A few years ago a new acronym entered the lexicon- FOMO. It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, the notion that because via our phones we can see in real time events our friends and relations are engaging in we are somehow missing out on those events by not actually being there.
This past Sunday I became a victim of FOFO. Like FOMO, FOFO involves our relationship with technology and the toys that bring the tech to our fingertips. But FOFO isn’t about missing out on something, it’s about the active desire to not want to know something. FOFO stands for Fear Of Finding Out.
The particular event this relates to was the final of the Euro Cup Soccer Tournament between England (the good guys) and Italy (the less good guys). Out here on the Left Coast the match began at noon. I could not watch it then. There was business to attend to, business that would not be finished till well after the end of the game. No problem thought I. I would simply record the game, avoid any information about what happened in the game, and watch it in pure unadulterated sports ignorance bliss when I got home.
And that’s when I encountered FOFO.
It might not be a big deal here in the US of A, but the Euro Cup IS a big deal everywhere else in the world. While I had disabled all the alerts I have for sports stories and even went to the extent of disabling alerts from news organizations on the off chance a score would find it’s way to my binging phone, I so wanted to know nothing of the match in order to better enjoy it via tape delay that I took to not even looking at my phone the entire afternoon.
That’s a lot more difficult than you would think. I didn’t miss out on anything really important, but every time there was a vibration and a bing in my pocket (is that a bing in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?) I felt I had to ignore it on the oft chance it might contain information I didn’t want to know.
And suddenly I understood the Fox News viewer better than I ever have.
While I didn’t want to know who scored or what team was ahead, the Fox News viewer doesn’t want to get information from any other source on the oft chance he or she might have their preconceived notions of right and wrong challenged. Their FOFO is directly connected to their own self image or perhaps to the lack of same.
Their FOFO is so strong that their elected officials are taking them up on it. January 6th? Never heard of it. Did something happen that day? I just remember there being a lot more than usual tourists traipsing through the building. No big deal.
The greatest gift we as human beings have is our capacity to wonder. It is from that wondering about why the sky is blue or why the stars seem to move in the night sky or what is over the next mountain that all historical progress has come. To stop wondering, to stop wanting to know why, that is when civilization crumbles.
The current whipping boy for this intellectual suicide is critical race theory. What that is even I can’t figure out. I just say it’s an exercise in understanding why things are the way they are in our country. Who could possibly be against that? Why the very people who are making a fortune off the notion that all history is resolved, no need to explore it any further. We are white, I mean, we are right and anyone who says we aren’t is lying to you.
Just like they’re lying to you about the COVID vaccine. Fox says don’t take the vaccine but they take the money of vaccine manufacturers to advertise on their airwaves. Wow, hypocrisy thy name is Murdoch.
I didn’t want to know anything about the game out of a purely selfish rational; I wanted to enjoy the match as if it was being watched in real time. The Fox viewer has his/her own selfish reason as well. They don’t want to spend the intellectual capital to explore more than what they are told by Tucker or Sean or any of the army of Fembots Rupert and the boys parade out to divert the attention of their audience. Their lot in life has nothing to do with their own failings but rather is the fault of all those “others” the network bashes on their behalf. And how do they know that to be true? Why the network tells them it’s so. Or as the tap dancer’s best friend said: