Sadly, it’s not enough that we are plagued with the pandemic, our young people especially have to wrestle with FOMO. It began before COVID-19 but has exploded since last March. FOMO is responsible for much of the irresponsible behavior we have witnessed in restaurants, coffee shops, at parties, and on the beach as people abandon social distancing guidelines.
FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out.”
“FOMO is the experience of worrying that other people are doing more interesting things than you, have more friends than you, and are just all around living a better and cooler life.” – Brett McKay, The Art of Manliness.
It’s one of the reasons young people are always on their phones texting one another. No one wants to miss the party! At its heart, FOMO springs from envy – one of the classic Seven Deadly Sins. We desire to be the object of envy, so we write about how wonderful our life is on Facebook. People constantly check their text messages and often end up full of envy.
Envy is a sad sin and will eat you up inside. It’s all-pervasive. Children envy other children’s toys. Adults engage in “conspicuous consumption.” The desires fired by envy often lead to overspending and consequent marital conflict. The man who covets another man’s wife becomes dissatisfied with his own. A woman who envies another woman’s appearance becomes a supporter of a cultural system that diminishes her value and encourages her unhappiness. Envy diminishes people’s enjoyment of life because they cannot be content with what they have.
Envy is a terrible sin for so many different reasons, but I believe it is especially dangerous in these times of the pandemic. It is tempting for people to take chances that result in this disease spreading farther and faster than ever before. In that sense, envy truly is a “deadly sin.”