Diary Aug 20: FOMO
這篇文章原本是首發在 Medium 的。把英文文章首發在 Medium 的原因，在上一篇文章 Diary Aug 27: An educated uncivilized person 裡面也有提到。但不想只是把舊文 copy and paste，所以我這篇文章跟 Medium 的版本有一點細節上的不同。如果有興趣的讀者，可前往我的 Medium平台再看原版，但我個人覺得，應該是這裡的修改版會比較流暢。
下面的正文也有提及 FOMO 的定義，來自牛津字典，這裡先稍作翻譯：
FOMO (非正式詞彙) - 害怕錯過資訊 (可能別處正在發生一件有趣或興奮刺激的事，因而擔心自己會錯過此事的感覺)
老實說，我第一次聽到 FOMO 的時候，卻還沒有正式查字典去看相關解釋。其實在我學習和使用英文的過程中，也很少真的去查字典，在那個新學的生字出現的當下，在那個情境中知道了或猜中了字詞的用法後，我就會一直把那個字放在同一種情境中運用，因為這是我的認知中的那個字的應有用法，但實在很少會刻意為了一個新學習而我又 kind of 知道它是怎麼用的字詞去查字典，看它官方的用法解釋，因既然我已經懂用了，還查什麼字典？但為人師後，為免誤人子弟，有時雖然一邊查字一邊覺得麻煩，但卻真的因而認識了很多字的其他用法，「蛤？原來也有這個解釋？！」的想法會一直像電話裡的彈出通知一樣在我腦中彈出來。
本身我以為 FOMO 的意思是「害怕錯過社交網絡上別人新發的 post」，細看之下，牛津的定義和我對這個字的認知有一點出入。
其實，與其說是個人生活流水帳類型的日記，不如把我在 Medium 發的英文日記定位為「那一天我想說的話」會比較好，都是一些在當天 strike my mind 的一些所思所想，因為對這些腦子裡想著的事有一些執著的看法，所以就想在日記中暢所欲言。
想聊 FOMO ，是起源於弄了自己的第一份電子報。
之前看到阿線成功地 set up 了一份個人電子報，我研究了一翻，也弄了一個，感覺上是有用的工具。雖然具體上我沒想得很仔細有什麼用，但我的直覺告訴我：一定有用！例如，我可以把我的電子報訂閱連結轉發給一些有心學習的我課上的學生，讓他們有 after-class 的學習，或對不同題材有多一點閱讀方面的涉獵，也能從 Matters 上的眾多寫作高手的文章中學習（現在，他們都只是在做一些我設計或出版社設計的練習，或只閱讀出版社寫的文章），我也可以在電子報裡發表我從來沒有在其他寫作平台上發表過的想法，或宣傳自己的舊作品。
現在無疑是資訊爆炸的年代，在抖音、YouTube、Instagram 和 Facebook上，每一天的每一分鐘都有數之不盡的用戶在發表不同的資訊，有長有短，抖音和 YouTube Shorts （YouTube 上像抖音一樣的超短影片）興起後，細小零碎的資訊都有海量的捧場客，常常聽到一個超短影片儘管拍出來只是 for fun、沒什麼大道理或實用的資訊，觀看量都可達每小時幾百萬。又聽說很多人在疫情失業後，都想乘搭「網紅 KOL」這便車，想「一拍成名」，靠網上經過自己影片的流量賺錢，所以網上就有更多影片。
因為在 Ｍatters 上寫文章的緣故，也順道在這些日子了解了一些其他的網上寫作平台，以及人們對這些平台的評價。Google 上搜到的結果，就算只是我想看的文章，不把我沒興趣的算在裡面，數量也多到看不完；來了 Matters 後，就發現連 Matters 上我有興趣看的創作，數量也驚人到看不完。因為我不只會看追蹤的作者的文章，也會在隨機出現的 tag 裡面選一些我想看的，當是認識新網友新馬特市民也好，當是增長知識也好，多看幾篇好看的散文小說充實時間也好，總之，就是後來發現了一直也看不完。
正因為這個世界的資訊已經太多（或者已到氾濫的地步），我覺得要我要求別人花時間，或說服別人花時間看我的創作真的很難，特別是當看不看我的作品對他們的生活也無大礙時，所以我只給了幾個聊得來也成熟一點的學生訂閱我電子報的連結和我的名片，雖沒有說「不訂閱也沒關係」這種話（給人家連結就是想人家訂閱呀，還裝什麼ＸＤ），但他們沒訂閱的話，我都沒再把這事拿出來說。在馬特市和其他地方也只是放了連結，甚至這篇文章也是，有時會在 liker social 宣傳一下，有時不會，抱著「有人看就是緣份，沒人看是應份」的佛系心態，雖然很想全世界都當我的讀者，但畢竟想看的人，或是在將來的某個時間點被我的作品吸引到人就會看呀！能夠做到這樣，應該是因為我的正職不是寫作吧？哈哈！
基於上面一連串對 FOMO 的想法，就寫了以下這篇日記，也順道謝謝方格子的官方人員對我的厚愛，把以下和另外一篇文章選為８月的編輯精選。（我在這裡謝方格子的人，我還沒在方格子謝謝他們呢！成件事錯晒ＸＤ）
Diary Aug 20: FOMO
I forgot where I took this photo. It is a shot taken from inside a Starbucks in Hong Kong. I remember meeting a net friend that day. He was quite a well-built Finnish man. He has given me his name card and I indeed kept it for quite some years but it was lost in the time of decluttering later in my life.
Since that time up untill now, if there’s one habit of mine that has not been lost, it should be my capability of making new friends online. Sometimes I meet them in person if we find each other living on the same page — with similar interests or at least keeping a part of gem that the other person is interested in knowing more. For example, few years ago, I met a businessman who is now enjoying life with her girlfriend in Portugal. I haven’t really asked him where he came from, or, have I? I forgot. Well, it may sound a bit out of the reality if I hadn't asked about his nationality when we were still on the stage of knowing a new friend but the nationality doesn’t matter. What matters the most is my awareness of my higher ability of making friends online, which is far easier than making friends offline.
In other words, the real world.
From the age of Xanga which hopefully you know what it is, its transition to MSN, then the later social network giant, Facebook, and further away from the left hand side of the time line ----- the simplistic Instagram, to the current social network I am joyfully indulging in, liker.social on Mastodon (Yes, sorry, I nearly missed my rarely used Twitter which doesn’t even occupy a place on my phone), I am more than aware of one crystal clear fact which is that I have never been truly affected severely by FOMO.
Knowing this term for quite some time but not having seriously researched it, I searched its meaning today and to my surprise, it is not confined to an internet jargon anymore but it rises to its fame in Oxford dictionary, finally, after all these years of construction of the social networking maze.
Defined by Oxford Dictionary, FOMO is:
a feeling of worry that an interesting or exciting event is happening somewhere else
Wait, isn’t it just a fear of missing out information on social media or the latest updates of my ‘friends’ on my social media friend list? Why is it suddenly transformed into the fear, or, to be exact, the jealousy of other’s probably more affluent life and the induced confusion of the life you are living? There may be "a more interesting event or exciting event happening" elsewhere? I have never thought about that. I have never tried to catch up with the latest posts of my online friends or offline real world friends EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. I mean, it’s just insane!
Life is short. We have to focus a lot on our family, career, meditation, cultivation of our hobbies and other ways of personal enlightenment. C'mon! We can’t really afford FOMO even if you would beg to be one of those who are wearing this bandage of what seems to me is a mental disorder.
The reason behind the incapability to develop FOMO is more than obvious: What everyone possesses is merely 24 hours. On top of what we need to catch up with all the time is our time to hit the gym or the jogging trail in the nearby park, our family, career and other tangles of commitment that we have promised other human beings for, or animals, or plants in this world. How can we constantly catch up with the endless stream of information with our limited time?
There has always been someone, probably a best-selling author, or some bloggers specialising in mental health, who asks, 'How would you possibly and fully use your 24 hours?'
I am not sure about my answers. I can never submit a detailed break-down of my itinerary every single day. Yet, what I can say for sure is that the proportion of time for me to chase after the tails of the new popped-up on social media or the old posts that are sinking down is not, was not and will not be the majority of my pie chart of “Allocation Of My 24 hours On A Daily Basis”!
As endless as it may have already occurred to writers on Medium, Vocus, Matters and other writing platforms, if we want to expand the time we use to run after the new and old articles on these websites, it will inevitably mean an encroachment of the time we can otherwise use in other different ways such as reading a paperback, lighting up a candle, sitting beside a pillow to wind down, or just simply eating some snacks and letting our thoughts go for awhile (or in the wild). And the brutal fact is that, some of us may have already invested the largest proportion of time on these writing platforms to write our own stories (just like what I’m doing now) or checking on other valuable pieces.
Therefore, there’s definitely no way for us to spend even MORE time — the amount which is larger than 100% ,in any way, than the current amount of time we have chosen to spend — on keeping track of these new and old posts in the ocean of passages. This hasn’t come to my realisation until one day when I was totally lost in the maze of passages I was reading, as well as those that had long been kept in my Bookmark.
The articles in my bookmark page could just later find out that I could not really finish reading them in 1–2 days. The list keeps growing like an organic plant. Therefore, a thought struck me: I will NEVER EVER be able to finish reading all articles which will just keep popping up. Even I just narrow down to only those I am interested in, it is all the same because there is one status in the world which is called ‘I don’t want to do anything or read anything at all.’ It is an idleness of emotion and the induced physical incapability. To put it simply, I just want to lie down and look at the ceiling for some moments without talking or reading — not even thinking to be honest!
So, even if I would love to be a FOMO patient, I will never be.
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