I’m sure you’ve heard this acronymn thrown around social media or in casual conversations. Orrrr maybe you’re still curious what this funky term means.
Here’s a cute lil graphic to set our minds at ease…
FOMO stands for “the fear of missing out.” Although it’s a relatively new phrase for our world, it’s not a new issue that we struggle with. FOMO is one of the many “social curses” that has struck our society. If you struggle with this curse, you may relate to some of these feelings…
- You hate not being able to go to your friend’s event.
- You can’t stop obsessing over why you weren’t invited to so-and-so’s party.
- You feel jealous or mad that you’re not at a certain event and others are.
- You feel sad seeing other people post on social media about places that you AREN’T at.
- You push yourself to do things that you don’t want to do or are uncomfortable just because you don’t want to miss out.
Can you relate?
If I’m being completely honest, I have felt every one of those emotions and MORE. The fear of missing out is real, friends.
The reason I wanted to write this blog post is because I have felt all of these feelings. Ever since I started blogging, my phone has become an even bigger part of my life than I’d like to admit. Instagram is constantly open and there is always new content being published, just waiting for me to double tap and comment. Because I’m so heavily invested in this world, I am so afraid of missing something if I’m not on my phone.
So all of this makes me wonder…
What really is FOMO and why do we have it?
Let’s think of it this way: The fear of missing out is essentially the fear of people. Right? When we’re afraid of missing out on something, aren’t we afraid of what people might think of us? Aren’t we afraid of how people may perceive us or how our images may be tainted?
Isn’t it a problem of faulty perspective — placing the emphasis on people, instead of God?
Aren’t we elevating people instead of elevating GOD?
The fear of missing out places human value over God. Instead of focusing on what God says about us or how He sees us, FOMO makes us people-consumed. It makes people the idols of our hearts, instead of putting God on the throne of our hearts. When we experience FOMO, we are so caught up in what other people think of us and we become fearful of their perceptions of us.
The fear of missing out makes God small and people big, way bigger than they should. It bumps people to #1 and God to #2. Instead of our minds being completely saturated with Him, our minds are completely saturated with an unhealthy perspective of people. This leads us to believe that what people think of us is more important than what God thinks of us.
But as Christians, we are called higher. We are called to set our minds on Someone bigger. We are called to fear God in a loving way and NOT humans in a pathetic way. We are called to switch our perspective and put Jesus back on top. Yes, people are so precious, heck– Jesus died for the world because He loves people so much! But who should we fear?
Jesus is the One who died on the cross so we could live new lives, not the boy in your class or any “social media influencer.” Jesus is the One who deserves the glory — He should always be elevated over all. Elevating Jesus means giving your attention and your adoration to Him — and not worrying what “you’re missing out on.”
If you struggle with FOMO, I’d love to encourage you. You’re not alone. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that what you’re walking through isn’t new. Everyone deals with FOMO. But we do have a choice…
Will we elevate people, or will we elevate the Lord?
I wanted to keep it fairly simple today, so I’d like to close with a few practical applications and verses for you. If you struggle with FOMO, peer pressure, or the fear of other people, here are a few practical truths you can hold onto right now.
- Listen to God. His Words are the only ones that matter. (Hebrews 12:2)
- God knows that we’re distracted people — distracted by what people think of us and by fear. To fight against that, He reminds us to set our eyes and attention on Him. When we are so wrapped up in His presence and promises, we won’t have room for fear. We will not have room to fear people, peer pressure or feel like we are “missing out.” Read your Bible. Pray. Listen to worship music. Talk to uplifting friends. Fill your every moment with Him and fix your eyes.
- Decide who you will live for and why. (Galatians 1:10)
- A servant of Christ, a disciple of Christ, does not serve or fear people. They serve and fear God. Fearing God isn’t being afraid or scared of Him — it means devoting and admiring Him. I know it’s hard not to worry about what people think of us, or obsess over our image. But what Paul is saying in this verse is that if we want to live for Jesus, we can’t live for people. We can’t desire their approval, because ultimately, it will never measure up or truly satisfy like the approval of God.
- Don’t feed your temptations. (Matthew 18:9)
- Okay this is kind of extreme, but bear with me. Jesus was telling His disciples that if there are things in their lives that tempt them, to throw them away. Get rid of it. Take a step back. Evaluate. If social media gives you FOMO feelings, delete the apps for awhile. Take a break or throw it out all together. If there is something in your life that is making you fear people instead of love Jesus wholeheartedly, get rid of it. Don’t keep fueling something that is hurting you.
- God has something better for you than what you think you’re “missing out on.”
- God’s plan for your life is different than others — why? Because you’re different! There is no mold or limit to what God can do with your life. There may be things that you think you’re “missing out on”… but you have to ask yourself why you think that. Just because one person is doing a certain thing, does not mean you’re missing out on it. Maybe God just has something different for you. Don’t minimize God’s power to what other people are doing–you are unique and so is your story.
You may feel like you’re missing out on SOOOO much… but my friend, if you trust Jesus, everything is yours (1 Corinthians 3:21-22) and Jesus has given you every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
So called “treasures” on this earth will spoil and fade, but the best treasures are stored up in heaven for you. You’re not missing out because sometimes, these things on earth aren’t worth obsessing over.
So let’s leave behind every feeling of FOMO, and do exactly what Paul says in Philippians 3:14, “Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”
Who’s ready to break up with FOMO?! Are you with me?