what is FOMO?


What is FOMO?

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is an emotional response to the belief that other people are living better, more satisfying lives or that important opportunities are being missed. FOMO often leads to feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, depression and stress. The rise of social media has increased the prevalence of FOMO throughout recent years. Data suggests it is most widespread throughout the millennial community.

How can you recognize FOMO, and what are its effects?

Sooner or later, everyone experiences the fear of missing out when something exciting happens, and feelings of jealousy when looking at others’ social media feeds arises, and the anxiety of no longer being first choice for our friends might occur too. FOMO is not a mental illness in itself that needs to be treated. It can reach a stressful or even pathological level, though, with serious implications for our health.

As fear of missing out and high social media usage are often closely linked, you can easily tell if your fear is taking a worrying course.

Do you check your social media feeds daily, even when on vacation?

When doing activities with friends, do you think about what, how and on which social media channel you’re going to post afterwards?

Do you feel restless or nervous if you don’t know what your friends are currently doing?

Do you feel down if you find out via social media that your friends are doing something without you?

Do you check your social media feeds while in company or while eating?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions, that is a possible indication of FOMO. The fear can develop into a pathological addiction to social media. If you have the feeling that you are addicted to social media, you should seek professional psychological help.

Alongside the many hours that people with FOMO use social networks, fear of missing out can also entail concrete physical and mental effects:

  • Concentration problems
  • Inner anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Stress
  • Sleeping problems
  • Psychosomatic complaints (headaches, intensive sweating, and similar)

How to Prevent FOMO?

Here are some tips that you can do to prevent FOMO from happening.

  •  Acceptance:- We can satisfy needs, but our desires have no limits. As soon as we've fulfilled one desire, we already have new ones. Accept that you will never have everything you desire in life. Create clarity about your values: What is important to you in life? Then, set your priorities in accordance with these, and focus on what makes you lastingly satisfied.
  •  Gratitude Diary:- Scientific studies have proven that thankful people are also happier than their contemporaries. Keep a gratitude diary to train your thankfulness.In this way you not only improve your mood and your life satisfaction, but also your sleep, plus you can lower your stress level. It’s enough to write down three things you’re thankful for in a notebook each day. If you use this method regularly, you can fight the root cause of your FOMO.
  • Mindfulness:- Anyone who is scared of missing out on something isn’t thinking in the present, but in the past (“I should’ve chosen differently.”) or in the future (“I’ll never achieve this thing that they’ve done in my life.”). Use mindfulness exercises like meditation in order to catch yourself when your thoughts stray away from the here and now and set out on imaginary journeys.
  • Friendships:- Consciously take the time to look after relationships in real life. Instead of scrolling through feeds for hours on end in the evening, make plans or call a friend that you haven’t been in touch with recently. Haven’t got many friends, or need a break from people? Take up an old hobby again or learn something new. Go to events where you can meet like-minded people. It’s worth investing time in building up real friendships, as they’re one of the best forms of protection against psychological strain.
  • Limit Social Media Consumption and Gadget Use:-  The more often we play on social  media, the more likely we are to be poisoned by what we see. Because there will always be a tendency within us that is never satisfied with what we have. Not to mention that social media is a place to show skills where people will not show bad things in the form of sadness or misery they are facing. Instead, they will show something that indicates happiness and other pleasures.
  •  Respect Yourself:- Fear of Missing Out is more likely to have a lot of negative effects. One of them is consumptive nature because of our willingness to buy something just because it is being talked about a lot or is being loved by people. This is certainly very disturbing to your monthly cash flow.
  • Focus on yourself and the goals you want to achieve:-  Focusing on yourself and your goals will keep you on the right track. Because you will think twice about wasting time on things that are temporary and can interfere with your main goal.
  •  Develop Hobbies and Explore Your Potential:- Focusing on hobbies and continuing to learn to increase the value that is in yourself will bring a good influence on us. We will not be easily distracted by the most up-to-date things that take up a lot of our time and make us tempted.
  • Change Commonly Viewed Content or Topics:- Changing the content we normally consume in the media can have a big impact. Because this content is the main source of us wanting something or getting caught up in the trend.