwagon even though you know you’ve already missed the team’s first Superbowl win?
Me neither — I’ve been a Seahawks fan since before Beast Mode — but I do often like to hop on trends seconds before they get thrown on the discount rack. For example, just the other day I decided I wanted a tattoo of the constellation of my astrological sign before being instructed star sign tattoos were something that were supposed to go out with 2014.
So, as a form of acceptance and in keeping with my tradition of delayed trendy-ness, I’ve decided to finally address an issue that has been plaguing my generation for months now — and it all begins with a bible story.
Once upon a time in the land of Eden — otherwise known as probably Iraq —there lived a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. God gave them free will and the ability to do whatever they wanted but told them they shouldn’t actually do all that stuff. One day, a snake uncoiled from the branch of a tree and told them they were missing out. Adam and Eve checked their Twitter feeds and realized they were, indeed, missing out — on a lot. So Eve took a selfie in their garden and posted it to Instagram where it was promptly removed for being too revealing.
“What are we going to do?” they cried out in despair, recognizing the number of followers they’d be losing if they didn’t cover up soon. So they entwined fig leaves and made bikinis and headed for the exit of the garden. Eve posted one final picture of the garden and captioned it “our view before the big adventure — heading out of the gate today, because #FOMO,” and thus, Fear Of Missing Out was born.
I told you I’m behind the times on these things, but I mean really, once you’re thousands of years late, a couple of months is just peanuts anyway.
As you can now see from the bible story I just recited to you, word for word from the King James Version, the idea of being left behind, of not getting to experience something incredible, of missing out, isn’t new — but it was made real to me last week when Jimmy Fallon experienced it on national television.
In case you haven’t seen or heard the clip, you must immediately do so. Fallon has Nicole Kidman on his show and she proceeds to tell him how the last time they met she had a crush on him and he was completely clueless. She thought maybe he was gay because he sat playing video games while she made lustful eyes at him. Fallon turns beet red hearing Kidman tell the story and screams into his hands “I could have married Nicole Kidman?!”
This clip — which is even more adorable than those videos of puppies that can’t stand up — made me think about FOMO differently. Sure, we are bombarded with news and pictures and statuses constantly that inform us other people are out doing things while we’re on the couch, but is the anticipation of potentially missing something really what we’re struggling with?
This is when we have to return to our bible study, folks.
It wasn’t that Adam and Eve felt terrible because they were missing clothes, they felt terrible because they knew they were naked.
It wasn’t that Jimmy Fallon felt ridiculous playing video games in front of Nicole Kidman because he was missing his opportunity to be with her, he feels ridiculous now because he knows he missed the opportunity to be with her.
Is what we’re developing really a fear of missing out, or is it a fear of knowing we missed out? Maybe the solution isn’t to follow in Eve’s footsteps and eat the fruit/see the movie/ attend the party/ buy the pastel hair dye — maybe the solution is to block Eve on Instagram.
— Andria Parker is a 20-something blogger from Kamloops