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Annie Stamell Headshot

FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out

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I'd like to alert everyone to a new epidemic sweeping the nation. No, I'm not talking about bed bugs or birds falling from the sky or the increase of wannabe Justin Bieber-hairdos on middle-aged male athletes and I'm certainly not referring to all the preteens who are snorting crushed Altoids.

I'm talking about FOMO.

FOMO, (clinical definition: Fear Of Missing Out) is running rampant in the streets of this fine nation. From the overcrowded hallways of middle schools in Kansas to the minimalist lobbies of chic Hollywood talent agencies -- FOMO is destroying the good judgment of many of our country's finest.

That creepy 12-year-old girl with the pigtails who showed up to your step-daughter's Bat Mitzvah uninvited? FOMO. The C-level executive pacing in front of another C-level executive's mahogany-lined office suite, ready to pounce at the close of every meeting with suspicious looking foreigners in expensive suits? FOMO (also: maybe racist). That Asian dude on Community who like, hangs out on top of bookshelves in the study room because he wants to join the study group? Big time FOMO. Everyone on Facebook who's Facebook-stalking? FOMO, FOMO, more FOMO. Natalie Portman in Black Swan? FOMO (among other things). That time I was in New York and all my friends in LA went to Little Tokyo and ate giant bowls of noodles without me and then told me about it and I cried a little bit on the inside for a few weeks/years? FOMO.

FOMO is everywhere. You've got it, your mom has it, your boss has it, your friends have it. Symptoms include jaw clenching, compulsive sweating, excessive text-messaging, the inability to remove your smartphone from your hand, showing up at places uninvited, high-pitched questioning, stalking, fear of the internet, buying a shirt that declares Jesus as your homeboy, watching Glee, driving a Prius, brushing your teeth, marrying into the Kardashian family, Twittering when you're on the can.

FOMO is, simply put, the worst. But you can, and you will conquer FOMO. Here are some suggestions how:

Invite everyone you know to everything. Ever.

Do not marry into the Kardashian family.

Use FOMO as a persuasive form of manipulation to coerce reluctant people into doing things.

Embrace Neo-Luddism.

Alienate everyone you know and like so you never have to deal with other people.

Get over it.

Now, get out there and fight that FOMO! Fight it like the wind! You show that FOMO who's boss! Just get all up in that FOMO. And, I don't know, maybe invite me to come along? Yeah! Okay so you're going to invite me? I can come, right? Right? Right?

Right?