FOGO is the new FOMO: How community can help us return to IRL


Erika Riley

– VOL. 13

Pre-pandemic, it’s more than likely you occasionally suffered from FOMO: fear of missing out. Whether you were missing a social event for a work commitment or looking at pictures of a party after-the-fact on social media, the fear that people were having fun somewhere without you was perpetually hard to shake.

But after more than two years of adapting to a more “from home” lifestyle, it seems that fear is increasingly dwindling. Working, learning, worshiping, and even socializing from home is convenient, and often comfortable. It’s easier now than ever to say ‘no thanks’ to an invite or a social obligation, especially when so much is available online. 

But what happens when that reluctance to say yes turns into the opposite of FOMO: fear of going out? If FOGO has gotten the better of you as of late, you’re not alone. The pandemic not only affected our routines, but our mental health, which can cause increased anxiety about going back to our pre-pandemic activities.

Still, there’s an argument to make for going out, for getting back into the world and doing things that used to feel normal. At Venn, we create community in neighborhoods by helping neighbors meet one another, bond over the things they have in common, and create their own spaces and events. Getting involved in your community can help you feel more connected and satisfied. 

Here are three ways that Venn’s communities help usher people through this new fear and into a community where they can feel supported, know their neighbors, and try new things all within the “new normal.”

Image of what is FOGO?

Neighbors in LA use the Life at Venn app at outdoor market to disover local vendors and makers.

Supporting the Local Economy, Online and IRL

Venn’s app includes a marketplace that helps neighbors support local businesses. On the app, neighbors can make real connections with businesses in their neighborhoods, and connect with makers or other individual business owners living in their buildings.

For example, neighbors in the Tel Aviv community are finding hairdressers and nail artists through the marketplace. And neighbors can post photos of their finished products to recommend the services to others in the community. Artists and business owners in the LA neighborhoods of Hollywood and DTLA are also using Venn to promote their small businesses, whether it’s handmade candles or photography. 

Discovering Neighbors Nearby 

Getting back to IRL means getting back to meeting people in-person. One of the ways neighbors can make new connections is via the Venn app, where neighbors can reach out to like-minded people in their communities. 

Image of what is FOGO?

After connecting on the Venn app, neighbors in DTLA meet for the first time at an outdoor block party.

Through the Venn app, neighbors in communities around the world have started clubs and groups catered to their interests. For example, neighbors in Kansas City have started a book club with the help of Venn. Members vote on what book to select each month, and Venn purchases copies for neighbors to pick up. Similarly, Kansas City also has a parenting group that allows parents to get together with their children for some low-key socialization. 

Venn also runs events within communities to help neighbors get out and meet one another. What’s more, Venn helps neighbors plan and create their own self-run events. In LA, residents planned a movie night in their shared courtyard. Neighbors voted on the movie and brought the necessary equipment, while Venn provided the refreshments. 

Resetting the Work/Life Balance

Due to the pandemic, more people than ever are working from home at least part of the time. This has made more people turn their homes into part-time offices, fitting both their work and at-home lives under one roof. Not only do Venn’s communities help neighbors get out more by utilizing co-working spaces and patronizing local businesses, they also help neighbors meet each other and get out of their shells.

It’s hard to meet people while working from home, especially when the instinct to stay home bleeds into other aspects of life, from taking online workout classes to getting delivery instead of eating out.  

It can be a bit of a hurdle to get out there and beat FOGO, but you’ll likely feel better once you do it. And nothing beats FOGO like hosting your own event, whether it’s with neighbors or old friends. At Venn, we’re getting ready for a summer of reconnection. Let’s have some fun.