Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it

Forget FOMO. I’ve got FOBF – fear of being forgotten


ambulance at night.This July, I took a two-week vacation from work. It was the first time I can remember that I took a hiatus that long from work. I promised myself and the Mr. that I was going to unplug. So with the exception of a few personal Facebook status updates and deleting unnecessary emails from my inboxes, I was mostly MIA from all things social & tech.

The day I returned, I wrote a post for my blog and I thought I would start doing more frequent posts, since I was feeling so rested and ready to get back to things. Then at 10:00 that night my mom called to tell me she had just called the rescue for my dad. My parents are in their mid-80s, and so that phone call in the middle of the night is something I always dread.

That night was spent in the emergency department, and my dad was finally admitted at 5:15 a.m. I drove my mom home as the sun was rising. I had to start working in just a couple hours, and I was just heading home. As I was driving, I thought to myself that I couldn’t remember the last time I was coming home at sun rise. Leaving for the gym at that time is much more my speed now that I’m a 40-something and not a 20-something.

Of course, with that night in the ED, the vacation and the relaxation that came with it quickly became a distant memory. For the next two weeks I would pick my mom up and drive her to the hospital, where I worked on my laptop from my dad’s hospital room.

During that time, I did everything I had to for work, but I feel like I was barely a presence on Twitter or Facebook or Google+ (which wasn’t often for me on a good week!). As for my blog, well, it hasn’t seen a post since this all started, until this one. While I’m thrilled to report that my dad is now home and on the second part of his recovery, I’m feeling completely forgotten in social media.

There were a few wonderful people (and they know who they are) who often asked how dad was doing and expressed genuine care and concern. I’m especially grateful for those amazing people both in Twitter and in the real world. It’s astounding how quickly you find out who your real friends are when you’re in a crisis. (And there’s a lesson in here for brands too… the same is true of those loyal followers you’ve built through your social media efforts. They will come to your aid in a crisis!)

It’s taken me all these paragraphs to get to my point: I get nervous about not being more visible, not being a regular contributor or a regular blogger. I feel badly about not keeping in touch with people on Twitter or reading their blogs with any set frequency. And I feel like I’ve let people down by not sharing the great info they’re putting out there. I’m not suffering from FOMO, I’m suffering from what I’m coining the “Fear Of Being Forgotten,” or FOBF.

But in the long run, is it just our own minds that tells us we should feel badly about taking this hiatus from the social world? Does anyone really care if we’re not visible or not blogging or commenting for a while? More importantly, does anyone really notice? I’m sure the people who we are in touch with regularly would notice, but in the big scheme of things, does it really matter?

Personally, I’m hoping it doesn’t matter, because this FOBF can really weigh on you! Have you ever felt this way?

Author: Nancy Jean

I love reading, writing, music, the beach, and being a mom to two rescue dogs. My job is social media for health care.

8 thoughts on “Forget FOMO. I’ve got FOBF – fear of being forgotten

  1. Hi Nancy, I also think it is the time of year – I’ve noticed less comments on my blog the past few weeks and I think many are getting kids ready for back to school and vacation time. I started to feel that FOBF too. I do have a few friends that if they don’t see me on Twitter at my usual times check to be sure I’m okay. That is nice.
    It sure must have been exhausting for you too so no one would expect you to be at your regular old pace.
    I’m glad your dad is doing better!
    And I be things will really pick up by September…

    • Thank you SO much, Lisa! For your comment, for your thoughfulness and caring during this time, and for your constant kindness! It means more than you can imagine. 😉

  2. I don’t use social media as much as you but I sometimes do ” feel out of the loop” when people at work are talking about a friends post on Facebook and I have no clue what they mean because I haven’t checked it in days. I think life gets too busy sometimes ( well at least for me) it does. I sometimes feel like I don’t even have time for my family, I definitely feel out of touch with them at times. Not just the extended family but close family. I sometimes regret all the hours I put into work, and wish I could spend more time with family/ friends. I know I changed the subject a little but really whose to blame our jobs or ourselves……..

    • You’re so right, Bonnie. Life DOES get too busy sometimes (most of the time!). I don’t like feeling the guilt or feeling left out, as I’m sure you don’t either. I think there’s a lot to blame… our jobs, our egos, technology, and as Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a changin’ ” Sometimes too fast, right?

  3. I totally know what you mean! My blog is still newish — about 5 months — and I only post once a week, though I post other stuff and links back on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn more often than that. But I feel like my traffic and comments have been down the last few/several weeks. I’m hoping that it’s because it’s summer and more people are taking social media vacations. Hopefully it will pick up again for all of us come September!

    • Here’s to September (eeek… did I really say that???). I think you’re right – lots of people are taking time off in the summer. So does that mean we shouldn’t feel guilty? I think a lot of it is personality type. Some people are just more easy going while others are a bit, um, shall we say, compulsive or obsessive? 😉 Maybe it’s all about not comparing ourselves to others and trying to keep pace with everything, right? Thanks, as always, for your comment, Ellen, and you know I love your blog. Keep it up!

  4. Nancy, I hope your Dad continues to make a good recovery, and that you get a makeup vacation!

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