Feeling Left Out?

The feeling of being ‘left out’ is something that one normally assumes applies to children and teens – you outgrow it as an adult, but the question, Do you feel like you’re missing out?, that I posed on Hacker Network apparently touched a nerve, as evidenced by all the replies:

It seems like with all this amazing stuff going on in the world (surging web 2.0 valuations, people becoming instantly rich & famous in tech, booming stocks & home prices, new discoveries in physics, twitter debates, viral content and insta-fame) does it ever feel like you’re missing out, like there is a big party going and you’re watching from the sidelines.

I cannot blame anyone for feeling this way, and I go through this, too, which probably motivated me to ask the question and why it went viral on the site. We find ourselves living in incredible, yet very unequal times. The ‘big-fish–little-pond’ effect seems to be at play here, in that we care not so much for our own nominal/absolute prosperity, but our prosperity and status relative to our peers, friends, neighbors…etc. There is so much going on in the world and maybe the internet, which gives us this window to the world, is also a reminder of our quaintness at the individual level. Many want to be not just passive consumers, but also participants – a participation that goes beyond updating a Facebook status or posting a tweet that will not be read.

Part of this blog is not just posting opinions, but trying to better understand the world, how things work, why things are the way they are, and so on.

Related: Winner-Take-All Nation