「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


For a limited time only

By Samantha Loong


Do you ever feel that as you get older, every year seems to go by quicker? This speed only seems to be increasing, especially with social media. Every news feed, status update, comment and “like” floods us with information about someone’s success, their amazing holiday or the delicious food they’ve eaten. And it can sometimes feel like everyone else’s lives are electronically flashing past your eyes, leaving you behind.

For some people, when they see all these experiences, they can feel a lot of pressure to keep up with the lives of others. They don’t want to miss any opportunities to be social, to try unusual things or to make or save money. A person with a bad case of this anxiety is a person with FOMO ― the fear of missing out. They tend to be worried that they will make the wrong decision, not have the latest gadget, or not share the latest and greatest experience.

The pressure not to miss out on the latest thing is something I’ve noticed in Japan particularly. On a lot of food and drink packaging are four kanji: FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. And in many restaurants, I now notice another four kanji: LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE. It’s a great way to get customers to buy these things, as we’re often told to live life to its fullest and to grab every opportunity that we can, because we could die tomorrow.

I’ve developed a new perspective on this need to never miss an opportunity ever since an encounter with a pack of Nara deer. I wouldn’t call it a near-death experience, but it was pretty frightening.

I had wandered away from my friends to take some photos, and as I was checking my shoe for deer droppings, I heard a bang and then what sounded like rolling thunder. I looked up to see a large herd of deer running directly towards me at full speed. I froze and thought: “Is this it? Is this how I’m going to die? Trampled by panicking Nara deer while checking my shoes for deer poop? Not even killed by a predatory animal? Really?”

Thankfully, the deer were smarter than me and turned away at the last second. I didn’t see my life, or anyone else’s flash past my eyes. I only felt grateful that I had spent most of my day with friends. And it made me realise ― we never really miss out on anything, because life is already full of everything. So, instead of trying to look for something new, we should pay attention to what we can enjoy from something now. Yes, life is for a limited time only, but the ways to fill it? Well, those are unlimited.



The Japan Times ST: March 25, 2016

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版