Keeping Up with the City

How one student avoids FOMO

by Orlando Mendiola

New York is a mecca of events and every hour of everyday it seems something special is going on. For goodness sake, it is the city that never sleeps. A star could have a pop up concert and with one tweet can get thousands of people to show up at a venue that can only hold a few hundred within minutes (@Kanye). A cultural festival could be going on a street ahead on your way to work, a movie actress could be sitting next you eating a bagel. Unpredictability is what makes the city.

But what happens when people miss out on these events? Does what you see on Snapchat or Instagram trigger a sort of unease that you might be missing out on something fun or important? How do the people experiencing these events stay in the loop?

Fear of Missing Out or FOMO as defined by Merriam-Webster: Dictionary and Thesaurus is an “fear of not being included in something (such as an interesting or enjoyable activity) that others are experiencing.” These kinds of posts can be celeb sightings or announcements or even a party that your friend was at that you didn’t go to.

“I don’t want to live in regret,” Lang sophomore Fidel Flores said. “My mantra is ‘you only live once’ like honestly that is what I live by. I don’t think it is just like the fear of missing out its also just taking advantage of the moment because I don’t feel like it will ever come again. Is that considered FOMO? I think that’s a really good way to put it like fear of missing out on something that only comes around once in a lifetime.”

Flores has attended over 12 concerts this semester. From Beyoncé to Sia to the sold out Jingle Ball festival this past weekend which included artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Flores always seems to know what events are happening around the city.

“I just seek out the information myself,” Flores said. “I don’t have push notifications on or anything so I find out cause celebrities are always posting like ‘oh hey I’m gonna be here like oh I’m having this concert and I think I’ve gotten really lucky and I’ve met some amazing people going solo to concerts like my friend got me a ticket to Jingle Ball when it’s been sold out for two months like she fuckin made it happen and I was so fuckin excited and happy.”

Flores says he checks his phone multiple times a day to avoid FOMO with his favorite celebs like Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, and Ryan Seacrest.

“Whether it be Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it I have everybody on there,” Flores said.

He even experienced every pop culture fans dream: running into a star just walking down the street.

“I ran into Chrissy Teigen when I was on my way home one night. I saw right before on her snap (Snapchat) that she was on Second Avenue,” Flores said. “As I was walking I look up from my phone and inside this liquor store was Ms. Teigan and I think she was with her assistants or whatever. I was like ‘Ms. Teigan do you mind if we get a picture and she was like ‘oh no darling of course not’ and then she sneaked up behind me and she was like ‘wait I need to get behind you because it makes me look skinnier.’”

She later liked Flores’ photo on Instagram and it became his most favorited photo on his account with over 500 likes. Though he has managed to go a lot of events and meet celebs. Flores says his priorities aren’t just keeping up with New York living.

“I can’t accommodate my life style around a celebrity like that’s impossible,” Flores said. “I mean there are people who literally fucking do that. Like that’s just not me. I’m a big fan of theirs but I would like never stand outside of Rihannas apartment or stay up until 2 in morning waiting for Kim Kardashian West to come out of Kanyes’ apartment. If the timing is right and I can make it happen and take advantage of the moment then I’ll do it.”

Originally from California, Flores says his posts on social media does garner attention and brings out the FOMO from people back home like in his sister.

“She [sister] does get jealous of me and she says she wishes she could attend all the events I go to with me,” Flores said.

Though FOMO is mostly associated as a negative side of social media for example according to a TIME article from July that says FOMO “originates in unhappiness, Flores says he doesn’t feel unhappy when looking at his friends social media. He also uses social media tools as a way to stay connected to his family to avoid the FOMO feeling from gatherings back home.

“For family I wouldn’t say its fear of being left out I’m know I’m being left out cause I’m not physically in Cali but every time there’s something going on they still FaceTime me when they’re there,” Flores said. “I see everybody and everything just as if I was there but through a virtual computer screen. But I think it is essential for me to growing up as a person and living a new chapter in New York.”

Flores says his need to go to events and stay connected is part of his New York lifestyle. He wants to grab every opportunity that comes his way and enjoy all that New York has to offer.

“I want to take advantage of the moment,” Flores said. “I want to see my favorites and make memories even if it’s by myself so I just go and enjoy the moment.”

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