#FOMO and #YOLO: A Responsive Reading for the 21st Century Church

Scott McNeill

Note: #FOMO means "Fear of Missing Out" and #YOLO means "You Only Live Once." These are accompanied by hashtags because their acronyms originated out of the Twitter-style writing (limited to 140 characters, with hashtags that connect you with other posts about the issue). Each #FOMO or #YOLO is meant to denote "Voice 1 & 2" or "Speaker/Congregation." The lines read by the #FOMO group are representative of that perspective (the fear of missing out); similarly, lines read by the #YOLO group explore what it's like to embrace "You Only Live Once" as your philosophy.

#FOMO: We see the public lives of our friends and neighbors, and wonder if we are living up to our potential.

#YOLO: We feel the inner doubts and questions, and try to live life fullycreating the life we want by our words and deeds.

#FOMO: Life feels like it’s moving too fast; we cannot do all that we want or need to do. We long for us all to slow down.

#YOLO: Life is moving too fast; we have but one short life to do all that can be done. We long for us all to speed up.

#FOMO: Are we missing out by living the life that feels true to us?

#YOLO: Are we missing out by doing so much that we cannot simply just be?

#FOMO: In this moment, we let go of expectations, of fears, of worries—and we accept that life is exactly what it ought to be.

#YOLO: In this moment, we let go of the past and future, living into the moment, accepting that life is exactly as we make it.

Unison: Our different lives represent different threads; each a color and texture of its own. May our lives be woven together, becoming stronger by our connections and brighter by our diversity.


On and around a museum bench, seven different people each bows their head over their respective smartphone.