Journalist Maja Beckers is constantly stressing out because she does not want to miss an evening out with colleagues, or a friend’s party, or the latest movie or play that everyone is talking about. She wonders how to change this.
It happened again just recently. I had bought a great vegetable curry, was curled up on the couch and looking forward to watching a movie. One last quick look on Facebook and then I could safely retreat, I thought. But on Facebook I saw a picture of my sister camping out by a lake, a post from a friend about a movie that was “too good to miss” and a photograph of my friends toasting me with red cocktails from the opening night of an art show. Wow, I thought, my sister is really enjoying herself, and that art show, I would have liked to have gone, too. Suddenly I wasn’t looking forward to my evening at home anymore. I felt restless and had lost my appetite for curry. Wouldn’t it have been better to go out? I was besieged by a feeling I know all too well: the fear of missing out.
Ruining our enjoyment
The fear of missing out, of being absent from an important meeting or event, is hardly new. My parents used to have it, too: They would stay too long at a boring party because they didn’t want to miss anything, or read a book merely for the sake of being able to talk about it. But today, the fear of missing out is having a bigger impact. An international team of psychologists recently discovered that 40 percent of people under the age of 35 suffer from it. Yes, they are doing research on this subject, because the fear of missing out is having a significant effect on our modern way of life.
You can read more about the fear and joy of missing out in Issue 13.
Text Maja Beckers Photography ©Catherine MacBride/Stocksy United