KMP Enrichment Blog for May 2021     By David Applegate, EHS Manager

The month of May is officially the beginning of Summer – are you ready?

Do you know what the letters FOMO stand for?  No, I can assure you it is not a plumbing term.  And, no it is not a word from some foreign language.  Let me help by asking this question, “Have you ever had the uncomfortable feeling that you were on the outside looking in – that something cool and amazing was happening, and you were not part of it?”  Well, there is a Social Media term for that feeling.  The term is, FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out.  Believe it or not, I have found that this is a powerful influence when it comes to our personality.

After doing a little research I discovered that in a recent survey of U.S. adults by the investment group Charles Schwab, roughly half of those who are Millennials – and 35 percent of all the survey respondents – said their friends’ post on Social Media had influenced them to spend more money to keep from missing out on all the excitement.  That is right, all those Instagram photos of fancy meals, shiny cars, and dreamy vacations are irresistible.  Schwab discovered that as people are staring at their screens they are also asking: “What am I missing?”  “How does my life measure up to all that everyone else is doing and buying?”  “What do I need to add to my bucket list?”  And “What is next for me, what should I start pursuing?”

I bring all of this up because it is during this time of the year – the beginning of summer – that many of us begin to feel this pressure.  The pressure to do or buy something more, something that is often just out of our reach, something that fuels overspending and that causes anxiety.  And the result is personal debt that can take months or years to pay off, negatively affecting the quality of our family’s life!

During the summer months, it is easy to fall into this trap.  Many of us fret and stress over what we – and especially our kids – might miss out on (sports, camps, band trips, vacations, etc.) if we do not cross off every item on the to-do list and buy every item on their wish list.  But the reality is, more is not always better.  In the end, a fear of missing out can cause all of us (especially our children) to miss out on what God has in store for them.

So finally, as a friend, as a colleague and as a fellow with a little more experience than most of my readers, let me admonish you to slow down!  That is right, as you approach and move through the days of summer, commit to spend less, give more, savor time with your family and your friends, attend church and finally, reflect on what matters most.  You never know who is watching, and you may just have a positive influence on them.  I pray that this summer will bring to you a new or a renewed passion and a fresh vision for the wonderful family God has placed within your care and for the abundance of funds God has entrusted you with.