The Fear of Missing Out

I’m going to be honest, I’m one of those investigators that doesn’t enjoy staying up until 3am on the off chance that something might happen during an investigation. My yawn and declaration of “I’m heading to bed” is often followed by groans and comments about “but we’re here to investigate!” To which I explain that as a human, I need rest. One teammate explained that she often feels the same way but has an extreme fear of missing out (FOMO). This made me wonder, why is it that some of us worry about missing something while others are fine to punch out for the night. 

First reason why I don’t worry so much is because I’m likely sleeping in a presumably “haunted” location and there are tons of reports from all over the paranormal field of things happening when people are trying to sleep. When you go to sleep, you let your guard down and become more open to hearing or seeing things. Of course, you are also more likely to dream of something crazy that wasn’t real.  So if you are wanting to make sure you actually had an experience, film yourself sleeping. 

This brings me to my next point, I have likely set up multiple cameras around the location that I’m going to spend the next several months reviewing. The investigation continues for me as I review each and every one of those devices. Is it less fun to see activity on camera than to experience it in real life? Not really. With a camera I know I have it for everyone to see and experience. With a personal experience, it’s just that, personal. I have no guarantee that I have preserved that event. My excitement comes when I share a video clip and everyone else sees/hears the same thing I do. 

“What if you go to bed and everyone else sees a full body apparition?” Cool! I’m happy to hear they had that experience.  Also, the odds of this happening are very low so if I have to choose between my health and the 1% chance of seeing a ghost walk down a hallway; I’m going to pick my health. Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your mental and physical functioning the next day. If you do this often, it can have long term effects.  You need sleep to be able to drive properly, use your critical thinking skills, rationalize information, be a decent human being, and for some of us, manage complex health conditions. In addition, many investigators believe that being tired decreases your ability to fend off spiritual attack. I don’t know too much about this idea but it is something to consider if you believe in such things. 

Why do others feel the need to stretch themselves on the off-chance that something thrilling happens? If you have not had a crazy experience and are still waiting for that moment, it is easy to fall into the FOMO camp. I think a lot of newer investigators feel this way. Also, individuals who do not get to investigate as often may have a hard time calling it a night when they may not get back into the field for another several months. Honestly, if I didn’t conduct anywhere from 7-12 investigations a year, I would also feel the need to take advantage of every moment I was on site. Another thing that may cause someone to push themselves is the self-knowledge that they will not review every minute of their recordings or they need something to happen to make them want to review their evidence. I’m not going to say that this is a good reason, but it is a reason and I know people who fall into this camp. 

Ultimately, we all must make a choice on how far to push ourselves when in the field. I will always recommend being aware of your own physical and mental needs.  Paranormal investigation can take a toll on your body and mind so know your limits. You need to eat good food, sleep, avoid doing anything that will damage your body, and just use some good sense when you are conducting an investigation. If that means setting up a video camera and going to bed, then do it. If you push yourself too hard, too often, you will get sick and have to limit the amount of time you investigate and then you really will be missing out. 

Until next time, Happy Hunting! 

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