A Bad Case of NOMO

I’ve got a bad case of NOMO. You probably already heard of FOMO — ‘Fear of Missing Out — the phenomena of social media addiction increasingly studied by psychologists. According to MyLife.com, 56% of social media users suffer from FOMO.

Well, I’ve got the opposite problem, a bad case of NOMO, as in No More. This is more commonly known as social media fatigue or burnout.

I’m not sure it is fatigue at this point. Can you have social media burnout for years on end?  Nor is there a sense of anger or dreading social media check-ins/flights. I just go and do it.

It’s a job. The shine is off.

For example, I’m just monitoring to make sure that no social media crisis is brewing for me or one of my clients (yes, I have more than Vocus).

When I do go and play online, I’m not out there rushing to see what my Internet marketing colleagues are saying on their blog or pro-feeds.  Instead, I tend to check out sites I enjoy, catch up on the baseball news, look at science fiction and writing stuff, see what friends are doing, etc.

Leisure time is spent on leisure, not the rat race.  And at least half of that precious leisure time is spent with people in person, because spending time with people in person restores balance and perspective. It lets you take online events with a smaller grain of salt.

When one of my competitors or rivals does something great, I congratulate them.  Yup, congratulate rivals. That makes more sense to me. After all, they achieved something I want, and that’s remarkable!

NOMO. Perhaps to a professionally dangerous level, though my Klout score seems to disagree. And we all know how important Klout scores are (cough).

It’s kind of like smoking a cigar on the fringe of a party. You know there’s a lot going on, but you already did your rounds… Now you’re just a dude enjoying your cigar. Some people breeze by and you chat, and that’s enough.

One thing is for sure, NOMO beats the hell out of FOMO.

Do you suffer from FOMO or NOMO?

[Tweet “NOMO beats the hell out of FOMO”]



  • Isn’t moderation considered healthy? Focusing on the people in appropriate ways what makes life go round? Maybe this is how life is supposed to look: GOGO!!

  • I am definitely hedging on the edge of NOMO. As you know-mo. I am fairly certain I would not be blogging or Tweeting if I wasn’t in a business that required it. Facebook I like for keeping in touch with people I like. It is all just a bit much.

    • I think I am blogging less about business, and blogging because it’s what I want to write or talk about, as opposed to playing the rat race FOMO game. Each is an approach to managing the fatigue. If my family and close friends weren’t on Facebook, I’d be gone, gone, gone. There’s a reason why there’s no find me on Facebook button here.

  • Social for me as become much more selective, and as such it has reinforced the notion of supply and demand. The more abundant something is the less value it usually has. In terms of Content Marketing, it as created an hysterical notion of more of the same, sure it’s billable stuff and perhaps necessary from the classic corporate marketing perspective, but usually it’s not information that moves knowledge forward as much as it’s designed to keep up with the Joneses.

    • I agree. It’s not that special anymore. We’ve seen everybody and their mother get on board with social now, and a lot of the “best practices” espoused have become common, turning blogs into fast food restaurants for marketing content. Oh well.

      We can still be real if we want to!

  • NOMO sounds like a good plan to recover from burnout and fatigue. But I’m betting if you looked closely, there are specific elements of social media in which you’re embracing NOMO vs. broadly and completely. This blog for example…I’d suggest it’s writing and engaging (perhaps thanks in part to social media). So while my blogs look like I’m embracing NOMO, you’ll know it’s official when the dust gets knocked off them.

    I think another thing to consider is that, hopefully, finally, social is becoming more of a part of a bigger whole. If this happens, it’ll make NOMO easier. But this, imho, is because it’ll help lessen the burnout and fatigue.

    Disclaimer: The FOMO? Yeah, it’ll have migrated elsewhere instead of disappearing. And as far as what FOMO looks like….this isn’t it. But my head always goes here when I see FOMO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gqeYPlVTCE

    • I don’t know. I think this blog is much more personal than it used to be, and much less about the rat race. A writer writes, and so this writer writes, partly here, partly privately. If there weren’t blogs I’d still be writing.

      But I do agree, as social becomes more common it does lose its novelty…

    • Oh, and I am totally showing my daughter that video.

  • You know how I feel :) Thanks for the lovely tip of the hat, my friend. Now, can you pass me a cigar? ;) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Is it also possible that there’s nothing much new and notable to read?

    • I think that’s highly possible. Everything seems rehashed. I do think Jay Baer’s new book cut against the grain a little, and that was refreshing, but besides that nothing, nothing I have seen in the space has really struck me as new.

  • It does seem that the FOMO ego rush is leading to a growing NOMO crowd. Thanks for giving me something to ponder and keep on keeping it real Geoff.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth, Randy! I think I vacillate between the two quite regularly. Periods of FOMO definitely lead to NOMO and then it cycles back through.

    • I almost feel like the fatigue stage is the growling. The NOMO stage is a sense of whatever. You just stop caring, you know what I mean?

      • Perhaps a more defining of ones attention. Focusing on the issues and people that matter and not the be all to the masses…

  • I have been suffering from NOMO for months but have been too shamed to admit it. Thanks for coming out and letting me know I’m not alone, Geoff.

  • So I’m not the only one, phew, I was starting to think that I’ve become lazy. I’ve been a community manager for almost 6 years now, with no help monitoring or executing the marketing campaigns. I love the strategic side of creating campaigns but the monitoring side is starting to take it’s toll.

    @geofflivingston:disqus any tips for feeling less burnt out?

    • It’s funny how many of us who have been on long term are feeling like this. Perhaps it just means less now.

      I work out regularly, and update minimally at night and during the weekends. Also, I intentionally schedule time that is not social media, and leave phones in the car. Finally, sleep with your phones/tablets not in the bedroom.

      All tips that seem to work for me!

  • I find myself asking when I read some drivel online “And why is that important?”

    Then I remind and remember we all speak to and with different audiences with different needs and interests.

    One question I am noticing surfacing for myself is why are others being so judgmental? What purpose does it serve? It keeps me open minded when frist said question surfaces lol.

    • Yeah, that’s why I put that line in about congratulating people. It just seems like we’ve gotten into a dog eat dog cycle, and personally, I find that uninteresting. I am sure that’s part of my malaise. But, whatever, there are other things to invest time in, and inevitably, the mind will do as it wants.

  • Here’s a question for you Geoff. Do you think it is possible to have a case of both? Because I think I really do. It depends on the day/time/what is going on in my life at that moment.

    • Wow, now that sounds frightening. Maybe I am simpleton, or its my self centeredness… I just have so little FOMO these days!

      • LOL, Frightening is a pretty good word for it. I have been spending more and more time off line lately just needing to find my own center and direction. I go through little bouts of “oh god, what I am missing! Or what have I missed” but they are getting fewer and fewer between fortunately. I think I am close to finding the right balance for me. Key words being “for me” I think everyone has their own and that they really need to find the time to find it.

  • One empathizes.

    I don’t know that I’m burned out so much as no longer interested in the conversation. Then again, I haven’t seen a lot in the way of conversation in months. It’s getting rare.

    Twitter has become increasingly depressing. Though I follow some exceptional people, 90% or more of my stream is low value, what-focused promotion. And I’m guilty of it, too. RSS dump to which nobody responds. And I don’t particularly care anymore.

    My focus is on getting people together in The IRL. If we’re on Twitter or Facebook these days, we’re generally on our mobiles, and we’re generally not in the moment. I want to collaborate with people on a global scale to do things in person.


    (Was Phill Collins the inspiration for this post in some way?)


    • No mo, no mo! No mo, no mo! LOL. In the Air Tonight, correct? I hadn’t connected the two, but it makes sense. I agree, Twitter is an RSS dump, though I think we can always unsubscribe from the dumpers if we choose.

      Generally, I totally agree on the conversation. It’s as exciting as generic vanilla ice cream these days. Yuppers. Woo. Hoo.

  • Got over FOMO over the winter holidays in 2011 and have been pretty much NOMO since and fine with it :)

    I have definitely slipped into more of consume vs contribute pattern, and don’t feel need to be constantly connected. Turning off a lot of notifications helped with that (I think I only have DM notifications now for Twitter, for instance).

    • I think in the end, when you look at the business results NOMO doesn’t seem to impact them. In fact, in my case, it has improved them. Go figure. Glad I am not alone and hope to see you at an event soon, Steve!

  • I love the cigar analogy. I feel like that a lot. Might be that I’m older, but I have very little FOMO. By the way, Padron?

    • Maybe it is age. We know the time is growing shorter so were not inclined to waste it on trivial matters. Yes, I think a 4000.

  • I’m in NOMO mode too, but only because I see way too much bad online marketing. So I’ve got NOMO and NOMO tolerance for crap.

  • Nope, none of the above. I push new water all the time. I swim where I want to go.

  • what does it mean if you have NOMO while reading this, then come back and comment due to FOMO? is there such a thing as SOMO (sort of missing out)?prescribe me with that…it’s the best of both worlds ;)

    thank you for sharing your personal journey, Geoff. it’s refreshing to hear!

    • That’s highly likely. There are apparently degrees of FOMO/NOMO simultaneously. Hope you are doing well, Jessica!

  • I like what Randy pointed out – the FOMO ego rush leading to a growing NOMO crowd. I see some of those sentiments coming out in blog posts or even “trending” in the nature of Facebook statuses.

    It’s not burnout…it’s a job. The shine has worn off, and we try to be more efficient with our time/efforts while still staying personally connected with perhaps a smaller group of people than we originally tried to maintain. Therefore, it is a job, but social still offers a platform for deepening a few of the relationships you cultivated in the early stages. The “return” may have been business, or it may be simply a good friendship.

  • Almost ten years online and I am firmly in the NOMO crowd. Every now and then I fall into FOMO, but not very often. Just doesn’t drive me like it used to. Still interested in making things happen, but the approach is different.

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