Ever wanted to ditch a party in lieu of staying in bed, but ended up with a gnawing fear that something spectacular might happen, so your drag yourself off the couch and into heels? Asks Sama Al Wasmi.
Well, if you don’t already know, there’s a name for that: it’s called Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and it’s the most invasive socio-cultural trend of our generation. The culture of FOMO has permeated more the just our social life, it’s now influencing our food choices, travel destinations and, ultimately, the clothing and trends we buy into.
So, what’s the big deal? Who cares that now we are able to try trends, faster, easier and for a lot less money than we use to? Well, when you consider what this culture does to creativity and individuality, it starts to become a big deal.
Nowadays you needn’t “dress the part” any longer… a doctor with the hippest Yeezys? Sure! A “starving” artist toting a Kelly? Why not! A shy wallflower in a larger-than-life Vetements padded graphic hoodie? Makes sense to me!
This is all largely due to the fact that, over the last ten years, fashion and trends have become so readily accessible to us all. Social media bombards us with an array of looks being rocked by the fashion set and, in turn, this makes it seem wearable by even the most introverted amongst us. Add to this the advent of ecommerce and fast fashion, and you’ve got the ideal recipe for the foundation of FOMO commerce!
The traditional trend cycle has created such a strain on creativity because designers are not given the time or space to come up with original ideas. And even when they do, their concepts are quickly copied by everyone from the shameless high street to unethical fellow designers.
This not only effects the creativity of the original designer and the brand, but it also undermines every consumers’ individuality – when one has so much to choose from at your fingertips, an individual’s personal style cannot naturally develop well or cohesively.
A century ago, we didn’t have the high street megastores of today to fuel our desire to “try” lime green on our complexions, or luxury ecomms to fuel our late-night guilty purchases.
We end up buying more – and typically something that never had much original thought put into its design process, and something that certainly doesn’t speak to us as individuals and that really isn’t feel good fashion!
More often than not, the feeling of having “too much” has permeated many modern day households. We search for answers in Marie Kondo books and cling to minimalism. The solution is simply to be more diligent about what we buy, about which designers we respect, and about which aesthetic speaks to us as individuals.
Rather than using social media to perpetuate copy/paste syndrome and further today’s FOMO culture, our generation as a unique opportunity.
We can use our time to seek out creative individuals from across the globe, those whose style or aesthetic resonates with our own, and by committing to ensuring that our purchases mean something not only to us, but to the designers who have created them.
Through this, we can define a new socio-cultural trend… the Joy of Missing Out!