Social Acronyms: An Abbreviated Analysis

Photo FOMO

You know who you are. You are at a music concert and find yourself tapping your foot to the music of the group that you just found out will be appearing next month. As you leave an event, you ask when next year’s dates will be announced.

FOMO is an acronym for Fear of Missing Out. Its origins are connected to social media and the anxiety that comes from your perception of how you are measuring up to others. Its negative connotations are said to derive from unhappiness and the continuous angst and regret the sufferer develops in all walks of their lives.

Even though this acronym wasn’t added to the Oxford English Dictionary until 2013, we all know that a form of it was in full swing years prior. Back then, we never thought about announcing to the world what we were doing, we just wanted to be doing it. It’s FOMO light, leaning more toward YOLO (You Only Live Once). Yes, my friends, I have come to the conclusion that we are LOBOs (Love of Being Out).

My parents have been my muse in all things LOBO. I remember them always dressing up and going out on the town with a big group of friends, not wanting to miss out on a New York Times reviewed restaurant, a Broadway show or a place to dance. My dad took voice lessons, learning to sing with an orchestra, a la Frank Sinatra, while JC*was always planning her next trip. When she accompanied a friend’s daughter to the Dominican Republic for a medical treatment on a week’s notice and accepted a last-minute trip to Paris (alone!) from the travel agency she worked for, it made me wonder if she carried her passport in her handbag at all times, just in case.

LOBOs gravitate toward like-minded people who share their zest for life. There are no feelings of competition; rather, there is genuine happiness for a fellow LOBO’s adventures. The sharing of exploits develops into a symbiotic relationship whereby one LOBO’s quests fuels the others desire and imagination for more of their own.

Both FOMOs and LOBOs share in the pride of knowing that their social calendars are their mini life journals, reminding them of people, places and events. They both enjoy the feeling of hopping through life as if on a pogo stick, bouncing from one experience to another. But, that’s where the similarities end.

LOBOs are not fearful; they are proud warriors of life’s ups and downs and know that every day is a gift. They are confident in their own skin and set a great example for FOMOs everywhere, reminding them that the only reason their peers were able to develop personal computer technology in their parents’ empty garages (think Apple) was because their parents were out and about on another adventure.


*Who’s who? See “Cast of Characters” on the “About” page

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