Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it


8 Comments

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?


Leave a comment

A social community comes together to support one of its own – Liz Strauss

communityWhen a friend, relative or someone in your community is ill, you often hear of or attend fundraisers to help with medical bills. It’s nothing new, and it’s understandable. But today I was amazed at the power of the social media community.

I happened to be browsing through my tweet stream between posts for work when I saw this tweet from Brian Solis:

brian s tweet

I had no idea what this was all about, so of course I had to follow the link. Apparently some well known folks in the social sphere are coming together to donate items for an auction. Some of them are donating consulting time, others are donating collections of books, and other items. It’s all to serve as a fundraiser for Liz Strauss, who is “reclaiming her voice from throat cancer.” In case you don’t know her, Liz is a thought leader, an amazing blogger and founder of SOBCon. You can read more about her here.

Now I clearly don’t run in the same circles as these folks. Many are well known speakers, authors, or bloggers, and they probably all know each other because of what they do. But I’m willing to bet that if it wasn’t for social media, these individuals probably would not have met. And while I’m not a gambler, save for the occasional visit to the slot machines, I’m also betting on the fact that this fundraiser would not be happening without social media.

We can easily become disenchanted by the world of social media. People may not be who they claim to be, there is no scarcity of rudeness or swearing, accounts are hacked, and people are publicly shamed for something they may or may not have done purposely.

And then there’s this. People coming together to support someone that they probably would not know, and may never have met in person were it not for this electronic thread that binds us together. And it’s a testament to the goodness in people, to stand up and come to the aid of someone in their community who needs help. 

Liz will probably get more help than she ever would have were it not for the kindness of strangers who are learning about her situation. Her story is reaching so many more people through the wide net that is being cast through each of these donors’ own communities. It’s amazing when you think about it, and it makes me happy to know that I’m a small part of something so big that can do something so good.