Jessica Rubio, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Spring 2017 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the following essay in response to the prompt: FOMO. How often do you experience FOMO (fear of missing out)? How has it impacted your life?
The rise of social media has caused me to experience fear of missing out every time I unlock my phone. I guess it comes with the competitive nature of humanity as well as our urge to document every time we go to In N Out, go on a hike or get a latte with a cute foam flower on it (aesthetics). It is embedded within every scroll, like, retweet, story and now live video. Now this sounds like a very depressing way to pin FOMO, however if you take a step back and lok at the bigger picture it’s not all bad. This platform I sit on gives me the chance to look out and internalize everything and make mini subliminal plans in my head, “Oh, La La Land got nominated for several Academy Awards, I need to watch this Ryan Gosling – I mean movie/ Oh you got tickets to see the Foo Fighters in Napa Valley? Maybe it’s time I took a road trip.”
FOMO is the reason people move forward – because they don’t want to miss that shot to have a great and happy time. who doesn’t like a happy time? even the Friday night Netflix bingers have FOMO and they haven’t even moved from their beds because there is always something new they want to watch to keep up. FOMO gives us desire to go outside and make that annoyingly long traffic ride to Downtown LA to see Beyonce perform at Dodger Stadium (something I really did miss out on, damn).
Now Personally this FOMO comes at me mostly in the form of concert postings around LA. Every show that is announced Is another shock of FOMO. Being a loon for live shows is not something most can understand but it drives me nuts, which is why companies such as AEG own my soul. I don’t mind though because the way I see it, if you love something you better be scared of missing it. Without it, I would have missed some of the best times of my life. Examples: Seeing Gary Clark Jr. perform at the Ace Hotel, studying abroad in Florence Italy, coming to Pepperdine, seeing the Grand Canyon, discovering cold brew coffee for the first time (amazing.). I guess the underlying point of FOMO is similar to YOLO (you only live once) so missing out on things like the 2017 USC v Penn State Rose Bowl is something that you don’t want on your conscious (trust me it sucks). FOMO drives the world – it always has, and it always will.
Now go see La La Land because the movie and Ryan Gosling tap dancing really is magic.
Jessica is a senior at Pepperdine University majoring in Advertising and Marketing.
Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.