Fear of Missing Out?

During our recent African Adventure, I came across a number of Millennials and experienced first hand how different they are from me as a Baby Boomer!  Yes, I know not all Millennials are the same, just as all Baby Boomers are different.  But there were definitely some generational gaps I noticed.

It is said that Millennials largely live for today because they hold a deep “fear of missing out” on life experiences by saving money for a future that many not come. The term has even been reduced to FOMO.

The Millennials we met on tour took 2-3 trips a year of the kind I called our once-in-a-lifetime trip. They even talked about their fear of missing out on life experiences and needing to live like there is no tomorrow. They had their next adventure already being discussed and planned while this one was not even over.

It also amazed me how they moaned about not being connected. As soon as we got to a space that had WiFi they were immediately on their phones, heads down, no conversation with those who were physically with them. To them, (old) virtual connections were more important than (new) physical connections. I guess the FOMO was linked to making sure they were up to speed on things back home.   Hubby and I ended up interacting mostly with the (other) 50-70 year olds and met some amazing, inspiring people!

My Baby Boomer delayed gratification behavior conflicted strongly with this FOMO, do-everything-now mind-set.  I realized I like having lots of possibilities on my possibility list – probably more possibilities than I’ll ever get to! It gives me reasons to look towards the future.  I wonder how these younger folks will continue to find things to look forward to, when they’ve done it all by the time they are 50.

Are you happy with a long list of possibilities that might never all be realized (without regret)?  Or, do you have a fear of missing out?


Picture Credit: Tim Doyle, Kenya 2017