FOMO is not a real word but a acronym meaning a "fear of missing out".
And yes, it can be a real problem for some of us in this era of social media.
So what is FOMO?
Yes, you might now know what it means but what actually is this common phrase?
It is all the fault of modern technology which is designed to help us all feel connected - but which can have the opposite effect. With such a choice of apps and different ways to connect comes those inevitable comparisons with friends and families and what they are currently enjoying:
- Why are we not there too?
- Why we were not invited?
- Why can't we be having a good time too?
- What are we missing out on?
It does not matter that a special occasion might be happening in a different country hundreds or thousands of miles away. Those who suffer from FOMO have this fear of not being included in something that others are experiencing.
It is a form of envy or jealousy.
Is the concept of FOMO a new phenomenon or as old as the hills?
Men and women have suffered from envy throughout time so it is not new. But the problem has become worse because of social media. Everything going on with whoever and wherever is constantly on your smart phone - you cannot get away from it. And apps are designed to reward us when share all those bits of our lives, making the problem worse.
What is the solution?
The best solution I have read about is JOMO.
JOMO is the complete opposite of FOMO. JOMO is the "joy of missing out"! It is about not caring what other people are doing, not feeling envious and not being afraid that you are missing out on anything.
Other suggestions include:
Accepting your status.
Realizing that everyone is only sharing their best images and experiences.
Learning to disconnect. One way is by using a browser add-on to limit your time on those sites that bring on FOMO.
Living in the present. Don't waste precious time keeping an eye on everyone else and what they are up to when you could be making time for yourself. You could make a list of all the things you wish you had time for - and then surprise, surprise, you find you suddenly do have some time!
Finally, a word of warning
In extreme cases, FOMO could become a serious problem and contribute to anxiety and depression. Studies have found that 56% of social media users suffer from FOMO with many missing out on sleep
while increasing stress.
Don't let you or your friends and family members become a FOMO statistic.