Hi all, Happy Sunday! Wherever you are and whatever your plans were, I hope you had a day to relax, reflect, and re-energize. With our constant connectivity with the outside world through social media and technology, a day like this is hard to come by. Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through facebook newsfeed, not fast enough before more newsfeed pop up at the top and have to start from the top again? Or feel the need to know all the events happening around town in case we miss out on something fun? We suffer from the fear of missing out, also known as FoMO.
In one study, they looked at the relationship between FoMO and the use of social media. They created a measurement for FoMO that includes 32 self-reported items reflecting fear, worry, and anxiety people experience by being in touch with events happening within their social circle (or shall I say your EXTENDED social circle, so that girl you stalked but don’t really know/don’t know at all).
They found that FoMO leads to lower psychological well-being. You’re more likely to be unhappy if you attempt to stay connect to everything that is happening because lets be honest, it’s just impossible to achieve that. You will fall short of the high expectation you have of yourself to keep up with everything because there are just way too many things happening in this world.
Beware that you can also spin off into a vicious cycle of FoMO and social media. The more you fear that you’re missing out, the more you are on insta/fb because you’re hungry for information. As this continues, people fall into a trap that might lead to “facebook depression”.
food for thought
This study focused on the relationship between FoMO phenomenon and social media. However, it also applies to different aspects of our lives. For example, there’s a fear of missing out on life experiences. The clock is ticking when we’re still young and free, but there are just so many things on the checklist to go through. Can we possibly do it all?
It reminds me of the on-going conversation of whether “women can have it all”. The traditional debate surrounds having a fulfilling work career versus having a family, but then there are additional things like having close friends, a good boyfriend, eating healthy, cooking, traveling, going to Lolla, going to every single music festival you can ever find, learning languages, reading books. ha, who has FoMO now?
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that FoMO is everywhere, prominent in social media but also present in life. One good way to calm down from Fear of Missing Out is to unplug every once in a while, e.g. challenging yourself to stay off facebook for a month, a week, or a day.
We’ll get through, right?