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by Bill O'Sullivan
02nd May 2014

We’re moving away from FOMO and into CBA (Couldn’t Be Arsed)

There is something incredibly sophisticated about not going out – it’s got a pseudo rock?n?roll mystique to it. ?There’s always that one friend you have, who used to win all the parties, who lived for the turning point in the night when you know things are going to go on til morning, who now has given up on all of it and does the unthinkable – stays at home. He is usually getting on really well in life, seems happier and healthier than you’ve ever seen him, doing all the things on your to-do list that you never get around to. And in this he is entirely unique to your extended group of friends, who otherwise are firmly stationed on the side of the merry-go-round, waiting for the next ride.

We live under a siege of events and ?wish I was there’s fuelled by social media, news, tv shows, even magazine culture, that demand the pursuit of pleasure. From 17 year-olds to 50 year-olds, the idea of FOMO seems to have moved beyond the cesspit of non-stop socializing of one’s twenties and insinuated itself everywhere. FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out – is that unease you feel at missing out on one single party, the fear of not going to that dinner, skipping that trip, missing out on that gig that everyone was at, and all the inevitable cataclysmic side effects of missing out, being absent. The thought process behind it seems to be the sense that you’re doing a disservice to your life’s trajectory. It comes from the feeling that every experience will have meaning or at least be something worth documenting, storing up and retelling at a later date. So much of it is about not being the one missing – being seen is as important as seeing and experiencing whatever it is that’s going on. The collective, the social group, play a pretty crucial role to FOMO, and hence in a tiny city like Dublin, nay, a tiny country like Ireland, FOMO holds even more sway and influence.

At IMAGE HQ we’ve been plagued by it much like everyone else. It has got us out on a Thursday night at exhibitions even though we’re dead tired and worried about work, but present because ?everyone is going to be there?. The result is feeling wrecked, hung-over and probably skipping that Pilates class you’ve already paid for. Not good things. So we’ve decided we’ve had enough. The price one pays for FOMO is too high for too few rewards. Internally nourishing things such as sleeping, reading, thinking (even!), exercising, working, informing yourself, all get neglected when the FOMO demon has you by the throat. In fact if anything, we’re beginning to get a fear of missing out on the long-term things that have value, things that often happen during private times of reflection or study or work, things that actually have impact on your life’s trajectory. We want our friend’s rock’n’roll quality, that ability to be unphased and unconcerned with the social mores and anxieties that have us all catapulting out the door and into the throngs. We want to be able to stay in, do things we never manage to tick off our lists, and tell anyone who tells us we’re missing out, that it’s ok – we really couldn’t be arsed.

Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna