Agenda: Bradley Wiggins, The Apprentice, Nymphomaniac and punk, Met Ball-style


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The Independent Culture

Middle-class problems: FOMO

The digital revolution has made it easier to catch up with many things. That "must-see" TV series? Caught it online. The hot new book? Read the user reviews on Amazon and can bluff it. The blockbuster film? Bought a dodgy DVD and watched it at home.

But with greater choice comes greater opportunity to experience FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out, and now that we share every aspect of our lives online, we are inescapably plagued by the sense that there is always something happening elsewhere that is better than whatever it is that we happen to be doing now.

These days, on average, young adults spend just 97 minutes at a party, using Twitter or Facebook to find out where to go next. According to the same survey (, more than 40 per cent of young people move between two to four events per night and nearly 60 per cent would leave a party as soon as they discovered there was somewhere else they'd rather be.

The problem with social media is not just having the knowledge of other people's pursuits, it's how memories become edited and airbrushed, making our FOMO even more debilitating. What you see: beautiful people breaking bread in an impossibly trendy eatery. The reality: a group of people you hardly know having a mediocre time in a crowded, over-priced, over-hyped dump where everyone was too busy tweeting photographs of their food to spend any time talking to anyone else.

So it's time to reclaim the acronym. Let's start by Forging Our Memories Offline.

Daisy Stenham