In an earlier century, Fear Of Missing Out was not being able to talk about last night’s episode of All In The Family, or Cheers, or 60 Minutes, or Seinfeld. Now it’s the fear of not knowing what’s hottest and most current, what’s breaking and what’s trending, and who’s saying what on celebrity, sports, music, movie, tv, and news feeds. It takes time to check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Vine, WhatsApp, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Xing, Renren, Sonico, Cyworld, Tinder, Blendr, Grindr, Whiplr, Happn, OKCupid, PlentyofFish, and other accounts. With so many new sites being added so frequently, it is virtually impossible to produce an up-to-date list.
Reports tell us that typical people, whoever they are, check their smartphones between 100 and 150 times a day. If there are 16 waking hours in a day, this is every 6 to 10 minutes. It would be hard to make a case for the need to be in such constant contact.
Staying up to the minute (not Missing Out) moves people up two rungs on the JSCL (Joneses Social Climber Ladder). By keeping up with the groups they want to be a part of, they’re producing a steady stream of evidence that proves they belong. By staying ahead of the ignorant, the unwashed and the Luddites, they’re providing themselves with a steady stream of proofs of their technical and social media superiority.
Before steam, internal combustion, and electrical power, there were treadmills.
These simple machines were originally designed to convert animal or human motion into power to drive other machinery. Later they were used as punishment devices in prisons.
Only in the past few decades have they become exercise equipment that allow you to walk or run while going nowhere. Because you never get anywhere, being on a treadmill has become idiomatic for performing a tiresome routine and for being a part of the rat race, an endless, pointless, and self-defeating activity. Keeping up with ever-increasing sites and feeds and accounts means less time for sleeping and eating and showering. Which sounds more like the behavior of addicts than tech sophisticates.
Our favorite treadmill example is this classic short clip of Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory.