Last night when I should have been sleeping I was listening to a lecture on FOMO, an acronym for ‘Fear of Missing Out”. *  The lecturer’s thesis: our cellphone and techie-toys have entered into a demonic alliance worthy of the Wonder Twins, not seen since early man discovered we had opium receptors in our brains that match up with poppy juice. Behind these sinister couplings is the matter our brains are trained to:

a) fear and continually check for such.

b) love us some dopamine rush.

I tend to go to FB and Yahoo-News etc. often and at times when I shouldn’t be doing so. Some of this is done out of angst ‘I might miss something ‘major’ – whatever the hell that is.  There is some magical thinking going on here: I have to keep on a constant vigil with US politics lest thems in the Senate pull another outrage while I was minding my business and looking elsewhere.

Even as I type out this sounds ludricious; the ‘need’ to check in on social media etc. is rubbish pure and simple.

Whenever our brains get stimulated by something pleasurable there is a little ‘pop’ of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Think of it as the ‘yeah!” hormone. It provides the ‘rush’ we get when we taste sugar, hit the jackpot, achieve orgasm, or find a few French fries at the bottom of the bag.  It all pushes the same button “Release the dopamine!” There is also a dash o’ dopamine to having an itch scratched or a tension broken, or an anxiety put to rest.  Using our cellphones fits this model all too readily, as does social apps with their ‘likes’ and thumbs up etc. Add a dash of fear of missing out if we don’t and we are hooked.  Oh the pain.

Well, the first step in treating a problem is admitting there is one. I am working on less ‘check-ins’ on Huffington Post and other news media  if only for the sake of my blood pressure. I am certain to survive missing FB posts. No one is really going to be aghast if I admit I wasn’t aware of Hair Furor’s latest bloviate simply because I wasn’t watching CNN on a continuous basis.

Now that this cosmic Kolinahr is established and sworn before Spo-fans there are a quid pro, a proviso: blogging is the exception. Blogging is atypical that I ‘check in’ maybe 1-2x a week.  I like to keep up on my blogger buddies. Reports of their simple daily doings make me feel good – perhaps provide some health benefit. Certainly there is dopamine dropping from reading blogs. 🙂


* Please pause to see the irony of this.