Colin McEnroe Show: The Fear Of Missing Out

We also talk about those annoying, noisy leaf blowers

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Kai Paine
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Colin McEnroe Show: The Fear Of Missing Out
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Colin McEnroe Show: The Fear Of Missing Out

On Sunday, the New York Times business section introduced me to a new term: FOMO, "Fear of Missing Out."

It's a fever fed by social media sites like Facebook, on which we are more or less constantly aware of other people's happiness. They're watching a sunset over a bay in Ireland. They're at a wild party. They just had a beautiful hike and now they're getting ready to curl up in front of a fireplace. Whatever they're doing, it makes some of us wonder whether we're squeezing hard enough on the orange of life. Are we getting every last drop of joy?

There was a time when, for the most part, you didn't know this kind of thing. You might sit home on a Saturday night wondering if people you knew had gathered in some delightful way without you, but you didn't have to look at pictures the next day ... on Facebook, everybody is just a little bit happier than you are.

Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.




I have a new favorite radio personality--and a new syndrome: FOMOOKO (Fear of Missing Out on Kai Paine Online).

leaf blowers

I'd love to follow up on your data about emissions per cubic foot estimated to come from leaf blowers, where did you get that data? I agree with you about climate change and the need to reduce our use of un-necessary fossil fuel-burning equipment...

E-mail from Richard

I was unable to hear the entire 4/12/11 superb segment about leaf blowers, but I think the most egregious of all the consequences of leaf blower operation are the copious quantities of CO2 emissions that in turn contribute considerably to climate change. Did you realize that CO2 emissions in excess of 127,305,024 cubic feet of CO2 ( as measured at Standard Temperature and Pressure ) are estimated to be emitted annually from leaf blowers? Or did I get that wrong? May be its 420,503,721 cubic feet per annum? What ever the number is, it’s large. I recommend your listeners commit these numbers to memory in case they are quizzed in a town meeting or a cocktail party. With sincere apologies for the formidable fuzziness.

E-mail from Suzanne

I missed the beginning of the show, but was it inspired by the NYT article on Sunday - I think the business section (believe it or not)? Columnist was writing about feeling left out when she read friends' postings. Can't believe that you devoted almost a whole show to this subject!

E-mail from Brian

I have FOMOMO.

Fear of my offspring missing out.

E-mail from Steve

I am about to celebrate the six month anniversary of DELETING my Facebook account. I found that for every FOMO inspiring status update, there were dozens of "Little Frankie just ate his first hot dog! LOL!" The utter banality that makes up the vast swathes of life in between exciting cocktail parties is only magnified by the notion that everyone on your friends list is waiting with bated breath for your next update. The slight pang I felt at missing a local appearance of "Captured By Robots" is quickly dispelled by someone's "I sure do hate to drive to work in the rain!"

I suppose the logical counterpoint here is that I must not have very interesting friends?