A term I’ve been hearing a lot lately, one that is apparently haunting our youth, is “FOMO” or “Fear Of Missing Out.” Although I see it as a bit of a non-issue, I also really understand where it’s coming from.. it’s kind of the reason I deleted Facebook in high school, (because seeing everyone at parties or hanging out without me made me kind of sad.)
Today’s two pieces of media ‘AH’ and ‘Network Effect’ played with this internet phenomenon, this “fear of missing out” that comes from having too much stimulus and not enough time to process it all, very interestingly. In ‘AH’ I felt panicked and nervous that I wouldn’t have time to read the text on the screen. I couldn’t pause, so when I got a text (which usually means I’d pause whatever video I was watching to reply to the text and then keep watching) I had to ignore it and stay focused on the content. I also didn’t know how long it was so I started to feel a bit frustrated that I didn’t know how long it was going to play on for. But it used it’s medium to do something that isn’t often done – it FORCED me to make the decision of either watching the content or missing out on it. In ‘Network Effect’ the sense of running out of time was even more heightened and intensified. I felt like I was looking for something, like I needed to fully take advantage of my 8:14 minutes, which is ludicrous because what the heck was I even looking for?
I enjoyed these texts because of their immediacy, their aggressive storytelling (would we say the second one told a story?), and their use of their medium to do something unique.