Are you a FOMO? For the uninitiated, FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. You know the people I am talking about—the ones you greet at a party and their eyes immediately dart beyond you. After initial pleasantries, you can tell that instead of really paying attention to what you are saying, they already are listening to the conversation going on behind them.
I am a recovering FOMO. The first step to recovery is to admit your addiction to participating in everything around you. The second step is to realize that FOMO activity is just plain rude. I'm not alone. I think there are a lot of folks in our industry who are closet FOMOs. Here's a checklist to determine your FOMO factor.
- When you greet someone at a reception, do you look them in the eye or do your eyes go to the most important person in the room?
- Instead of mingling in the crowd, do you stand at the far side of the room (or worse yet, at the bar) so you have a “big room” view of the activity?
- Do you surreptitiously check your iPhone messages while actually talking to a colleague, your kid's teacher, or your best friend?
- When you hear a more interesting conversation coming from another part of the room, do you politely excuse yourself, or do you keep nodding at the poor person you're currently talking to?
- Do you keep the door to your office open only so that you can hear what the other employees are saying?
- Do you really use those Facebook and Twitter accounts to their full advantage? Or, does it just make you feel good to appear to be connected.
If you answered “yes” to more than two of these, you are in trouble. I suggest starting a FOMO support group in your office to reverse this slippery slide to solipsism. Just think of all you could be missing out on.
Helen Vollmer, founder/CEO of Vollmer PR