I used to think it was awful to be in bed during the day. But I’ve recently decided that beds are comfortable and should be enjoyed while conscious, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in mine. Not sleeping, just laying there silently, under or over the covers, in a kind of fugue state. It’s peaceful.
I'm highly suspicious of any one having a good time right now.
FOMO has been hitting me hard lately. So many people I know, whether they live in different US states or not, are gallivanting around town (this is how I narrate it in my mind, I always use the word gallivanting for some reason) doing whatever they please, and it HURTS. I've had to mute many, many people on IG because their constant flow of Stories out at restaurants, taking mini weekend trips, traveling around the US, etc. was wearing on me. I should also just spend less time on IG, but it's difficult.
My now-husband and I also had to completely change our wedding plans back in May, and we ended up getting married outside with only his parents and siblings in attendance, at a distance. We didn't even hug them. My parents couldn't join us (they live 10 hours away and I was too scared to let them come). It was a tougher time because we knew less about COVID back in May – we were perhaps overly cautious. But now when I see friends (and IG strangers too) insisting on keeping their wedding plans exactly as they had initially envisioned them in the before times, I am honestly filled with quiet rage. Why do they think they're more special than everyone else? How can they have bachelorette parties, bar hopping? Groups of 30, 50, 80 at weddings? Tables of people who are definitely, absolutely not bubbled together? Dance floors? After the rage, I am consumed by sadness, confusion, and disappointment. And feel lost. It's FOMO with a very particular sting.
Thank you for bringing up FOMO! It is so timely for me, as it feels like the upcoming transition to Fall has brought it back. It's like another season of life that I won't be living. Memories not made, experiences not hand, bonds not strengthened. Seeing everyone dining out, drinking on rooftops and going on totally normal vacations makes me feel like I'm choosing to miss out, which adds a layer of guilt to everything else.
Is it fomo if it's not me vs. other individuals fun plans but instead me vs. other countries' quarantine and testing practices? Like some kind of sick meta-globalist fomo? (Sort of related actual thing I said to my bf: "You are the love of my life and I'm so glad we found each other, but it's kind of a bummer neither of us has dual-citizenship")
Less FOMO and more “wtf are you doing? stay home!!”...but I get it. I often wonder if I’m being too strict and anxious when I see people traveling, having and attending weddings, hanging out, etc. when my limits are still only shopping for necessities, takeout, and maybe an outdoor, distanced/masked hang, otherwise I am at home. I get that everyone has different comfort levels but I’m finding it quite difficult and stressful to watch. Definitely considering deleting socials for this reason. (Now that I’m writing this, I’m recognizing that maybe I am feeling a sort of FOMO? Lol. I don’t know. I’m more just upset over the carelessness. I want to be doing things but NOT during a pandemic! No!) Oof, such a time.
"Lukewarm swimming pool" is exactly what right now feels like. I get so frustrated seeing people out and about doing things I haven't done in months, or doing things I can't imagine doing (like going on vacations). Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind, like maybe I'm the crazy one for staying in and not doing anything unnecessary because so many people seem to just be "moving on." But my 93 year old grandma lives nearby, as does my cancer survivor mother and I refuse to put them at risk. It's not really FOMO for me, it's more like a deep longing to be less anxious (even though my anxiety is rooted in, I don't know, actually caring about the well being of others which seems like something people have just abandoned now that they're bored??) but reading this newsletter and these comments makes me feel less alone and less like a crazy person holed up in my house. The US also feels deeply depressing right now. It's like I'm having FOMO for other countries that were able to get their shit together, and seeing people I know just act like nothing is happening is infuriating.
Hell yeah, FOMO is back. I've been thinking about it a lot, as my partner and I continue to witness our neighbors hosting weekly parties, and seeing friends and relatives appearing to just carry on with social activities as though we aren't still under this great, looming cloud of death and despair. Two such people got COVID, recovered, and then watched their toddler almost die from the virus- and yet the Instagrams of their daily jaunts to the antique store and hanging out with other families continue, which feels either entirely guileless but still rude, or just utterly selfishly un-self-aware.
While I'm grateful to still be working from home, it is with a heavy pour of consternation that my boss implies I'm being foolish for not wanting to return to the office. I do regularly think, "am I just dumb or wrong? Is this self delusion?" If FOMO is the feeling of petty but significant betrayal and the wistful longing for affirmation, then that's what I've got.
I wouldn't say my fomo has returned in a traditional sense, but I've found myself spend a lot of time thinking about things I missed out on before the pandemic started, like somehow it was my fault I didn't cram in enough memories. This has also been coming up for the future - I am already miserable thinking about how "behind" I am in my professional/personal life because of this period of time that I'm pretty much losing.
My FOMO seems to highly depend on the location. I live in Oakland and have barely been outside for a month because the smoky air really affects me—nausea, headaches, sneezing, itching. I get FOMO about the blue skies in the photos of my friends not on the West Coast. I had hella FOMO seeing my friend in France doing regular things while our country is a literal trash fire. When my California friends are out my thought is still always "wtf is wrong with you?"
Literally just wrote about how I missed that period in April when everyone seemed to be going through it together so it didn't feel as bad. Now everyone's treating COVID like a girl treats the last 2 days of their period smh
Wow thank you for sharing Haley. What you wrote described so much of what I've been feeling for a few weeks now and I'm glad to see I am not alone.
FOMO returned for me about a month ago, and about the only thing I "like"/"liked" about quarantine was that that feeling of "we're all in this together" which in my area which lasted til the state re-opened in June (good ol' GA). During quarantine I've realized I have intense FOMO already, and really no friends in my city (which pre and during quarantine I've been working on) and now in this period of quarantine where people are podding up (or not), the coupling of realizing I have no one who I could even pod up with and that people are just moving on and doing things has me feeling super isolated. When I see a social gathering now, especially if it's neighbors/acquaintances, I get intense feelings of "that isn't a good idea" but also "wow even if I thought that was a good idea I could never do this because I don't know that many people and wow I wish I had a group of friends for when this all over that I could even hang out with."
I have such severe FOMO - but mostly because I my anxiety has gotten so much worse in leaving my home at all. I can barely sit at the park without having a crisis. This has made me feel really bad about making plans. What’s worse is that my girlfriend does not have an anxiety disorder and would love to see her friends but has to spend all of her time worrying about me being ok. There’s also this sense of doom that I need to do as many things as possible now before the second wave - if I let myself think about this too much I self destruct. Also my body has most definitely atrophied. I cannot get up the stairs anymore and it FRIGHTENS me.
Perhaps not actually related to the kind of FOMO you're describing, but hello from the great burning state of Oregon, this newsletter gave me FOMO. FOMO is back in that you described the innocuous act of going on a walk, and it sent me into tears. Anne Helen Petersen described on Twitter recently that she felt like people outside of the west don't really get the full extent of the breakdown that many westerners are having--of this, I am not accusing you of! If anything, your kindness and empathy in a world that I think so often demands cynicism is always such a bright spot in my inbox every Sunday. But it amazed me how even /this/ has made me jealous/wistful/nostalgic. I think about all the people who talk about feeling nostalgic for, like, idk vitamin shopping, and how I've mentally accused them of being melodramatic, and now here I am, awake at 6:15 AM because I went to sleep at 8:30 in a full depressive state wishing I could go on a dissociative walk. It is amazing as things get worse and worse, what I feel like I'm missing out on.
Fomo is definitely back. But in the before times for me Fomo was strictly a feeling a jealousy but now it an angry kind of jealously which makes things much harder. Anger at people who are doing 'fun' things while I'm trying to be socially and personally responsible and just general anger at the universe overall for having been put in this situation.
For me FOMO never left! Living in the centre of a big city in a tiny apartment throughout quarantine I had serious FOMO of friends who were passing the quarantine in the countryside or with any amount of outside space or even inside space. I have a weird thought pattern now where I look at different places or houses and think wow that must have been alright during quarantine. I know it’s weird but that’s where my FOMO that never left is at!
FOMO is definitely back, but in a new way. We are all coincius that we can't do plans with a lot of people at the same time, so when we see someone making something with a small group we wish we could be a part of that. And at the same time we only make a few plans with the same small group of people.
(At least this is how I feel it from Spain).