Yes, your FONGO is showing. Not your FOMO. Your FONGO.
What is FONGO? Fear Of Not Going Out. [I’m in the process of submitting it to Urban Dictionary… thanks for asking 😉 ]
Yesterday, PRNews Blog published an article aptly titled “FOMO: Don’t Let It Sting You.” A clever article explaining how the world won’t end if you aren’t involved in something or going somewhere. In my honest opinion, their use of FOMO here was quite apt in its application as far as Social Media goes. The article’s writer Diane Schwartz was even kind enough to spell it out in the second paragraph.
Now, I want to explain where FONGO comes from. I thought up of FONGO some time ago after a friend had used the term FOMO (which I was not familiar with at that time) in reference to an event happening later that evening at a bar/club/resto-bar/party/loft/dirty warehouse/place. I had casually remarked that, I didn’t want to miss out on the event either. However, at that moment I realized that regardless of the hype behind the event, in the end, I probably wouldn’t care at 4-5-6 a.m., where I had gone in the previous hours. So long as I had fun, made it back to my car and safely to the comfortable confines of a bed or couch, it would be all good. I just wanted to go out that night and have fun. The only thing that was holding me back was either having to do something else or having spent a lot of cash on something else that week. In my head, I did not really have a fear of missing out, I had a fear of not going out.
Thus, FONGO was born.
And this is why I appreciate Schwartz’s article on PRNews. She addresses the reality that people have developed this anxiety because they have not updated their Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare with their latest check-in. This anxiety then translates into the false realization that their friends and followers know that the person is sitting at home doing nothing.
“You are not missing anything. You will not get fired and you will not lose friends.”
Now, I own a iPhone. This allows me to check-in, whenever I go out. I repeat this ALLOWS me to check-in, whenever I go out. Do I ever do it? I would immediately say no, but on a very rare occasion, I will. Those very rare occasions are generally when I go somewhere really interesting, which also has free WiFi and I’m there with a few friends. However, the key here is on whether the place I am at is interesting. Places I have checked-in at in the last few months have been Evergreen Brickworks, The CNE, The Distillery, Toronto Botanical Gardens, Yonge-Dundas Square or even just the local Royal Canadian Legion, where some of my volunteer work is done with the local Air Cadet Squadron. However, if I’m at a particular store, bar/restaurant, I won’t bother. Unless I gave into baser social media needs and instagrammed my meal.
Nevertheless, as quoted above, if you miss out, you won’t (necessarily) lose out.
Now, if you have indeed learned to manage your FOMO/FONGO, then you will be able to reap the benefit of an unexpected reward. People will be surprised and glad to see you at the next event you go to. But this only works for your own personal accounts.
If you’re managing social media feeds for your work, that’s a whole different ball game. But remember, social media is only a communications platform and not a tactic. I should note that I have yet to see any places around Toronto that employ check-ins as a tactic. Such huge potential here too. Sad really.