FOMO - or the "fear of missing out" - has been reigning for far too long. In 2013, let's fling it out to pasture, shall we?
By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
...This is how popular culture works: You allow yourself to be convinced you’re sharing a reality that doesn’t exist. Every summer, Hollywood movie studios convince millions of people to see blockbuster movies they know they’re going to hate. Every day, shows like Access Hollywood force 2 million housewives to ask themselves, ‘Who really cares who Lindsay Lohan is dating?’ And you know what the answer to that question is? Almost no one. There are very few Americans who honestly care who Lindsay Lohan is dating. But it’s still information they need to have. This is because those people care about something else entirely; they’re worried about the possibility of everyone else understanding something that they’re missing. This is what they’re afraid of, and this is how they deduce societal truth.
New year, new resolutions. Like other Crazytown writers, I have a few myself. I ended 2012 with a desire to be more creative. I want to develop more than I decimate. One thing that has been holding me back is the fear of missing out - all of those clever news items, television stories, movie quotes. All this pop culture consumed and then spit out again at water coolers all over the world. This information, it seems, is what bonds people.
With 2013‘s arrival, Oscar nominations newly announced, and the Golden Globes this weekend, pop culture appears to be on the forefront of everyone’s conversation. And that’s the operative word, isn’t it? “Appears”.
The more the 21st century progresses, the more it seems that our lives exist on a screen. Checking social media, refreshing news websites, and updating blogs are all par for the course in this 24-hour hyper-connective world. Conversations don’t happen on a face-to-face level as often; they happen on a screen. With the click of a “like” or 140 characters, we communicate. And while I appreciate the ease with which we can express our opinions and reach a large number of people in one, fell swoop, I’m starting to become a little disheartened.
I’ve written in the past about the internet being used for evil, especially in damaging your career. But I do ultimately believe it can be used for good. It helps to communicate across lands, and even helps to meet people you wouldn’t normally encounter. It's also a great way to stay in touch with people who live in other cities that you don't get to see often. I find, however, that I’ve almost begun using it as a substitute for human interaction. And that needs to stop.
So a goal of mine for 2013 is to step away from the screen. Learn more from the society that’s physically around me. I live in one of the most bustling, creative cities in the world. I live in THE WORLD, which is filled with new people, new experiences, new words, new ideas, new outlooks that I have yet to discover. Instead of looking down at my iPhone, I’m going to look up and see something different.
“I keep trying to tell people... Facebook and Twitter do not give a shit about you! You have to look to the right and to the left. Who’s next to you? That is your comrade.”
Bring it, 2013!
is a native New Yorker and theatre baby. Her plays have been produced by The 52nd Street Project and Starfish Theatreworks. She currently makes a living as a Broadway treasurer.
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