FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and Gratitude

I love this short reflection on the tensions between our fear of missing out and that exquisite blending of awe and humility known as gratitude.


The question is one of satiation: when will we be satisfied? Or, as Colin suggests, is it a feature of human life to never be satisfied—to always be seeking more?

Some might argue that such insatiable thirst is what kingdoms and civilizations are built upon. But it seems such a view overlooks the goods that come from reaching a point of awe, and thus satisfaction, with the life we have. It seems that FOMO, especially in this world of limitless possibilities, could become overwhelming—could even drive us insane. We’re not just confronted with a tree, but rather with an endless forest of possibilities, offered to us by a globalized age. And it seems we will never see the beauty of one tree for the magnitude of the forest, if we are determined to experience all and forsake our sliver.

Thus, it isn’t a matter of forsaking more altogether—but rather, knowing when to stop and savor the moments, friends, family, things we’ve been given. It’s about knowing when the bouquet of beauty and goodness that we’ve collected is enough to drink in and savor, without pulling the flowers from the earth without end. Jacobs suggests that when we reach that moment, rather than merely keeping it to ourselves, we will be empowered to reach out and bestow its beauty on those around us. Awe—humility and gratitude, inspired by what we’ve been given—propels us outward. It gives us the ability to say “enough” to ourselves, and “more” to those around us.

Read the entire article here.