The “Internet of Things” grew and became the basis to extend the reach and speed with which the “Fear of Missing Out” touched our lives and gave fuel to the innate envy machine. As automation, digitalization and digitization reach deeper into the fabric of everyone’s life and lifestyle, it may begin to feel like a new set of fears are looming and merging into a “Fear of Losing Out”: jobs, perceptions, interpersonal contacts, coping mechanisms, or control over our own lives.
Disruption may seem imminent but several factors can put that apparent inevitability into a more realistic perspective. The digital magic of computerization brings many advances and benefits if one will look objectively at how we choose to use technology. Sometimes we do not have a choice in how something will be done, but without our need for the “something”, the technology would not be required. So, our choice is not about the solution but whether we want to have the “something”.
In counterpoint, a new invention or technology without an apparent use often creates its own justification and market when the curious discover how to make the novel concept useful. It takes time, changed perceptions, and widespread interest to convert the novel concept from “nothingness” into a future necessity (e.g.; where was Facebook five years ago?). Perhaps we’re fortunate that every novel concept is not destined to be a must-have thing.
Did the new technology cause a disruption or did human acceptance and popularity become the driving force for a changed view of the present? Recognize that the “Fear of Losing Out” is a perception built on the uncertainty arising from an unknowable future. Retaining relevance as human beings means recognizing our perception of disruption as the starting point for changing to a new reality. Humans are and will be required to influence the emergence of that future.