Fear. Of. Missing. Out.
Do you have a fear of missing out?
- Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. Dictionary.com 2018
Because of social media, FOMO is such a reality that in 2013, it was officially added to the Oxford dictionary, which is widely acknowledged as the authority of the English language! FOMO did exist long before social media, but because we are so plugged in to our devices and content, there is definitely a heightened awareness to what is happening elsewhere that we might be missing out on.
After FOMO, they came up with another acronym JOMO, which stands for “joy of missing out.” JOMO was created to tell us that we don’t have to have no more FOMO because it’s OK to have JOMO! In other words, we were given permission to have joy when we missed out! But, FOMO shows up in lots of other ways in our culture, so how are we to know which FOMO should inspire us to action?
Advertisers use FOMO ( a psychological trigger) to inspire action through the fear of missing out on the latest and greatest product. Some of the marketing strategies they use are:
Marketing Strategies that inspire FOMO
Scarcity: They make you think something will run out and you have to get it now.
Times Up: Showing buyers when the deals are going to end so they are more likely to reach for their wallets to make a purchase.
Competitive Spirit: Getting us as the buyer to hate the thought that others might get something before we do.
Free Shipping: Research shows that if a buyer is offered free shipping for anything, they will most likely make some kind of purchase online to get the free shipping deal. (I’ve been FOMO’d here!)
Expiring content: This is another strategy used to create urgency. Research from Strategy Online suggests that “69% of millennials experience the FOMO phenomenon…and 60% are likely to make reactive purchases buying something just because they fear missing out” because the content will be going away!
Exclusivity: Think of the priority access lines at the airport, or membership only places like Costco, Amazon Prime, or anything labeled “limited edition”. FOMO prompts us so we don’t miss out on these perks.
Ugh! FOMO sucks me into its vortex with promises of a better tomorrow because of what I think I want or need today, ALL THE TIME! Even as I wrote about these FOMO marketing strategies, I was shaking my head! Knowing how much I believe it when the screen flashes only 2 left and that I needed to buy it within the next few minutes! PEOPLE…I BELIEVED it!
A Better Tomorrow Than Today!
I want a better tomorrow than today and I don’t want the marketing FOMO to rob me of my joy today. And I don’t want that for you either.
The only way…and I mean the only way to have a better tomorrow than you are having today is not through marketing FOMO, but through the FOMO on a personal relationship with Jesus.
According to Tony Reinke, contributing author at desiringgod.org “there’s [only] one legitimate FOMO we should all fear: the fear of unbelief and missing out eternally.” Here is the evidence when you relate it to the FOMO marketing strategies:
The Evidence for Legit FOMO
Scarcity: God’s love, grace, and mercy for you is endless. It never runs out, is always enough, is always on time and will never, never change. “Jesus’ love is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Times Up: God is not limited by time but we are as finite human beings. His desire for us is to place our faith in Jesus sooner rather than later. Why? So that we experience the power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes to live in our hearts when we believe in Jesus (Romans 10:10-13). Power that is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that will live through us as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Who can use all of that in their lives today? (Galatians 5:22-23)
Competitive Spirit: As a follower of Jesus, your heart begins to hate the thought that others (your family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers) are missing out. This is the best time for FOMO to inspire action!
Free Shipping: Jesus died for our sins. We did nothing to earn that sacrificial love. He did it all for us. And it cost us nothing, and cost Him everything. Take His offer of FREE grace today by believing that Jesus died on the cross for you! You will never ever regret it. The stakes are high if you don’t have FOMO here: separation from God for all eternity.
Expiring Content: God’s Word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). There is no expiring content in God’s truth that you will ever miss out on. Scripture teaches us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18). With our culture of technology, God’s Word is accessible in all kinds of ways at all times. Books, Music, Podcasts, Videos, and Blogs (like this one!), for you to grow your faith and for you to help others grow theirs as you share.
Exclusivity: Believing in Jesus gives you priority access to God. God’s Word tells us that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and this is the line you want to get in for priority access to God. His Word also tells us that we must have no other Gods before Him (Exodus 20). Anything (people, things, money, etc.) other than God that sits on the thrones of our hearts must go. To whom will you give your heart? God or man? It’s that EXCLUSIVE.
Inspiring Action Today!
Let the right FOMO inspire you to action today. Tell Jesus you believe that He came and that He died for your sins. Don’t worry everyone is a sinner. The Bible tells us “But God shows us His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
If you’ve already placed your faith in Jesus, ask Him to show you what you have put on the throne of your heart instead of Him. If you’ve never asked Jesus, by faith to be your Lord and Savior, do it. Put God on the throne of your heart, not your job, your kids, your money, your status, your fears, etc. Now you are free to celebrate your very first Christmas in a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Putting God on the throne of your heart, believing that His better is always better for more joy tomorrow than you have today is letting the right FOMO inspire you to action.
And then share your new story of faith. Christmas is the perfect time to hear the story and tell it. I would love to hear it. This is what Life Over Coffee is all about!
Jackie Adams is passionate about encouraging transformative change using the skill of coaching. She loves to help guide the discovery process in people as they seek to take bold steps toward becoming their best self in their relationships, leaderships, faith and workplace environment.