Social media has become an integral part of today’s society, enabling people to be socially connected anywhere in the world. The social media boom all started with Myspace, and led to the creation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Even with the many great things these platforms brought about, there are several downsides to using social media. This includes cyberbullying, stalking, catfishing, trolling, and FOMO. But what is FOMO?
What Is FOMO?
The fear of missing out (FOMO) refers to someone feeling left out while others are enjoying experiences, having fun, and living their best lives. It’s a social anxiety heightened by someone’s need to feel connected with people, friends, and family. This term was first coined by Dr. Dan Herman.
FOMO is often associated with social media sites, as seeing peoples’ account updates correlates with heightened feelings of FOMO. People want to feel as though they are constantly included by checking their cell phone notifications and others’ social media status updates. According to TrustPulse, 69% of millennials have experienced FOMO, and 56% of people who experience FOMO are 18-30 year old.
The Consequences of FOMO
- Spending More Time On Social Media
Spending about 30 minutes on social media is healthy. However, when you get to the level of spending hours on social media, it can have negative effects for one’s body and mind. The side effects of excessive social media use include social media fatigue (mental exhaustion from social media), lack of sleep, eyesight deterioration, decreased attention span, and lack of in-person socialization.
- Negatively Impacts Emotional Wellbeing
FOMO has a great effect on a person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Someone who is suffering from FOMO may have a lack of confidence, increased stress, and fatigue. It may also cause people to ask themselves on a daily basis what’s lacking in their lives, and possibly make them feel inadequate.
- Spending Too Much Money
As said, the fear of missing out will have people wanting to experience the lifestyle others have. Due to this, many spend money to try to have the lifestyle others have. This includes going on trips and to events, seeing concerts, and purchasing trending technology, clothes, and other items. People will even purchase these items if it’s beyond their means just to feel better and suffer less from FOMO.
How To Get Rid of FOMO
- Try Activities That Don’t Involve Social Media
To help try to get your mind off of phone notifications and social media, try other activities. Consider reading a new book, getting exercise, and finding a new hobby. Choose something that will be fulfilling to you and will give you happiness.
- Focus On All That You Have
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Be grateful for all that you have and the people you have in your life. By being focused on what you do have, you might find joy in something you completely forgot about.
- Hang Out With Others In-Person
To help get over FOMO, it’s good to get involved in activities with friends and family. Go to the movies, participate in weekly family activities, or join a school or local club or group. Find an activity you enjoy with the people you’re closest to.
- Be In The Moment
Wherever you are, be in the moment. Put your phone, tablet, or computer away and take in your surroundings. If you are hanging out with friends, engage with them. If you’re on a trip, take a look at who and what is all around you.
Other Words/Terms Associated With FOMO:
- JOMO (Joy of Missing Out): The joy someone feels from taking a break from social media and other socializing activities, and enjoying what you want to do.
- FOJI (Fear of Joining In): When you aren’t active on your social media accounts for fear of what others might comment or say.
- TBD (Too Busy Disorder): When someone is too busy to participate in activities they would like to do.
- MOMO (Mystery of Missing Out): When someone is paranoid over wondering what is going on, specifically with friends and family. This often happens on social media when someone hasn’t posted in awhile.
That’s all there is to know about what the feeling of FOMO is. Do what you can to avoid FOMO, and embrace all that is around you and in your life. To learn more about this, check out this Harvard Business School FOMO podcast.
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