FOMO for intellectuals

Reading an article recently on FOMO (fear-of-missing-out), and it’s impact on twitter- and facebook-addicted teens and 20-somethings, some might be inclined to feel smug – preferring to take nourishment from more elevated sources.

But wait – didn’t I miss that TED talk someone posted? What about Matt Ridley or Simon Singh’s latest book on the Kindle, or the pile of charity-shop finds from the ‘science and medicine’ section? (which, amusingly, often place Dawkins shoulder-to-shoulder with Deepak Chopra). Have I missed that humanist lecture I wanted to go to? And when will I have time for the Klee?

FOMO in the MedComms industry is doubtless also rife, with everyone having been to Communique, read PMlive, or been to ECCO except you…

FOMO is natural in any milieu, surely, both personally and professionally. Is it getting worse? Intellectual FOMO is also exacerbated by the internet, from friends’ facebook posts and plugs to emails and tweets promising a smorgasbord of mental stimulation. Not being able to catch it all, a useful rule of thumb is to turn to something better when tempted to crash in front of mindless videos, waste time reading dreck, or spend ages on facebook or twitter. But then, like that of an anxious adolescent constantly checking the phone for crumbs of approval, when does the mind ever get to let go of FOMO?


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