Fear of missing out is typical for our generation

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Decision making is a problematic area for most of the students, but it can be improved. This is the opinion of Kristoff Fellegi

In today’s information society we are constantly bombarded with ads in the most cunning ways. Appealing products and services are not only shown passively on a board or a screen anymore, but we are actively accompanied with them everywhere, absorbing them with all our senses. A new epidemic is lurking on us.

Fear of missing out is a typical struggle of our generation. Youngsters tend to shovel in ‘xp’-s of life as if it was a race they all want to win. And while checking off their bucket lists, they forget to live. I even consider the ones with a bucket list lucky, since they aren’t just impulsively picking newer and newer desires to be scratched off. And boy there are some choices to make!

Decision making is a problematic area for most of us, but it can be improved. Fortunately all the knowledge from all the previous eras are also gathered and accessible thanks to our internet-based information society. There’s help out there, it’s just getting harder and harder to find it and easier and easier to get distracted.

Focusing too much on external factors is a dangerous hook. People living a show-off life unnoticeably start forgetting to be present. They start forgetting to appreciate things or to evolve an inner value system at all that could be the guiding light in decision making. They will never be satisfied, lest happy. (Of course, with this thought I am assuming the meaning of life is pursuing happiness.)

The only way out of it is to start asking questions. Is it really what I want? Do I need this? Or do I just want this? Confusing needs and desires is a common mistake. Most of us fall for it from time to time and that’s fine. But if it gets accumulated, it can very easily cause an identity crisis.

Life is about so much more than material goods! Maslow has a clever way of showcasing our mundane needs in his pyramid. Starting from the physiological needs he puts self-actualization on the top of the hierarchy of needs.

I cannot and don’t want to argue with it. Although I like to upgrade it with keeping track of those categories. I always visualize human needs with some kind of a dashboard that shows the levels of different areas of life that is advisable to pay attention to: physical well-being, mental well-being, self – social balance, family, financials, fun, spirit.

These are not carved in stone. But these are big enough categories to embrace the life of most of us regardless of our geographical or ethnical background. If any area gets out of balance, our body signals! So listen to those signs, you might just caught the latest disease, the fear of missing out!

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