Archive for FOMO

FOMO almost got me today — Damn you and your clearance 2018 Topps products

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

After dropping off my kids at school this morning, I stopped for a second to take a deep breath and appreciate the first of my days off. Of course I made the cardinal sin of looking at Twitter during this process.

And there they were, just as they had been all weekend, more goddamn posts about marked-down 2018 Topps products showing up in Wal-Mart. People were posting multiple hanger boxes and value packs showing the Clearance sticker, and others posting images of the cards they pulled while chasing Ronald Acuna Jr super short print variations in 2018 Topps Series 2; and while busting all 2018 Topps Update in sight hunting for Ronald Acuna Jr rookie cards that have been in big demand recently with the youngster chasing the 40-homer, 40-steal milestone.

Now, the marked-down products have been seen at Wal-Mart stores across the country. And for me, the actual number of Wal-Mart locations in my area that actually carry cards has been reduced to ONE. Just one … and it’s like 12 miles from where I live. So if the proximity of said Wal-Mart was closer, my ass would likely be at the store looking for these products too, so I can’t say I’m being super strong here. But fact is I fought off the urge to make the drive — even if I had a friend with whom I was texting urging me to go.

But this is the world we live in.

We are GREATLY influenced by what we see on social media. We buy more stuff that we need; we shop more frequently even if it’s “just to see”; we are all looking to be that next guy who achieves hobby greatness by pulling a monster card “from a blaster at (insert store name here).”

Of course no one talks about the amount of time, the amount of gas, the amount of money spent on blasters, packs or whatever that don’t have cards that make us feel great about our purchase, or make us hobby legends — even if just for a day or so — in the eyes of our social media peers. And the cycle continues regardless of our results. We’ve created a card culture with real FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a lot of it is generated on social media. We’ve created a chase for items that are not always rare. This is why so many of us often find an excuse to go to Target, Wal-Mart of whatever retail store sells cards. Three months ago we chased Bowman; two months ago it was Bowman Mega Boxes; and over the last month it’s been Topps Chrome and Allen & Ginter, and now these damn discounted 2018 Topps products.

I am guilty.

I buy stuff sometimes because I see others busting the products; I buy stuff because the hunt brings a short-term adrenaline rush. I am fucking guilty because I LOVE pulling something shiny and signed that makes others also want to own the card.

I am goddamn complicit in this cycle … and I am sorry.

I go through times of strengths and weakness in this hobby. I am not sure in what category I should place today’s feelings and actions. But it does feel good to write it out, instead of checking out with another stack of product I do not care about.

This is NOT to say I will not buy cards anymore. I truly do love them. But I am tired of allowing my FOMO take control of my thoughts and actions, especially when I have so much else to do.

Thanks for reading.

My love-hate relationship with the NSCC

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I’m just going to say this right up front — I don’t want to see your NSCC Twitter posts.

I don’t want to see the bargains I can’t have.

I don’t want to see the people I can’t meet.

I don’t want to see all the fun you’re having while I’m stuck at work.

Yep, I’m a hater … or maybe I just have extreme case of FOMO.

I’ve been to two National Sports Collectors Conventions, ones in 2012 (Baltimore) and 2014 (Cleveland), both times as a freelance writer for Beckett. Both times I was there more or less in a work capacity. And if it weren’t for those professional dealings I probably wouldn’t be able to say that I’ve had the pleasure of being in the room where it all happens.

It is a lot of fun to be there. It’s insane how much stuff gets crammed to a building. It’s great to track down pieces you’d never imagined seeing or holding in your hands. It’s really something most collectors should experience at least once.

That said, it’s tough to be on the outside looking in, and I know I am not the only one who struggles with this.

Call it jealousy, FOMO, whatever … I admittedly have a tough time during this time of year and I purposely try to stay away from Twitter because seeing the stream of photos and tweets can cause a sensation similar to depression.

So for those going this year, enjoy yourself. I’d love to hear the stories, and see the great deals you got. I just don’t plan — keyword here — to see them in real-time.