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3 Types of Cosplay FOMO, and How to Beat Them

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3 Types of Cosplay FOMO, and How to Beat Them

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For many, growing up, Halloween was a favorite time of year. There was something tangibly exciting about getting to dress up as your favorite, animal, character, or fantasy creature once a year. Not only did you get the fun of choosing a costume, but organizing all the details (like make up and accessories) were part and parcel in the thrill of Halloween. The anticipation of waiting to go out and collect candy in your favorite costume was all together, too exciting for many to handle.

The good news for a lot of dress up fans is that with cosplay and all of it’s events, there are always opportunities for grown ups to relive their childhood excitement. With cosplay, as an adult, you still get to dress up as your favorite character or characters as many times as you want through out the year. How exciting is that?

But along with every great thing (such as the fun of cosplay), comes certain downsides. And in cosplay, the downsides seem to be related to one modern phenomenon that has touched everyone, in one way or another, at some point in time. What is this point of stress and contention? Simply put, cosplay and it’s many events, costumes, and endless choices seems to create FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in some of it’s fans.

Before diving specifically into cosplay FOMO, it’s worth taking a moment to look at exactly what FOMO is.
Fear of Missing Out is exactly as it sounds. It can be seen when a person makes a choice to only attend one cosplay event through out the year. The choice to go to one main event may very well be the most logical and rational option you could have gone for, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to ignore all the fun that others seem to be having at all the other events.

In short, you may have made a choice that best suits your needs (whether it’s budget or time investment), but it’s still very easy to feel as though you are missing a great deal of fun when you see others on Instagram, Facebook, or hear friends talking about all the events that they are going to.

While it’s no fun to feel FOMO, and it may actually cause some to freeze in panic in some cases, there is hope. Follow along as we take a look at some of the ways that cosplay can create FOMO in it’s fans and how to best deal with the stress.

1. FOMO and Cosplay Events

This particular FOMO relates to all of the events that have surfaced through out the years. Whether it’s San Diego Comic Con, Boston Comic Con, or FlameCon, the list of conventions goes on for days. It’s a great thing to feel excited and drawn to all of these events, because it means that you are passionate, social, and love what you do as a cosplayer.

But in reality, it’s important to remember that attending all of the events (or even more than you are comfortable with) isn’t realistic or fair to your budget and other time investments that you may have in life.

The Fix:

When you are looking at all of the events, take a moment to take stock of and value what you need to feel secure, ready, and confident at an event.

Is it really going to make you feel good to rush around all year preparing fifteen different costumes for fifteen different events? Or will you feel better if you choose one main event that you can really focus in on and thrive at?

Once you make your choice on a convention (or two), remember why you made this choice. With cosplay, balance is key. It’s important to remember that you have family, friends, and financial responsibilities that matter outside of cosplay, so if FOMO starts to kick in, stick to your guns and know that you made your choice for your own sanity.

At the end of the day, your well-being is all that truly matters.

2. FOMO and Social Media

This may be embarrassing to admit, but we all like to get “likes”. And if we are being really honest, we all like as many “likes” as possible. They feel good and they seem to tell us that we did a good job at something. In short, “likes” are an external reward system (or so it feels) for a job “well done.”

But, the downside is, when a cosplayer begins to put a ton of pressure on him or herself to receive as much social media attention as possible. This need for media popularity has popped up and has up-surged greatly in recent times with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, Vine, and all the other outlets of expression.

If you have posted some photos and they aren’t receiving the attention that you want, it’s easy to feel like you have some how “failed” and that others who are receiving more attention have something you don’t. Hence, FOMO begins to kick in and you may wish that you had the popularity of others.

The fix:

First of all, try to remember that social media attention is incredibly short lived. A photo is popular and trends for what? A day or two, maybe two weeks at the most; then the world is onto the next big thing.

It’s not realistic to expect that every photo you put up will be the center of the internet universe, nor is it a fair expectation.

Honestly, put your best efforts into your costume and the photos, but at the end of the day, have fun with it. People respond greatly to awesome, fun, and lighthearted energy, so if that is what you bring to the table, you will be doing just fine.

There are enough people in the world who try to be famous, popular, and cool, but it gets a little bit exhausting. Take a deep breath, smile and roll with it. Tomorrow is another day.

3. FOMO and the “Cool Kids”

With social media and it’s influence at a peak, it seems that cosplay has really taken off. This is great for so many reasons, but it has also developed a bit of a “cool kid” complex. What is meant by this, is that there are a handful of cosplayers who just seem to thrive and have picked up such a strong social media presence that they have now developed celebrity type status.

By all means, this is great for the few who have put in the hard work and hold a certain charisma to land such a strong following. But for the rest of us, it may seem like we are left a bit in the shadows feeling we are somehow missing out.

The fix:

Remember why you began cosplay. Like anything else, if your main intention to do something is to gain fame, then the end result of what you put out there seems to lack authenticity. People respond best to those who have fun and who  love what they do, rather than those who put out a forced image.

So before you head to a convention dawning your Wonder Girl costume, take a moment to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Why you wanted to do this in the first place?” If your main goals were to have fun, dress up, be social, and get some great photos, then do things that remind you to have fun. Listen to your favorite uplifting music, invite supportive friends to go with you, and be your best cheerleader.

Comic Con conventions and cosplay should be fun for those attending. While it’s easy to get sucked into the stress of feeling “not good enough,” or like you aren’t going to enough events, what does that stress bring into your life?

Rather, if you can manage these emotions and stick to the reasons why you began in the first place, then it should help you to smile, enjoy, and slay yet again, another event.

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