Fear of Being Included

Dave Balter
Jul 25, 2016 · 2 min read

After having the app on my phone for about 2 years, I recently started snapchatting regularly.

Screw FOMO.

The reason I resisted was FOBI: the Fear of Being Included.

Up until this point, I generally ignored inbound snaps, and toyed around lightly with “add a funny face” feature, mainly because it kept my kids busy for a good 30 minutes at a whack.

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As Snapchat rose in popularity, I was often ridiculed for not using it, and more importantly, for not knowing how to use it. Heavy snapchatters would chide me about the stupidity of regular texting or how Facebook was basically a social network for old people.

Friends would send me snaps which I largely ignored (sorry Michael Troiano, Brent Grinna, Dan Pratt).

After spending the better part of my waking moments attached to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and — back in the day — MySpace and Foursquare and countless other social concepts, the last thing I wanted to do was find yet another concept to suck up what little free time we had left. Snapchat was the “next thing” and yet here I was hoping I wouldn’t get invited, snapped-at, or be asked about. I wanted to hermit up in a cave with good ol’ Facebook and just ride it out.


Don’t kid yourself, Being Included is akin to starting a new job. There’s learning the toolset; there’s transitioning certain behaviors off of other platforms onto the new one; there’s making stupid mistakes and only hearing about it when someone is guffawing at your sheer idiocy at a party.

Yesterday, a friend of mine was telling me about their co-worker who sent their first snap, which happened to be in a restaurant, while eating a meal. The sound was too loud. The video was horribly shot. There was nothing cool about it.

“What a tool”, she said, chuckling.

He would have been better off missing out.

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*shout out to Beth for using the term FOBI first


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