Articles by Stan Dean

FOMO

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I am not a big fan of commercials, but they work and marketers know it. That is why big companies allot millions of dollars a year in their advertising budget. They not only want us to be aware of their product, they also want us to think that we need what they are selling- - whether we do or not!


One of the advertisers’ most effective tools for getting us to buy their products is appealing to our “FOMO” susceptibility. What is “FOMO”? It is an acronym that stands for the Fear Of Missing Out. Basically, we are led to believe that if we do not drive a specific car, wear a unique brand of clothing, eat certain foods, use a particular deodorant, etc., then we are missing out. While that may or may not be true, no one wants to be left out so we fall prey to their plan.


FOMO is not a new phenomenon; in fact, it is as old as man himself. To illustrate, let us look all the way back to the Garden of Eden. God had placed Adam and Eve in the garden and instructed, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16, 17).


In the next chapter, Satan enters the picture. He questions Eve about the restriction God had placed on the one tree. She answered him, “God has said, ‘you shall not eat it, nor touch it, lest you die,’” (Genesis 3:3). The brazen serpent played his FOMO card by replying, “You shall not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4, 5). The narrative continues, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). You know the rest of the story!


Thus, Satan was the original FOMO exploiter. Not only that, but he continued to use it effectively throughout Bible history and even to this very day! Just as he did with Adam and Eve, he wants us to think that God’s will inhibits us and causes us to miss out on the fun and fulfillment of life. But it is not true! (cf. Psalm 19:7-11). When we follow God’s will we never miss out- - we are only blessed (Psalm 1:1-3).


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