Breaking news: FOMO.

How to keep your audience engaged.

Erikjan Lantink
2 min readNov 11, 2020


Yesterday evening our son Max suggested that I should start each of my daily insights with breaking news.

I talked at dinner about my experiment with daily insights and my intention to extend the number of subscribers on my email list so more people would see my online offering in a few weeks.

So here’s the BREAKING NEWS.

After five days, I can see the other side of the valley again.

The fog has subsided.

Unfortunately, it was not replaced by bright rays of sunshine. It’s still a bit unhappy outside. (I wrote somber and Grammarly suggested the word unhappy, so why not).

Breaking news also reminded me of the elections last week.

I watch tv very selectively, but last week was a bit of an exception.

The whole circus related to who would be the next president in the US intrigued me. We lived for four years in the US, so I understand the sentiments a bit. Also, the current president does not demonstrate the leadership traits I like to see in a leader.

For four days last week, it was nothing but “breaking news”. It started with a little county in Ohio who was first to report out, and it ended four days later with the announcement of the president-elect. In between, probably more than a hundred times “breaking news”.

With only one purpose.

To keep me engaged as a viewer. To provide me with the feeling I was missing out if I would stop watching. Suggesting that any moment THE moment could be there.

There’s a name for that feeling.

It’s called FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out syndrome, and we all experience it every now and then.

Brilliant marketers know how to evoke that feeling: “sign up now before the deadline closes, and your opportunity is gone”.

FOMO is also a big reason why people become addicted to social media. It’s that anxious feeling (conscious and unconsciously) that other people have a good time (online) without you.

To finish the story…

I didn’t miss out on the projection of CNN. They managed to keep me engaged, and that’s precisely what news channels are after.

More breaking news tomorrow.

Don’t miss it.

Happy Wednesday, and do more of what makes you (really) happy.


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Originally published at on November 11, 2020.



Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)