Friday, October 22, 2010

Is it FOBO, FOMO or something else entirely?

I was waiting for some more responses from my friends but it appears that this is all I'm gonna get so here we go.

So I've been hearing a lot about commitment issues from my friends lately so I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss here on my blog. Whether it's big or little events, dates, small get-togethers, dinners, parties or anything else, it appears that we CAN'T COMMIT. At least my generation doesn't seem to be able to commit. What is the deal?! I wanted to know what my friends thought so I asked a few of them for their opinions on this strange dilemma.
Here's exactly what I asked:
So, what is the deal with my generation (most of yours) and our lack of commitment?! I don't mean relationships but more our commitment to go on dates, dinners, parties and all other sort of get-togethers? Is it 'Fear of Better Offer (FOBO)? Or the Fear of Missing Out? (FOMO) Fun abbreviations, huh? : )

Here's some of the best responses:
-I'm always like "let's just wait and see". We end up doing it most of the time, but I hate feeling tied down to it.

-"I think the lack of commitment in our generations might come from the evolution of social relationships. In our parents era, it was the 'right', 'normal' thing to do, to go to dinners at friends houses, parties, and other organized social events. I think our generation doesn't feel that same social pressure or need to organize our life so much. I also think it avoids the chance of really disappointing people. I want the freedom on a Friday night after a bad day at work to sit on the couch, eat pizza with by best girlfriends and blow off any sort of big social gathering. If I've committed to that social gathering I have the guilt for not going, and the worry that I just hurt their feelings/made them mad by not going. If I don't commit, then I can avoid all of that!"

-"In my opinion, the problem is not so much fear of xyz but rather an issue of apathy. Many of our younger generation lack a work ethic, which trickles over into other aspects of their lives. In a recent poll, more kids wanted to be “famous” when they grew up rather than any other (and actually real) career. We are inundated with an onslaught of music videos, TV programs and faux-celebs depicting how easy it is to get something without actually working for it, so many start to believe that is the reality when it is not."

-"People are lame, and over-book themselves. What's more upsetting is the time you DON'T plan for yourself! As in EVERYONE else is in control of your time and your sense of obligation. I can sort of relate to this topic from the point of view of the person who gets bailed on. I think that I'm pretty true to my word. If I RSVP that I'll be there, I'll be there. I think it's just rude and discourteous to back out on something you've committed to. People are counting on you to be there. Maybe there was a set amount of food prepared or maybe it's just that your company is really anticipated! Whatever the reason, if you say you'll be there, you should be there. I do think that you hit it on the head with the FOBO and FOMO. People like to keep their options open...and to that extent I am sometimes guilty. I do like to keep my options open, and therefore I'm often on the later side to RSVP. But, once I've committed I'll stick to it (unless of course there's an emergency--illness etc.)"

What do you think about these responses? Have you had experience with commitment phobia lately? Do your friends bail out at the last minute or do they not RSVP at all?

For more on FOMO, check out this interesting website.


  1. These days there are a lot more things to do entertainment wise compared to when I was younger. In the past people found it easier to commit to certain events or gatherings because there wasn't many options to do other things but now I think there is so much, maybe too much, entertainment out there which means a lot more people would probably like to keep their options open until the last minute and then do whatever suits them the best.

    I think the person who wrote the last response was right though. If you commit to something the you shouldn't bail out unless it's a really good reason. There are too many people who commit to things but then decide to do something else which can end up causing all sorts of problems.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm now following you!

  3. I like making concrete plans but sometimes end up getting burned because something "better" does comes along but I feel too guilty to reschedule the first thing.

    I think for a lot of people, $ is an issue, especially these days. People want to attend or participate but can't afford to and don't know how to tell you.