Are you missing out?

A client of mine – let’s call him Mark – embarked on a digital fast recently. He had booked a long weekend away with his wife and children and decided he’d leave his smartphone and tablet behind.

‘How did it go?’ I asked.

‘I cracked after 5 hours,’ Mark said.

‘What do you mean “you cracked”? Did you log on at the hotel or use your wife’s phone? Or did you take your devices with you?’ I queried.

‘Er, yeah, well, I thought we might need them, in case we got stuck in traffic or the kids were bored so I took them. They were switched off though!’ he replied.

‘Until you switched them back on again. What made you do that?’

‘I was worried about what might be going on that I didn’t know about. There was a load of stuff happening at work on Thursday and I just wanted to know how it had developed. It hadn’t really moved on but then I saw a couple of emails so thought I could answer those quickly whilst we were waiting for our meal, then I decided to upload some photos of the kids playing on the beach and a couple of my friends asked where we were so I posted the links, then my phone rang so I went outside to take the call. By the time I got back, my wife and children had finished their meal and mine was had gone cold,’ Mark related.

‘And how did you feel?’ I asked.

‘Rubbish. My fear of missing out on one part of my life caused me to miss out on another part. The whole point of the weekend was to catch up with my family after a really busy time at work and I’d fallen at the first hurdle. I was so frustrated,’ explained Mark.

Mark’s not alone in this: fear of missing out even has its own hashtag. It’s not a new thing either – it’s just in this connected world, it’s so much easier to discover what it is we’re missing out on. I’m about to say something controversial and maybe you’d rather not read it – in which case, scroll down a little further. Here it is:

 We are always missing out on something.

Maybe I should hashtag it #WAAMOOS

It’s about saying yes and saying no.

When Mark said ‘yes, I’ll switch my phone back on’, he said ‘no, I won’t eat with my family.’

If you say ‘yes, I’ll go on that training course’, you’re saying ‘no, I won’t be making sales calls that day.’.

We can’t be in two places at once. Sometimes we don’t have a choice but other times we do. After realising what he’d said ‘no’ to by breaking his digital fast, Mark chose to hand over his devices to his wife, asking her not to give them back to him until they were home again and in doing so, he chose to re-commit to his ‘yes’ to a family weekend away. He had the choice and he exercised that choice.

I’ll say it again –

We are always missing out on something.

Today’s pebble for your thoughts:

If you feel that fear of missing out, look at the choices in front of you. What will you say ‘yes’ to and what will you say ‘no’ to? What are the consequences?

Choose well!


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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2 Responses to Are you missing out?

  1. Pingback: Distraction from distraction by distraction | Turning over pebbles

  2. Pingback: If you want to be truly present, sometimes you need to choose to be absent | Turning over pebbles

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