FOMO- the Fear Of Missing Out. It's a thing, and many people "suffer" from it. I recently watched a Simon Sinek video (you can find him on YouTube, and Apple podcasts) regarding millennials in the workplace. It's compelling, so give it a listen, but more so it's disheartening. Mr. Sinek sifts out the most used criticisms of millennials and why they are the way they are. As a parent and a teacher, I agree with much of his argument. I especially agree with his platform on technology use.
You have heard it before, but Facebook is everyone's highlight reel. I once had a friend say, "Your pictures on Facebook are always so fun and cute!" To which I answered, "Well, I wouldn't put our nasty ones out for everyone to see." May not have been my kindest response, but was certainly true. We are comparing our so-so everyday with our friend's trip to Bora Bora! Here's the thing, we all have our mundane, our regular lives, and instead of finding joy in the details we covet our friends' good times. Simon Sinek explains that when we put something out there (on social media) we are chemically rewarded when it's "liked" with a shot of dopamine. This is the same chemical produced when we gamble and drink alcohol. One source even called it, "Dopamine: the molecule behind all our most sinful behaviors and secret cravings." In other words, it's the addiction chemical. Yes, even an addiction to social media. We just mask it with FOMO!
I have recently started a devotional called Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler & Jean Syswerda. It begins with Eve. The parallel between Eve and the women of today is vast. God gave specific instruction to Adam and Eve in the garden. Basically, it's all yours except this one tree. Do not mess with it because you will die. Then comes the serpent... he's a wily one. In Genesis 3 he asks Eve, "Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?" He and Eve converse and she explains that it's just the tree in the middle they cannot partake from. The serpent is like that one jerk we can all think of who provokes us. You know, the one guy who is trying to be cool because he knows something you don't know, and makes you feel kind of dumb because you aren't on the same page. Yep, that's him... He goes on to tell Eve, " You won't die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you'll see what's really going on. You'll be just like God..." Enter FOMO. Eve fell for the serpent's rouse and ate from the tree. Then she fed Adam, too. She wanted to be in the know. She wanted to taste the good life. She was tempted and took the fall. Of course this was the beginning of time, but we are still stuck in the same cycle. We just don't eat apples... The serpent is still there goading us- luring us to social media in a way that is not healthy. It's causing rifts, addictions, affairs, depression. It's a brilliant tool, really. Socially acceptable while at the same time removing any real social interaction. But here's what I want you to remember- what the devil means for evil, our God can use for the good of His people.
As I listened to the millennial video and as I've been reading the devotional here's the truth I am struck with; There's a chasm we are trying to fill with these things, these wishes, these desires. It's the missing piece. It's so simple, and yet so hard for many people to hold. It's Jesus. Want to make an impact? Pray. Want to be fulfilled? Worship. Want to know good and evil? Read the Bible. Want to feel love? Surrender to Jesus. Eve didn't have this truth yet, and it wouldn't come for many, many years, but we do! We have the truth of a God who loves us so much that He sent us Jesus to atone for the sins of our ancestors and our sins of today. Post that on your Facebook feed and know that the one who matters most "likes" it!