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I’ve been thinking about FOMO for quite some time, in the background of course. Now it’s coming into the foreground. Then there is JOMO, which most people think they know about but know nothing. ROMO people will know about but haven’t attached the mnemonic.

People – in general of course – enjoy being spoonfed as if they are still children. So, if I don’t explain any of this properly, I can expect to be thought of in certain unsavoury ways. And – do I give a monkeys? I do not! So why mention it? Cuz it’s about patterns in human nature.  Right – to get back on track (or not) read on if you so wish. And if you don’t wish, find the best available exit ASAP.

I’ll explain what I’m talking about, only for my own benefit – which means I’m not interested in whether anybody reading this becomes ‘confused’, or accuses me of being unhelpful, self-centred – and the usual round of jibes. That’s another thing ‘one shall not confuse people or be unhelpful..‘ in this ‘Empire’ – I’m told! Jeez – can I get on with it please! Yes – but I intend to break cardinal rules of the Empire in speaking truths as I find them.


By now I expect that somebody – anybody  reading this – is about to ask “What’s FOMO?” No confirmations required – I simply do not care!

Right – so ‘fear’ is not just fear. Oh – how confusing! Report me to the ‘authorities’! Fear encompasses all that lies on a spectrum; from minor inhibitions to severe heart pounding fear. Basically anything that inhibits a person at a conscious or unconscious level is the ‘fear’ I’m referring to. Yes – fear also activates people in protective ways. If one avoids a fire by running away, the initial feeling is avoidance and then comes the activation.

‘Missing out’ means failure to get something of some personal or group advantage. Look, I don’t know ‘a group’. I’m not referring to any particular group of people. I’m speaking generally! Missing out could be about an opportunity, something financial, something rewarding and so on. If one fears missing out, then one would be inclined to do something to avoid missing out. Did I say anybody had to avoid missing out or that people are bound to avoid missing out? I did NOT! I’m referring to probabilities across large numbers of people.

Missing out is a perception held by people, that they are likely to be at some disadvantage for not seizing an opportunity. Disadvantage is broadly speaking the opposite of reward – and reward is what people are hard-wired to seek especially if it is more immediately in sight or reach.

Some decisions people make (for example) based on my many interactions:

  1. Commonly, people purchase the latest brand or model of mobile phone. Then they discover that they’re signed up to some package that bleeds their wallets over the next 24 months.
  2. Bargains: people often jump to purchase on advertised reductions on various items e.g. 80% off etc. Lots of robust research has repeatedly shown that this simple trick works to separate fools from their money.
  3. Buy it now or lose it e.g. this is basically what’s known as ‘hard sell’. Sellers would offer a time-limited opportunity at a particular price which may not be at a reduced price. Then they create a sense of competition from other interested parties. Then they’d say, ‘When it’s gone, it’s gone!‘ The sense of time limitation or urgency creates a heightened prospect of missing on a good deal – or the sense of urgency blinds the punter to the fact that whatever it is, isn’t actually a good deal.
  4. The national lottery: usually supermarket queues for the lottery are longer when the advertised jackpot is greater than £40 Million. What are people seeking? For sure it’s a ‘chance’ even if it’s 1 in 76 Million. But on the other side of their psychology is a fear of not taking the chance (or bet) that misses the opportunity for near-total financial freedom.

In essence the ‘FOMO’ is about the avoidance of loss of reward or a sense of loss of reward. Most importantly ‘sense of reward’ is purely in the mind. It’s not a physical thing. Winning the jackpot is of course about money but ultimately the reward for taking a chance is felt psychologically. Did I say that gambling in the lottery is disgusting or should be avoided? I did NOT! Did I say that gambling in the lottery is not disgusting? I did NOT! In general – of course – people are overly occupied by the ‘chance’ of reward; not necessarily the reward itself.


This is obviously ‘regret about missing out’. People like to do this – and boast to their friends their regrets about missing out on really good opportunities. This is always puzzling? How? Well in doing this sort of thing they make themselves out to be rather stupid. Ooops – I forgot for a moment – in the Empire it’s actually fine to say how stupid, mediocre, lazy and uneducated one is. Being ‘salt of the earth’ and getting that ‘sympathetic pat on the back’, is all that matters.


This is the ‘joy of missing out’ i.e. the benefits of missing out. It’s pretty obvious that missing out on a situation that is fraught with promise of pain is a good thing.

The problem though, is when people jump at something expecting rewards which ends up causing them pain. That seeming ‘bargain’ becomes a thing one wishes one had missed. The trick is quite simple and is used a lot by big businesses to rip people off. I’ve forgotten how many people I know who have bought mobile phones in a rush, which they then groan about to their so-called (back-slapping) friends

Ooops! Here we go.

*Stupid: So are you saying you’ve had personal experience with FOMO?

CW: Jeeez!! Does my personal experience matter that much? Am I saying I’m a perfect human being? I am not! I do play the national lottery on occasions only because the chances I take are affordable losses.

Stupid: Fine but are you also saying that everybody who does ROMO is stupid?

CW: Not everybody but most of those I have met. Am I allowed to give my own experience?

Stupid: Yes you are allowed but you seem to be insulting lots of people!!

CW: The truth can well cause offence – are you saying that the truth should not be spoken for fear of insulting those who would hear it? If what I say falls in somebody’s ‘garden’ then tough! Just to be clear, I’m not saying that everybody has a garden!

Stupid: ……. …  (speechless).

CW: What I am saying is that people might do better for themselves if they carefully evaluate what they’re doing before simply jumping at some opportunity for fear of missing out. It’s not possible to see into the future as nobody owns the future – and there are so many traps out there. This is not advice. It’s my opinion. Everybody is free to do as they please! That’s the end of it.

[*Stupid – is an imaginary impish figure in my mind who often intrudes with doubts, questions and comments which trips me up in my thinking. However I find stupid to be useful. Just to be clear – as this is social media – I am not hallucinated!] 

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The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identifiable person. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to, it does not mean that that person or organisation is in fact identified or identifiable. Whether or not any person believes they are identified, I declare that I single out no one person in my mind when writing these blogs. This disclaimer does not intend the opposite of what it states. 

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