Fear of Missing Out -- The FOMO instinct
Could it be that FOMO is really tribal disconnection?

Ever been proud that you didn’t know what was going on? Been happy that you had no clue about the newest big deal in your community? Pleased that you had no word on the hottest gossip?

For some, the idea of not being on any social network is a matter of personal pride. There’s something to it that suggests that this person is on their own, independently spirited, they’re roving, moving and shaking on their own, offline, off world.

I have friends who are clueless about Linked In, off-line to Facebook — no idea what FourSquare might be, rarely studied YouTube, let alone the community of Behance. Considering the move to an off online world is a relatively big undertaking, shaking loose years of tentacles of being synced into Linked In, Facebook, FourSquare’d — and intentionally now dared to disconnect — as a form of new focus and attentiveness. The issue might come to the truth of relationships — how many real friends, real relationships have you in your community? Is it better to be swaying in a throbbing mass of essentially unknown friends, but part of a crowd, or to take the path of the risk of being a solitary wanderer — alone, and far from the din of the madding crowd and the panic of being disconnected. Or better articulated, perhaps — not being involved. Being involved is — like evolvement, part of the etymology of the volute, the spirit — not being involved means being out of the spiral, off the ripple. Outsider.

The argument might be taken that the power of communication lies in the point of the opening dropped message — and from there, where does it go? If there’s rippling and flow, from where does it flow outwardly to?

To the so-called collective, gathered network solution, “MyLife” offers the following:

Find your cure for FOMO!

Do you suffer from FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out? According to a recent MyLife survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 63% of Americans say they’re afraid of missing news, important events or status updates if they don’t keep an eye fixed on their Facebook feeds or Twitter streams.

In fact, we love social media sooo much that nearly 40% of U.S. adults would rather go to jail for the night, clean the shower drains of a local gym, read War and Peace or do a number of other unpleasant activities than give up their social accounts.

Fear of Missing Out -- The FOMO instinct
40% of Americans would rather lose an hour of sleep each night for a year than give up their social networks.

Do I need to be in a group, do I feel better — being surrounded by people?
Or do I feel better, the solitary, the student of the swirling crowd — whirled out of the whorl, for now?

That question — what feels right to you — being in the comforting crowd of all your online friends, or — perhaps alternatively remote and quiet, distanced from the Mass?

I have my answer.