Pardon the silence. Lately I’ve come down with a case of omnisciencia.
It’s the debilitating state that develops when you try to keep up with everything that’s going on.
That’s my name for it. I invented it by combining the word omniscience, which is the state of knowing everything, with the suffix -ia, to do with afflictions.
My affliction has gone viral, but I know my word for it never will on because omniscience has too many letters in it for most people and Snapchat is easier to use than a dictionary.
But not caring if it goes viral happens to be the first step toward recovery.
Omnisciencia is a condition that leaves sufferers feeling like they’re always falling behind because they’re always being bombarded by things that are outside themselves. Twitter, Instagram, news, status updates, Buzzfeed listicles, Vines—they come tumbling (or Tumblring) in an incessant avalanche. It’s the gnawing anxiety you’re always missing something.
You opt in to an unattainable quest to keep tabs on everything the second you get online. Everyone else is constantly posting breaking news, having such fine meals, decrying bad service, snuggling in contented humblebrag with their new boyfriends, gushing bulletins about the things they’re doing and seeing and learning and the washboard abs that you don’t have—and everyone posts these things as an implied boast. They post partly to reassure themselves they have a handle on things, partly to feed their own omnisciencia, and partly to tell you that you ought to know about their universe, too.
It could be argued that it’s a form of weakness to feel the impulse to post every event and beautiful vision, to keep nothing just for yourself.