The Narcissism of “Thanks for the Invite” and the Fear of Missing Out

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Pathological phone usage, and internet usage, is a part of the mentality of "the fear of missing out."
Pathological phone usage, and internet usage, is a part of the mentality of “the fear of missing out.” Mobile phones enable users to connect instantly at any point in time, often resulting in compulsive checking out of the fear of missing an opportunity to interact.


TFTI: an acronym of the phrase “thanks for the invite,” has taken over the lives of too many of my friends, especially on their social media. It’s time that someone took a stand against this atrocious fad.

Using TFTI has become a norm in everyday conversations. On a whim, I decided to count how many times I heard those four letters used in conversation in just one day; I stopped counting after the 20 mark.

While the incessant use of the phrase is one thing that really bugs me, the other more prevalent part of the issue lies in how genuinely upset people get when they aren’t invited to outings or events.

I get it; it sucks to be left out, and to see a picture of your friends hanging without you. The attitude of people using the phrase has gone beyond the expression of that natural twinge of jealousy, however.

No, people act like they’re entitled to be invited to everything. When they aren’t, they’re not only upset. They take it as a personal insult, as if people are intentionally singling them out.

They seem to be under the illusion that they are the center of the world and others are purposely making an effort to exclude them. Beyond that, people just don’t understand that others are not required to invite them to anything.

Personally, I find the constant use of the term to be narcissistic and an indication of dissatisfaction with life, but maybe that isn’t such a crazy phenomenon.   

The existence of social media seems to be the origin of this mind-set. Without constant access to the going-ons of other people’s lives, we would never know all the things that we weren’t invited to in the first place and therefore have no reason to use TFTI.

Alas, the creation of Facebook and Instagram cannot be undone and the psychological effects inflicted on our generation by these modern inventions cannot be avoided.

Another consequence of social media, closely linked to TFTI includes FOMO, yet another acronym, standing for the “fear of missing out.” It seems to be the driving force behind TFTI. As we’re all constantly bombarded by the awesomeness of everyone else’s lives through pictures and posts, we begin to see our own as lackluster and boring.

Thus the need to be at every event arises as well as the genuine saltiness of people when they aren’t invited.

Why bother getting caught up in what others are doing? Why does it matter so much?

That’s the biggest red flag for me. TFTI is not only a signification of saltiness, but also evidence that people are just way too concerned with what everyone else is doing. So much so, that even when hanging out with me or other people, my friends are still feeling left out and the need to comment TFTI on whatever else is going on at the same time. I almost want to scream, “Let’s just all live our lives and let others live theirs!”

Even when said jokingly now, I’ve begun to loathe hearing the phrase at all. It seems like everyone is jealous of everyone else and no one is happy with his or her own life. TFTI is just the tip of an iceberg hiding under a sea of jealousy and dissatisfaction that seems to be embedded in the minds of most of our generation. We need to snap out of that type of mindset, and for the love of all things holy, stop using TFTI.

 

Ashley Duong is a first year literary journalism major. She can be reached at alduong1@uci.edu.

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