I’ve never understood Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) when it comes to food. I think it’s because there are just some foods I really don’t like, so when they’re offered or available, I just automatically say No thanks. Other than these particular foods, I’ve always been more than happy to sample, often and as much as possible!
Over the summer, I heard a lot about FOMO, maybe because it was wedding season or because of all the barbecues and parties. I know at my sister’s wedding, I certainly sampled quite a few things that aren’t normally on my menu! (Some were pretty good, too!) But again, it wasn’t FOMO that put those items on my plate. It would have been just as easy to leave them off, and there were quite a few items that didn’t make it on my plate too!
I’ve always been an adventurous eater. It was one of the good things I learned from my mom: just because it looks weird or different doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it out! It’s one of the things I share with my best friend. We’ll go to a restaurant for the first time and we’ll pick something we’ve never had before because hey- that looks different! Of course, not all of these experiments are winners, but we remain undeterred!
From what I’ve heard and seen, when it comes to FOMO, people are afraid they are missing Something Amazing. Usually, they go out to a special event or restaurant and there is a food or drink that looks like it’s amazing or others who’ve tasted it have already said “It’s AMAZING!” and they are dying to try it! I can sympathize: I am not normally a beer drinker (or alcohol of any kind). This is partly because alcoholism runs in my family and it’s partly because alcohol usually doesn’t taste good to me. I concluded that if I’m going to drink beer (or alcohol), then it really is going to be amazing because otherwise it’s not worth the awful taste. Recently, my friends and I went out to a local microbrewery that has a reputation for making some awesome beers, and one of the items on the menu is a “Beer Sampler” where you choose five brews and you get a five ounce glass of each. Two of my friends usually get that when we go, but honestly, that’s a lot of beer that I probably won’t finish! I opted to choose two glasses of two different beers that I wanted to try. One really was amazing, and the other was good and different, but not something I would order again. I normally don’t finish it, but it actually tasted better the warmer it got. FYI: I am a total beer snob- American beer tastes really really awful to me!
It wasn’t that I was ‘afraid’ of missing out on some great beer. I’d been to this microbrewery before and not touched a drop of beer or any alcohol and I didn’t think I’d missed anything special or amazing. This time, however, I felt like trying something new and so I did. I had a good time, had one great beer and one a little better than average, and I don’t regret my choices (at least with the beer!)
There are a lot of times at my friends’ places, they’ll mix some great drinks or have some really amazing food (my friend is an awesome chef!) but I don’t feel that saying no thanks means I’m going to miss out on Something Amazing. My friend knows I eat differently than she does and sometimes I will have a small taste to be polite (or if she wants to know if it’s missing something), but really, if I say no and pass on Something Amazing, what have I really missed out on?
That’s what it comes down to for me. Bottom line: it’s food. Even if it’s a food I probably won’t have an opportunity to try again (i.e. something at a resort or vacation spot I might not get back to), what have I really lost out on? Tasting an amazing cheesecake/ pastry/ alcohol/ etc? It’s FOOD! Tasting it is not going to change my life and it probably won’t add anything to it either, just like not tasting it isn’t going to take anything away from my life. It might be enjoyable; it might not be enjoyable, but either way missing out or not isn’t something that I should be afraid of.
Maybe that’s a little extreme, but when some people mention FOMO, they really are nervous and afraid. I can understand it if others are pressuring you to try something. I’ve tasted a lot of stuff just to be polite but that was because of FOOO (Fear of Offending Others), definitely not FOMO. There are some things that I am afraid of missing out on, and none of those things are food. I’m afraid of missing out on a trip with friend or family; I’m afraid of not being able to do activities I want to do, like working out, walking or playing with my pets; I’m afraid of being too big to buy the clothes that I like or to fit in my car or drive for a long period of time because my legs or back hurts. I am afraid of missing out on experiences, activities and time with people I care about; for me, missing out on food doesn’t even rate!
In 2012, I went on a trip to Disneyland with my friends, and that experience really hit home for me, because that was something that really meant a lot to me and because of my weight, it was not a good experience. I essentially ‘missed out’ on doing a lot of things I wanted to do with them because I was too big to fit on the ride, fit in the seats or walk as far as they could. That is something I really regret missing out on, so compared to that, food just doesn’t rate! Compared to running around Anaheim with my friends having a once in a lifetime experience, eating even Something Amazing doesn’t even come close! Missing out on an Amazing Cookie or an Amazing Meatloaf Sandwich or an Amazing Wine isn’t something to be afraid of; missing out on spending quality time doing Something You Love with People You Love is what we really need to fear.