Prune Juice: Case study – FOMO (Fear of missing out)

“You should live everyday like it’s your birthday”-Paris Hilton

(It’s a new year. It’s a new social calendar filled with events to make any socialite jealous, wrought with the pains of FOMO)

1) Don’t drive me around: I’m a radio channel surfer, stopping at RhiRhi on Mai FM for a few seconds before bopping to Ed Sheeran’s something something on ZM looking for a better track. There isn’t, so I’ll switch back to RhiRhi just in case there is something else, land on some good cunt experimental shit on 95Bfm and finally loop all the way up to the usual Bollywood tracks at the end of the frequency (just like the ones my flatmate would blast in the shower).

2) Don’t take me to town: Because I’ll say the whole day I’m not keen, but I’ll show up at pres knowing I have work at 9AM. And it’s partly fuelled by a zest for life, partly something more sinister. Because the minute my flighty ass hits the sticky floor of Bar 101, I’ll leave the dance circle to have a geeze upstairs. But then it’ll feels too straight at Roxy, let’s go to Family. Maccas is still open, might see someone there. No honestly, I’m telling you Taka town is better. Lads, we’re going back to Fergs I need a white shore boy hook up with.

3) Don’t date me: I always get a terrible case of food envy, perpetually wishing I got the spicy chicken salad rather than eggs bene at the bougie overly priced cafe we have our hungover Sunday brunch at. It’s so bad I’ll pretend to not want your food, but the minute you pause to chew I’ll ask, “How’s the chicken?”

Half of everything I do is embodied by an impenetrable sense of FOMO.

And if you were to analyse me, you might say this is typical Virgo behaviour. Typical type A, ENFP, Neptune moon in retrograde over mars rising in the east behaviour.

The desire to document, to be interconnected, to be involved is natural. But this desire morphs into something else, and it takes on the form of week-long benders, even knowing I had the flu, I had work, I had law readings I probably should do. Because I didn’t want to miss out on something. On experience, on living?

I don’t regret stealing road cones with my flatmates, having DMC’s squished on my bed, and that time we climbed onto someone’s boat down at the Viaduct.  Those are stories I’ll remember and be proud of.

But I wish I took time for myself a bit more, without feeling like everyone else is having more fun, being braver, living it up when I scrolled down my Instagram.

I spend far too much time feeling like I’m not doing enough. I’m competitive, I have Asian tiger parents who raised me to constantly push. I’m seeing Chloe Swarbrick on my news feed and I’m wondering what the fuck I’m doing when she’s in parliament. Lorde’s international and dropping albums. I’m tucked in bed spinning some psychoanalytical babble about my insecurities. My fear of missing out on leads my mind to wander on what if’s, networking opportunities if I just…

And maybe my FOMO stems from some deep insecurity of fitting in. Some desire that grew from growing up on the fringes, of being the one Asian kid on my class in primary. I was never part of the blonde white girls that played netball, I didn’t get the jokes and the stories of when she did this with him and omg!!! I got sucked into the social hierarchy of high school, of hearing about the house parties that happened, wishing I was part of them, and feeling that everyone else was living their teenage years more.

Which is honestly bull-shit, and I’ve grown up. Because so much of my FOMO was attributed to a feeling that somehow my experiences were less adequate. Sure, I was a little nerd, but I still got up to shit with my friends. I’m having a grand old time watching Bad Boys 2 with my brother rather than going out. I’m probably having the better time singing shitty karaoke songs with a few drunk friends, knowing the rest of them are still in line at 1885. I’m enjoying the moment, the time and energy I have with the people right then and there, without wondering if it’s better placed somewhere else.

The grass is always greener on the other side yadda yadda- Fuck that.

And it’s probably something you grow out of because I’m entering this year tired and I like I don’t give a fuck anymore. I’ve turned into a granny, a home girl, happy to do shit all at night and watch my friend’s drunken snap chat stories and holiday posts without the pang in my heart. Genuinely happy they are having a good time, rather than gripped by FOMO.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited to go out to have a banger of a time but it’s just coming from a place of genuine interest rather than for the sake of being there. Was I mad I missed out on RnV this year because my manager pulled seniority and someone had to cover those shifts…sure! But I got over myself faster than my teenage self ever would have. Honestly, tell me who’s tent you drunk peed on, I’m not rocking in pain from FOMO.

So, to all those starting the new academic year, getting into the swing of things, keep being brave and taking risks. But don’t let how well other people’s illusions and means of spinning a shinier life affect the motivations behind your experiences and listening to your impulses.

Not enough FOMO? Go follow @bysherryz on insta, for low-quality content so we can keep it that way.