FOMO, the ever-present Virus

girl reading a book

Our contemporary culture seems to be under the influence of a new Virus: FOMO.

Either driven by selfish motives or perhaps merely in a survival mode, some of us seem to be completely afraid of missing out on an offer, a deal, an opportunity or even a coupon. This translates into a phenomenon already designated by an acronym: FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. 

Moreover, marketers, advertisers and media people know how to drive this almost primal fear translating it into clicks, views, and sales conversions, transforming us from onlookers into engaged consumers. As an example, take the famous phrase (sometimes casually ‘hidden’ into well designed ‘small letters’ preceded by an intriguing asterisk: *This is Limited Time offer…

The tiny phrase seems to set an inner reaction in motion, quite comparable to our ancestors’ ‘flee or fight’ response. The offer now seems to be almost compelling. So, under the fear and pain of missing this wonderful and possibly once in a lifetime opportunity, you have to act NOW. 

Education and FOMO

This powerful tool, driven to exasperation and ever-present in our society, may become a powerful tool for excellent and legitimate goals. If used well and for the right purposes. How? Well…The saints used to teach this wonderful aphorism: “When we pray, we talk to God. When we read, God talks to us.”

As parents and educators, we can constantly inspire our little ones, challenging them to raise and look for the best options possible. And here comes the key idea: if we manage to explain well and even make them feel the hidden treasures of reading, and the immense horizon of option, waiting for them on the pages of a book, we will open to them a world of possibilities that may never end. 

“When we pray, we talk to God. When we read, God talks to us.”

As reading seems to be an acquired taste, and no intellectual capabilities come as a discount on a coupon, the FOMO process, may help them quite well to get over the initial difficulties. And in due time, we may have among us, little avid readers, devouring pages and pages on fearful cadence. 

Parents as permanent Educators

Once those powerful forces are unleashed in those young minds, please remember that they cannot be abandoned to their own devices. As a parent, you need to supervise gently their newly discovered tool, avoiding disasters and disappointments. 

mother and daughter readingAs St Thomas Aquinas puts it so well, “Verum, Bonum Pulchrum,” Latin words for Truth, Goodness and Beauty are the guiding parameters to be sought when looking into reading material. 

Truth, Goodness and Beauty are the essentials of Virtue. And guiding the little one’s vision towards these three elements will transform them. Here is when the primal FOMO evolves into a most powerful virtue: Admiration. 

Admiration: the transforming Virtue

We turn into what we love just because we crave what we admire. A hero, an attitude, a saying, or a particular person, will command our admiration as long as we can appreciate, cherish and love what they mean or represent. Once admiration comes into the picture, no one will be able to stop and prevent the unquenchable pursue of what we admire and love. Admiration decides the course of a life. And to spark that chain of events, maybe in your hands. “When we read, God talks to us…” 

So here is a summary and a set of handy tips:

  • Go read to your children; 
  • Open their eyes to this wonderful habit; 
  • Guide them to a safe reading environment where Truth, Goodness and Beauty shine and sparkle.

Follow these steps, and get ready to witness amazing and unsuspected wonders. Your efforts will reap immense rewards. 

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