Social Media & FOMO

How many times have you heard someone refer to “FOMO”? FOMO is short for fear of missing out and is a relatively new term. The first time I read about it was in Seventeen magazine when I was a junior in high school. I remember thinking that I definitely get FOMO when I would not be able to join in on something my friends were doing, whether it was due to school work or actual work. I did not hear many people talk about it back when I first heard of it, but now it is a term that people around me use regularly. I think that this is in part due to social media.

Before social media, when you missed a fun event, you could hear all about it from your friends, but now you see pictures on Facebook and Instagram and people communicating about it Twitter. It forces you to see just what it was that you missed out on. I think that this has become a lot worse as people use social media more and more. As a result, people always think they are missing out on things. Maybe a picture makes it look like something was much more fun than it actually was. Accoding to Dr. Grohol, an expert on mental health online,

“Connected to this fear of missing out on something better that’s going on without you are these fake personas we promote on websites like Facebook. I say “fake” because we often present only the best side of our lives on social networking sites.”

This is something that people often fail to realize. People can make life look a lot more exciting through social media and it can lead to FOMO, but most of the time, you’re probably not even missing anything that interesting.

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