Fear of missing out. Or FOMO.
That's what they call it. And actually, it's a condition I have had for some time, but I am just now coming around to having an actual diagnosis.
Here's the thing. I don't have an "real" job, right? I have my whole "stay at home mom" thing, which kind of just means I do all the things and it's not real concrete. Some days it's laundry & cooking, other days it's class parties and scheduling naps. Some days it's yardwork and mopping, other days it's doctor appointments and wiping bottoms.
So without meaning to, I took on a job. It's important. It requires constant supervision, and I can't slack for even a couple of hours or I will get behind and never.catch.up.
I've become a checker.
Well, maybe that's not what I should call it. I'm not like a checker at Walmart who scans your things and gives you a receipt. I'm an internet-checker... Only I'm not a tech person.
Okay, I'll just tell you. This job I'm doing, it's Instagram/Facebook-checker, and I don't remember signing on the dotted line, but I will tell you, I have been doing this job with fervor for probably four years now. (I started with Facebook, and Instagram joined the fray later... but I digress.)
My syndrome (FOMO) caused me to take on this ceaseless, thankless job, and I've been working tirelessly at it ever since.
After participating in Screen Free Week two weeks ago, going (mostly) Screen-Free, I discovered that I feel like I can't just "check into" Facebook or Instagram randomly, I must continue to scroll back until I hit the point where I last logged on, lest I miss (!!!) anything vital (!!!) like who had coffee that morning (!!!) or who read a good book (!!!) and this desire for perfection, while good at a real job, is not good at my fake "checker" job because, like I said, I have actual responsibilities (called all.the.children, and.the.house, and.the.cats, and.the.husband) and my checker job is impeding on my ability to that real job well.
Each day as I continued to not check Facebook (I deleted it off my phone and stayed off my computer!) and Instagram (also deleted off my phone for the week) I realized that most of the people I wanted to "check in with" were not people who are a) in my life or b) know that I exist. How weird is that?!? I am DYING to know what these people are doing when I don't even have a relationship with them at all.
I want to actually live. To smell and see and hear and taste and touch the life all around me. I don't want to be moving too fast to enjoy it (I am so over being "busy") but I also don't want to be so distracted that I don't really notice life as it's passing me by.
And so, if you follow me, or I follow you on Facebook or Instagram, please know that my lack of posts, comments or likes is simply because I am busy living. Raising these kids, setting some goals & reading some books. You know, the good stuff!