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Dealing with IO and FOMO

The millennial generation is at a disadvantage…sort of. In a typical scenario, you probably grew up in a house with landlines and TV boxes that required someone to stand at a precarious corner so the reception would be clear. You saw pagers come into fashion, and then out of fashion, and later on, you probably spent your teenage years learning about the internet and butchering the English language on MSN. The thing with having one foot in the analog world, another one in the digital world is this, you entered a new world knowing old rules, so navigating this new world became tricky and you’ve had to learn a lot from your own personal mistakes. Like the time someone I know painstakingly was learning how to type, and wanted to write a word with two ‘S’s…so he looked around the keyboard to type the first S, then looked around in search for the second one…

It’s the same key, buddy. It’s the same key.

Because the newer generation is born into this new world, they get all kinds of advice on how to leverage the power of the internet to their own advantage. A friend once complained, “I wish someone had told me I had to spend some time involved in extra-curricular activities during university….”

“I wish someone had told me it’s the soft skills that matter more than the technical knowledge…”

“I wish someone had told me to brush up my Linkedin profile to catch the attention of recruiters…”

“I wish someone had told me I could lose my job because of something I’ve posted on twitter…”

It’s the age of the new media, and if you don’t ride the wave, you’re just going to sink under it. It’s as easy as that. One of the biggest challenges we face as a generation can be described by two phrases; IO and FOMO….

IO – Information Overload

There’s just way too much information going around nowadays. At some point in life, people had to park themselves on a couch in front of a TV at the end of a workday to be bombarded by media, now the media avalanche is right in our pockets and it hits us from the moment we open our eyes to the moment we fall asleep.

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

A lot of millennials have this fear of missing out. That’s why they try to do everything and read every book and watch every movie and play every game. But here’s a fact; there are only 24 hours in a day. There’s more information out there than you can ever consume. It’s a losing battle from day one. So if you couldn’t care less about a Disney princess who can manipulate ice then as John Oliver would say it, “let ‘Let It Go’ go”.

How to deal with I/O and FOMO;

The general rule is to consume media consciously. Regain control of what you willingly allow into your mind, and into your life. Don’t relinquish that power to your social network.

-Break free from as many online social networks as you can. You never know; maybe you’ll figure out that the world will continue going on seamlessly without you, and that’s a really bright thought to carry with you.

-Keep some social media profiles but delete them on your phone. When I deleted my twitter app, I realized it took me a while for world news to reach me, but it eventually did.

-Keep your notifications off, don’t keep your email outlook open and allocate specific times to check your email {preferably only twice a day}. This point has been mentioned before in 5 Ways to Improve Your Focus.

-Do the things that matter to you. Not to your friends or family. But to you. That means you must define your personal values and areas of interest, and follow up on those topics only.

For instance, the other day my friend and I were wondering about Pokemon Go; do they have all the pokemons in all countries on Earth? If so, were there some pokemons on the North Pole?

Imagine some guy decides to go to the North Pole, “I’ve got to catch ’em all.”

And those were the last words he said….

Before a vicious seal hit him.

We didn’t have internet at the time and I wanted to google whether all pokemons are available in all countries when I got back home, but then I figured, I really couldn’t care less, so I let it go.

If you’re having trouble defining what’s important to you, get into the habit of journaling and that should help you unearth your values and discover themes you get really curious or passionate about. The trick is to spend some time completely disconnected from social media to sit with yourself and discover what’s true to your authentic self.

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Published inProductivityQuarter-life crisis