March 25, 2013 | 02:40 pm
Posted by Former WECC Minister Rev. Michael Bos

Do you have FOMO?

Take this short quiz to discover whether or not you’re suffering from the FOMO epidemic:

  • If someone calls while you are on the phone, do you take the other call?
  • When you receive an email or text notification on your phone, do you instantly read it?
  • While working, do you constantly check your email?
  • Are you perusing Facebook throughout the day?
  • As a general rule, do you know what’s trending on Twitter?

If you’ve answered “yes” to four or more of these questions, you probably have FOMO. FOMO is the “fear of missing out.” Today, most adolescents are suffering from it, and it’s spreading to other generations quite quickly.

Barely a waking minute goes by when we are not tethered to technology to make sure a comment, photo, or bit of news is not missed. Psychologists say this is driven by the fear that we may miss something that is more exciting than what we’re currently doing.

Commenting on this trend, in Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkle asks, “When is downtime, when is stillness? The text-driven world of rapid response does not make self-reflection impossible but does little to cultivate it.”

Holy Week is about self-reflection, but the growing epidemic of FOMO is crowding out space for any soul-searching. Without it, we live the same day over and over rather than learning, growing, and changing so we can live in new ways. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34). Today Jesus would probably say, “Do not worry about the text message, for the text message will worry about itself.” This week, why not “power down” and make space for some spiritual self-reflection.