FOMO writ large

(FOMO = Fear of Missing Out)

I think I’m gettin old. And this may be just another symptom of that.

But in High School, I prided myself in knowing about the ‘underground’ music scene…The Depeche Modes, Erasures, Smashing Pumpkins…I played the video games and watched the movies and geeked out over the computers.

And they were all things I could wrap my head around.

With the commoditization of talent, anyone with a phone can make an album, film a movie, throw a podcast on Youtube.

It’s not that there’s an artist out there that makes music I like…it’s that there are MORE ARTISTS MAKING MUSIC I LIKE than I can ever hope to discover.

There’s more software development, more things in more hobbies by more people and it’s only accelerating.

It seems like a LOT of the people from the 80’s are passing away, but I think that’s just because that was the first period of time the population of the world could be exposed to a relatively small number of shared experiences. Could it be the Princes and David Bowies and White Albums will be the high water mark because there’s too much now for any part of it to get as popular?

Or am I just feeling old and out of touch?

You are not just feeling old and out of touch, IMO: the days of massive shared experiences are over, at least until there is a new medium.

I’m feeling the same way as the OP. I have always had a need to ingest as much music, books, pop culture, news, videogames, etc as possible. When I was young and had tons of time, it seemed I could “keep up” (I was born in early 70’s). Same was true for work: When I was young I was on top of everything IT related. But back then, there just wasn’t as much of any of it. Now, I know I won’t listen to everything or read everything and I have to start choosing what is most important to me (videogames are long gone). Music is still very important and I continually listen to new music. But the days of digesting the entire catalog of an artist in depth are gone. Maybe when I retire…

It’s simply physically impossible to keep up with any medium, even if you dive down to genre level. Netflix alone plans to put out 700 series this year. Not episodes - series. No human being in the world will watch all of them. Over 300,000 books will be released this year. No one will read even one percent of them.

Back in the early 1950s there was an explosion of interest in science fiction because of the rockets and atomic bombs in WWII. Publishers appeared out of nowhere to start reprinting classics and issuing new titles. A few mainstream publishers also saw money in the field. How large was that explosion? Fewer than 100 books a year. The reviewers for the monthly magazines covered six to eight titles in a column, but that number included fantasy, young adult, nonfiction, and other titles of interest as well. They could easily read everything that appeared, including the magazines. I wouldn’t be surprised if some individual days this year will mark the release of 100 f&sf titles.

The flip side of that is the incredible numbers that audiences can reach. The number of science fiction & fantasy readers in 1950 was probably less than 250,000 in the U.S., including anybody who picked up more than one book. That number is at least 100 times as large today. Picking up one percent of them is a good haul for an author, far, far better than anyone ever got in 1950. Most chart-topping songs today rack up more than 100 million streams. Drake just set the record for number of top 40 singles in a year and there are two months to go. His “One Dance” is the first song to have a billion streams on Spotify. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” now has over 3 billion views on YouTube. 36 movies have worldwide earnings over $1 billion. More than 400 million Harry Potter books have been sold.

Popular artists are heard more than anyone in history. Drake and Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift are ahead of Prince and Bowie probably by an order of magnitude. You don’t care about them (and neither do I) because you swim in a different ocean and so aren’t surrounded by the new 24 hours a day as younger people are. There are great groups and individuals who will able be small cult favorites - but that’s always been true. The biggest are bigger than ever, and some people probably think they’re great. I remember when The Archies and The Osmonds outsold all the rock greats. Nothing has changed in that regard: it’s just gotten more so.

It’s a slow, confusing, convoluted revolution, to go all the way from “recordings don’t exist, and almost all music everywhere is new” to the present situation.

Great points all. I’ve been in IT forever, and am at a relatively stable point in my career where I deal with ‘Pets’ and ‘Cattle’

(There are now, roughly, three classes of servers…Pets, which you name and patch and watch closely, Cattle, which are a number of named, identical computers…and)

Chickens. Chickens are what all the cool kids are using these days. Containerization, scripting of multiple systems so that the developer’s virtual environment, the test environment and production are all created (and destroyed) at will.

But developing for Chickens means you have, like, 40 major application types doing one of 5 general things (VM creation, application distribution, automated configuration and health monitoring…) I’m glossing over the details but

But all of those 40…or 50…okay, now 65 application packages are all in varying states of development and…man I just can’t wrap my head around it…Docker? Chef? Puppet? Node.js? Having a hard time building the desire to dive in.

And Drake. Heard of him. Just listened to a half dozen of his videos. None of it rang a bell,didn’t sound bad, to be honest. At least it’s not like the front page of iTunes Radio with all the Niggas and Hos fucking.

And I remember searching for all the Sci-Fi I could get in the 80’s…Arthur Clarke, Stanislaw Lem, Douglas Adams…it was great, and pretty easy to find, but there wasn’t a LOT of it.

Now, perusing Amazon isn’t the same, and you wander through the library and it’s ‘another space military fleet battling an unknown alien threat…only this time it’s important’

Sure, there’s lots of new good stuff (more than you can read)…and then there’s the schlock sci-fi stuff on Netflix.

Case in point…could be good…could be not…

Which leads to another point…now you have access to content from China and Bollywood, in addition to Hollywood. (and others)

I’ve coped by taking time off… from new music, new movies, TV, games… with a few exceptions.

I hit a point where my brain went into “Can’t Handle This Much Input” mode. So I cut waaaay back on media, and I’m doing zero social media. (except… uh oh, still too much Café Society and Da Pit…)

I’ve been wondering how to ease back into ‘tunage’ (and movies and gaming). Reading this thread, I suddenly realized the answer…
What’s most important to me? My family and friends. Why don’t I spend my time doing things that’ll relate to them at the same time? So I’ll pick a handful of friends who have great (and broad) tastes, and say “Send me links or a list of, say, ten new artists I should listen to.”

This is exactly where I am too. We went through our virtualization move many years ago and now we are going through the cloudifying/containerizing move. We deal with a lot of data with varying degrees of security control requirements (more and more…FU NIST800-53) and we just cannot get there on our own.

Like I said, it was a lot simpler back in the early 90’s in the IT world. :smiley: