Day 12 – FOMO

On FOMO

Depending on what kind of drinker you are, you might feel a particular sense of discomfort during your Sober Sprint / MOB about missing out on experiences that everyone else is having.  

Fear of Missing Out (or FOMO) is a new expression (although not a new phenomenon) for the feeling of anxiety “that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere.” FOMO is more of a problem now that social media allows us to peer into each other’s (carefully curated and therefore apparently fascinating and glamorous) lives and see what our friends are up to, their plates of food, their filtered selfies, heart-shaped foam art on their flat whites, etc.

Although we might not feel genuine anxiety when we find out people are having fun without us, we might still worry that we are missing out because we’re not drinking, and could experience some discomfort when that happens. That discomfort could make it harder to resist a drink at a social event, or decide to avoid that social event all-together.  

One way you can handle that feeling is to reframe missing out on certain activities as a positive thing. Anil Dash described the satisfaction of doing things on his own terms as the Joy of Missing Out, or JOMO.

  • By saying ‘yes’ to a month off booze, you are living life on your terms, and your decisions and choices are not dictated by what everyone else is doing.
  • You can have anything you want, but not everything. By saying ‘yes’ to a month off booze, you are definitely saying ‘no’ to some things, and you might actually miss out on some genuinely fun events. So;
  • Accept that there are and will be things that you will miss out on, but that is because you are working on an important project right now – your Sober Sprint / MOB.

Learning to tolerate discomfort by thinking more logically about what you are gaining, rather than losing, and accepting that although you might not like the feeling, it’s only temporary and it definitely won’t kill you, will help you have a successful Sober Sprint / MOB. In the grand scheme of things, a month is very little time.

For more FOMO talk, watch this video.

Your actions for today

  • Do you ever experience FOMO? Whether related to alcohol, nights out, buying new things, other people’s lifestyles…?
  • Has seeing what people are doing on social media helped or hindered your Sober Sprint / MOB?
  • Visit the private Club Soda Facebook group and tell us your thoughts on FOMO.  

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