Encrypted Twitter’s FOMO trap and the quiet arrival of ROMO art

Twitter's FOMO trap and the rise of ROMO art

FOMO is a way of life, but it is not the only way of life. There is also ROMO, but ROMO is not “the steps we must follow.”

Original title: “The Art of ROMO”

Written by: Matti

Translated by: Kxp, BlockBeats

After reading Gstaad Guy’s post, I decided to write an article about ROMO – Relief Of Missing Out. Although my version is different, he raised a good question:

“How can one possibly be afraid of missing out on a bad party and bad friends?”

Fear of missing out is a natural instinct of the mind. In the dopamine-filled world of the internet, has FOMO become an inevitable phenomenon? Is this really something new? The following paragraphs contain some philosophical discussions:

The ROMO depicted by CasBlockingr David Friedrich

FOMO is closely related to dopamine. It is a trap that human thinking is naturally prone to. In the past, FOMO may have led you to learn about your neighbor’s new crop rotation techniques, but today it is linked to social media’s group psychological disorders.

After humans have transformed this world from a resource scarcity to abundance, blindly following FOMO has become a suboptimal survival strategy. The ability to survive has become an inclination to indulge, whether it is food or information.

FOMO is a way of life, but it is not the only way of life-there is also ROMO; but ROMO is not “the steps we must follow.” The subtlety of ROMO is that it cannot be deliberately practiced because ROMO is a natural indifference.

Desire, imitation, and FOMO

Most social media dynamics, such as Twitter’s message push, are like an endless banquet. Countless participants are trying to instill in you what they think is important (mainly for recognition, including likes, etc.).

Although I occasionally participate in activities such as Twitter, I am increasingly aware that although countless opinions emerge every second on the screen, it actually becomes more and more empty.

When browsing feeds, I see two types of participants – influential people and useful idiots. They form a perfect symbiotic relationship. Influential people start posting content, and once they find out what useful idiots like, they double their efforts.

Influential people are worshipped by their followers. They direct the attention of useful idiots (i.e. fans) to self-centeredness. They post the content they think will attract more attention – a manifestation of narcissistic self-desire.

Desire is the result of imitation, and most desires today are misguided. They are driven by the global giant show of social media feeds (or Crypto Twitter groups where you are) that make you crave everything you see online from the bottom of your heart. And as the options increase, the level of FOMO also increases.

Useful idiots and influential people on social media platforms are increasingly out of touch with social media, and they don’t even notice it. Instead, they fall into a feedback loop of self-desire, constantly chasing returns. Social media is essentially non-social, or at best pseudo-social.

Interpersonal interactions become purely performative.

These social media feeds are no different from a bad company gathering. This is not real socialization, but a ritual of imitation and self-verification, whose purpose is to pursue returns (good or bad). Therefore, this is a trap of FOMO.

Life has become an uncontrollable and endless hamster wheel, hiding behind misguided desires, hiding behind the information seen by the next finger slide, and we are looking for prey hidden in the jungle like predators-but this does not require much effort, just slide your finger to the next one.

The natural curiosity of human beings is to explore and discover, and it is itself a reward. Under the influence of modern social media, people crave the certainty of the next dopamine stimulation, believing that it is hidden behind the next finger slide. This pursuit has become a process of chasing rewards itself, rather than truly pursuing the satisfaction of exploration and curiosity.

Competition is imitation

Competition is a way to prove our own worth. We are interested in competition because when we see others doing the same thing as us, we feel affirmed and recognized. Competition is a blind spot for us, and we are easily attracted to it.

Once people become part of a growing circle, it becomes a trap they cannot escape from. The gravity of this black hole is too strong, because it brings returns in both finance and social aspects. But at the same time, it also hides a cost, which exerts a destructive limitation on thinking.

Your thinking forces you to participate in those awful parties and meet terrible partners, without a chance to go beyond current thinking. When you are trapped in a noisy room where people are constantly chasing FOMO, you cannot experience the tranquility of cultivating secret thoughts.

In the painting, Erasmus is believed to be writing down his secret thoughts. Would he tweet them if he had the chance?

If you already feel trapped and captured by FOMO, then there is no antidote that can bring ROMO. Most importantly, ROMO should not be the ideal that people pursue, because then it is just a simple replacement of FOMO; an anti-FOMO-ism that is useless.

ROMO cannot be flexibly applied, because it only replaces FOMO for display, becoming a kind of anti-FOMO-ism that is more related to creating self-image. People use it to express: “Look at me, I am a different person!”

FOMO and ROMO are essentially opposite, but they cannot completely replace each other, and they have different meanings and influences on the psychological and emotional levels.

FOMO is a function related to selectivity, which means that we have many choices and are afraid of missing some things. In contrast, ROMO is an innocent understanding, which means that we understand things in a naive way without the need to be aware of our understanding. That is to say, ROMO allows us to no longer feel that we must participate in everything and can more confidently choose to participate or not.

ROMO is Coming

When does a person feel FOMO and when do they not? For example, he feels FOMO because he missed a gathering. He feels FOMO because he believes this is something he should do.

However, suppose there is a person who hates astrology and thinks it’s a complete waste of time, and there is now an astrology conference. He will not feel FOMO because he is not interested in astrology and does not think it is something worth his time.

ROMO comes naturally.

If someone realizes that social activities or social media are garbage, they will not feel FOMO because they are not interested. They don’t have to spend time making decisions because they are not interested at all.

Therefore, ROMO is not a choice, but a natural feeling, that nothing is “missed.”

It may be valuable to detect FOMO in oneself and examine its source. When we realize the nature of something and understand its meaning, we can naturally reduce its impact on us. Similar to how people loudly proclaim during a panic attack, recognizing the nature of the problem helps them find emotional balance.

Understanding that chasing anything will not yield any tangible gains is the key to starting everything, and if one is lucky, he can naturally lose interest in large-scale FOMO and rid himself of this affliction.

When people begin to recognize that a witch hunt is just a witch hunt, and a treasure hunt is just a treasure hunt, large-scale psychological imbalances cease to be effective. This means that people begin to realize that the so-called witch hunt is only a persecution of a specific target, or that the treasure hunt is only an activity to find treasure, and not an attribute with magical or supernatural properties.

People suddenly realize that witches or treasures do not exist, they are just a ritual constructed by society, and you are only forced to participate because of the people around you.

Freedom after Understanding

In an environment filled with various stimuli, people are inevitably immersed in them. When there are too many things and choices around us, we often feel a desire to have all the choices, and at the same time, we feel that these choices can be easily given up.

Our thinking habits tend to imitate others, but humans are not compelled to do so. FOMO is the pursuit of rewards, the pursuit of things that we hope will bring satisfaction and happiness. However, ROMO is a mentality that arises from the recognition that rewards do not truly bring relief. ROMO is not a positive pursuit, but a quiet, natural understanding that we no longer pursue the illusory comfort brought by these rewards, but rather from the bottom of our hearts understand that true relief does not depend on these rewards.

Those who are looking for a way out have the ability to see when imitation and competition dominate. Then they have the ability to avoid FOMO; to recognize the truth behind witch hunts or treasure hunts. But this is not about replacing FOMO with ROMO, nor does it mean taking any action.

In the process of seeking liberation, we find that there is no single method that can completely eliminate all constraints. However, what is bittersweet is that when we understand and accept this fact, we actually gain a new way. This approach comes from our deep understanding, an implicit cognition that enables us to find a subtle freedom for a period of time, a freedom that arises from the contradictions and conflicts within us.

That is ROMO, a quiet moment that slipped away quietly while you weren’t paying attention.

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