It is no secret that COVID-19 has put a damper on a lot of our ideas of fun. People are fearful of beaches, bowling alleys and nightclubs. Whatever your idea of fun is, it’s pretty much been limited due to COVID-19. However, the fear of missing out (FOMO) may be causing more people to change their mindset to you only live once (YOLO). YOLO originated after Drake’s 2012 hit, The Motto, was released and has taken on an entirely different meaning in 2020.
On the spectrum of COVID-19 safety guidelines, you have people sacrificing their social life to best protect themselves and stop the spread. Meanwhile, you have those who are not taking the pandemic seriously and continue to endanger themselves and others to socialize. This begs the question, what side of the spectrum are you, and is your way incorrect?
Watching your friends live a care-free life through social media – whether it’d be partying or traveling – can instantly start to make you feel like you’ve been wasting your days quarantining in fear. While a lot of us would love to be in Tallahassee’s popular night club, Top Flite, singing Fantasia’s “When I See You” at the top of our lungs, it isn’t so simple.
If you have family members or friends who are immunocompromised, fall into the susceptible age of COVID-19, or are more prone to not survive COVID-19 if contracted, you should do more research and understand why all those roles play a major factor in where you fall on the FOMO to YOLO spectrum.
Mikel Engram understands that the fear of missing out is an anxious feeling, especially when you label yourself a social butterfly.
“I haven’t been to parties because, I’m scared to be in a public place with people I don’t know and trust,” Engram said. “I don’t know if they have been following the rules.”
Most of the events deemed as taboo to those who prefer to isolate themselves are hidden on people’s Instagram close friend’s feature. Whether it is brunch, dinner parties or a night out at the club, there is a slight secondhand embarrassment, because you know you can’t be there.
The best way to find a balance between having FOMO and feeling more YOLO would be limiting yourself to a social outing with less than 10 people. Ways to safely do this is by hosting an event, if you’re too afraid to attend someone else’s. This could include events such as: taco Tuesday, movie night or a wine down Wednesday.
Student, Daja Jackson, feels safer by hosting her own events.
“I’ve hosted several different parties amidst COVID-19,” Jackson said. “For some reason, I just feel safer knowing that I managed who was allowed into my little bubble.”
Hosting your own events allows for you to control who is invited into your space and create rules such as making it mandatory for all guests to be tested prior to the event or requiring masks.
If having more intimate style gatherings still does not cure your need for socialization or your FOMO, then you have to ask yourself if the risk is worth the reward. Is going to the club worth the potential of getting yourself, a friend or a family member sick?
Azana Mason falls more on the YOLO side with the several times she has broken quarantine.
“I have been out since bars opened at full capacity,” Mason said. “I make sure I wear my mask and I practice social distancing at all times. At the end of the day, we are still in college, we are still young and we can’t just expect life to stop.”
Other students agree by saying this is our new normal, and we have to start living at some point.
Regardless of where you fall on the FOMO to YOLO spectrum, it is important that you remember to protect yourselves and others. Living in a pandemic is serious and while the nation tries to find a vaccine, we need to all alter our ideals of social settings, so we can meet each other somewhere in between FOMO and YOLO.