Everyone knows that YOLO (You Only Live Once) and most know that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real, or maybe just have FOMO on knowing what FOMO is. The point is that the internet has come together to establish that four letter acronyms are the best way to define emotions that aren’t listed in the dictionary, and it’s high time I made up my own. Thus, I give you FOPA: the Fear Of Posting Anything. Anything on social media at least, I don’t think many people are afraid of bulletin boards.
In this age of oversharing, of #instafood and #me, of “Like if you think I’m ugly, comment if you think I’m beautiful”, one wouldn’t be led to believe that anyone is suffering from FOPA. I’m here to tell you otherwise. The lack of FOPA awareness comes from one reason and one reason only: people are afraid to post about it. The reasons people experience FOPA, however, are more varied.
A common cause is the inability to re-achieve a previous like-count. A few months ago I posted a #tbt #throwbackthursday picture of 15-year-old-me with long locks of shining brown hair. The 42 likes shattered my previous records. From then on out, my posts of street art, friends hanging out and even a plant with a googly eye on it that looks like a bird weren’t up to muster. Why weren’t my scenic landscapes getting the same attention as my embarrassing teenage appearance? Maybe it was because they weren’t the same quality; maybe I had started posting too often. I didn’t know, and I was too scared to find out.
Another leading cause of FOPA most likely stems from the fear of appearing conceited. We’ve all jeered amongst peers about the embarrassing and self-serving Facebook statuses that float into our feeds. Oh you took a final and now you only have two more? Yeah be sure and post after each one because you couldn’t possibly have conveyed that info in a single status. You just made a baked potato with cheese and you’re proud of yourself? Better tell literally everyone you’ve ever met. The problem here is where to draw the line. Is my post about my new blog worth sharing or am I just as annoying as that “Totally maxed my bench reps at the gym today” guy?
Maybe this last bit of FOPA causation is one I made up myself, but I personally fear being misinterpreted. I thought my most recent Instagram was cool and artsy. I took a picture of my feet and legs from my stomach. I liked the picture because there’s a lovely progression of blur down my jeans to my slightly fashionable suede high tops. Thinking myself ironic, I hashtagged #selfie and called it a day. After an initial like or two from those exploring the hashtag, I received an array of comments inquiring as to why I was posting a #crotchshot. Try to be an artist, come off as a dick pic guy: FOPA.
I’m not saying that I never post anything, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer from FOPA. Tagged pictures of me on Facebook are not available on my profile, I haven’t updated my status since they added the emotions feature – Feeling Proud :), and I’ve only just hesitantly re-entered the Twitter arena. Is my content good enough? Will people hate me for talking about my life? Probably, but isn’t that the point?