In fandom, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a huge deal. A “Big Thing”, if you will. No one wants to miss a single thing, but some of us—okay, many of us—have to pick and choose what we do. Maybe it’s finances that deter us, perhaps it is geographic location, or both. (I haven’t forgotten the fans in parts of the globe the band seems to ignore these days). This particular blog post isn’t about who gets to see the most or why. It isn’t about measuring what country should or should not have shows, either. We all know the States gets more than their share of shows, appearances, etc. I know that to the rest of the world, there’s no room in complaining if you live here. Let’s just leave that topic alone. Simply put, very few of us are able to do as much as we’d like, regardless of why.
I remember being younger—both as a kid myself, and then again as a younger adult with my own little ones—and not being able to get to shows, appearances, signings, or even sightings! The excitement of seeing something announced, along with the immediate dread that followed was akin to being on a roller coaster. In full transparency, it wasn’t unusual for me to be jealous over one person or another for being able to attend things I could not. Many times, I would turn away from my computer screen rather than have to face another barrage of excited, well-intentioned posts from fans planning their trip to this, that or the other. I didn’t have a word for it at the time, other than pure jealousy.
Even today, I see the remarks each and every time something new is announced. For every person who posts their joy and excitement, there are others who feel opposite. Someone is mad, somebody else is upset because the band isn’t in their country. A few others are hurt because they can’t get to whatever is being mentioned. Still others are furious about the price (with good reason, I might add). I just think it is important to acknowledge that this part of fandom, however kind, caring, compassionate, empathetic or whatever-else you might be, is very hard. To be blunt, it really sucks!
I know people, and you might as well, who have simply stopped following the band on social media because they can’t stand the FOMO. Maybe they’ve even stopped following the few fans that ARE able to go. Let me be the first to also acknowledge the awkwardness of being someone who can go when others are not. How does one politely respond to someone on the edge of despair because they haven’t seen the band at an event in a long time? Yet here YOU are (or *I* am), joyfully tweeting about something you’re attending the following week? The words “I’m so sorry” don’t quite cut it. What do you say?
The fact is, I *am* sorry not everyone can go to everything. I’m not sorry that the band chooses to play in the US a lot, mainly because I’m a selfish bitch that way, I guess! It isn’t that I don’t want to share the band, it is that I’m just a fan. I have no control over where and how they play. I have to be happy with whatever they do here, and while there is a part of me that cringes every time they announce a new west coast show, there is also another part of me that is thrilled. Is that awful of me? Probably. I just don’t have any control over their schedule. If I did, they would be playing a lot more shows along the central coast in California – in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, or even San Luis Obispo!
The fact is, I suffer from FOMO as much as anyone else. Despite living where I do, I can’t get to everything. The next few weeks are a perfect example. Jimmy Kimmel, the premiere of Hollywood High, the two Halloween Vegas shows, and then two more shows at Yaamava Casino out in San Bernardino county, capped off by the Hall of Fame ceremony in Los Angeles, would have made for an excellent way to spend two weeks of my time. If only I actually had two weeks of my own time to spend, not to mention a healthy bank account for the tickets. The way the band announced these gigs, coffee-drip style, made it nearly impossible to plan accordingly. Never mind the money (which is another topic for another blog), I just got back from vacation. I can’t be gone for two weeks following this band around, no matter how much I might like the idea.
I see friends mentioning their upcoming roadtrip to Vegas, and then back through San Bernardino to see the casino shows, ending back in Los Angeles for the Hall of Fame, and I can feel that little burning feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wish I could go. I couldn’t touch the tickets to the Halloween shows, nor the Yaamava shows, or even the Hall of Fame. Good sense (and a weird gut feeling) told me not to buy them. Even so, doing the right thing stings sometimes! Then I remind myself I have tickets to see the premiere of “Hollywood High” with a wonderful friend of mine, and then we’re going to go see my faux brother Jason in Vegas, doing his DJ thing alongside my favorite guitar player on the planet (Dom Brown, that is you, my friend.) That’s something, and my mama didn’t raise me to be jealous. I’m grateful I’m getting to do anything at all right now. But of course, I want more.
That’s fandom for you. As wonderful as it can be, it is also a terrible beast at times to keep in check.
Acknowledge the FOMO!!