Do You Have Digital FOMO?

Debbie Burgin
Nov 14, 2017 · 3 min read
I have digital FOMO

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. Mostly hate, right now.

I’m overwhelmed. To the point where I feel almost depressed. So much information coming at me at once, and I’m not the type who’s overly social, but Digital FOMO (FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out) is a real thing.

Before I go to sleep at night, the last thing I do is scroll through Instagram for like, an hour, then I take a peek at Pinterest. I might log into Facebook for a few minutes (but not usually, because of all the platforms, Facebook feels to me like the biggest waste of time), then last but not least, Twitter, for more wasted time, taking in information that I have absolutely no fucking use for. Then it’s time for bed. Or should I say…sleep. Which by the way, doesn’t come easy after all the time spend with that stupid phone light in my face. I’m a blogger, so these platforms are a part of my work, but if I was at a ‘regular’ day job, there’s no way that I’d be ‘working’ all the way into bed.

I have Digital FOMO. I need a vacation from technology. And I know that I’m not alone in this realization, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.

What’s happened to our society, when the last thing we do at night, is check out what everyone else is doing online?

Why does it matter?

Why do we need to look at some stranger’s Bora Bora vacation pictures? Why do we, instead of talk to one another at the dinner table, stare into these 3.5” screens, containing what? Someone else’s business, and nine times out of ten, that ‘someone’ is a person that we don’t even know!

Even when I try to put the damn phone away at night, it calls to me. Shortly after putting it on my night table (which I shouldn’t do, it should be out of the room, I know this), I always end up picking the damn thing up another, two…maybe three times. Why? Forgot to check my email…someone texted me…who knows?

You wouldn’t think that being so connected to everyone on the planet, could make you feel so alone, but it does. With all of this technology, I feel completely alone.

About 6 months ago, I was at a coffee shop with my daughter, and there was a man sitting at a table with his coffee. He was reading a book. I mean, an actual book, made of paper and real ink! He wasn’t sitting at his table alone, staring into his phone (which he could have been reading the book on). I looked at him, and I thought, “now that’s hot”. This man became instantly attractive for the simple sake of the fact that he was reading something that no one seems to read in public anymore; a real life book!

Everything is instant now. No one wants to wait for anything, thanks to digital delivery. Even actual things can be had overnight! Amazon has next day delivery on things that used to take “10 business days”!

When I’m not doing something blog related on my laptop or my phone, I’m playing a stupid game on my phone. I know many who do the same. Another way to keep this thing glued to the palms of our hands (Words with Friends is my latest obsession).

People on a crowded sidewalk are paying much more attention to whatever the hell is on their phone, than oncoming traffic!

I’ve gotta quit cold turkey. With the exception of blog posts (which I need to write), I have to escape. As a society, we need to escape.

The other day, my phone started doing something that it never did before. The app icons started flickering, almost like it was typing some kind of morse code, and underneath each one in turn, was the word “cleaning”. My first thought was “cleaning? Yeah…right.”

Technology is getting to us. Social media is making us less social, and in a world where we’re more connected, we’re becoming more distant from each other. And that can’t lead to anything good.

Debbie Burgin

Written by

Serial Blogger at Nice Things Media.