FOMO: Fear of Missing out

Simran Munot | 11-Jan-2017

Are you often tense that some of your friends may be doing something exciting and classy and you might miss that out? 

Do you tend to say no to your family trip and go with friends because you think that if you miss your trip with friends they might become more cool and classy and you will be ignored in their group if you don't go with them?
Imagine you are relaxing in bed with your favourite Book open in your hands, enveloped in your warm blankets. You are very excited about it because you have had a long week of hard work, exertion and activities. After some time when you are fully engrossed in reading the book and you tend to turn the page a message appears. Someone has made a group and send a video in it. You get curious. You want to know whose message is that. And as soon as you press the play button, your phone erupts with music. Boom! Your friends are having a stupendous and amazing party. Just a couple of moments before you were very happy and contented but suddenly you start feeling inadequate and unsatisfactory with your bed and book. 

If so then you might be suffering from FOMO. FOMO is an acronym of “The Fear of Missing Out” Fear OF Missing out? But Why? On what other people are doing. They are having exciting experiences that you are not. They enjoy the latest movies and concerts and you did not. They are having parties without inviting you. And the beat goes on, and on, and on.

Fomo Fear of missing out

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What is the Fear of Missing Out?
Fear of Missing Out is the desire to stay connected with what others are doing. In simple terms, it’s the concentration of attention on the empty half of the glass. FOMO disconnects us from the people around us and it also keeps us detach from enjoying the present moment. 

FOMO is strong for those who are hooked on social media. Why? Because they want to be constantly aware of what others are doing. Now a day’s teens are highly interested in knowing that “EVERYONE’S” hanging out at a party house in which they were excluded, his/her “FRIEND “got 457 likes on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM pictures and they only received a paltry 22. On social media, everyone’s interested in what others are doing, where they are travelling, with whom they are posting pictures and so on. That’s why in today’s generation people keep on checking their phone every minute to make sure they do not miss anything “IMPORTANT”.

Do you have to attend the hottest concert, event or knowing that you would not be able to sit? Or just because your friends would praise the concert or the show and would tease you saying that u missed such an awesome event? 

Do you feel bad about yourself for not going on a trip to Singapore and not having the fun of enjoying awesome rides in the universal studio as your friends enjoyed even though you thoroughly enjoyed the vacations with your grandparents and your parents? 

Do you check your social media posts frequently or perhaps lost so much in the mobile that your family complains that you’re not listening? And you go on the defensive, saying that you are listening to them but still your eyes are glued to the mobile phone. If so, then it’s time to listen to them, spend time with them, enjoy with them. You can’t be fully there with them when your attention is divided. 

If your fear of missing out is so strong, that it’s spilling over to your kids’ psyche. I met a 10-year-old boy who was terribly unhappy with himself. I asked him why he is unhappy with himself always. His reply made me think what a burden the society laid on the young kids. He was unhappy because he did not get good grades always. I tried to console him but he replied that he wouldn’t get into the best college, the best jobs and so on. His eyes were filled with tears. Wow!!

I guess FOMO leads to FOMWC that’s Fear Of making wrong choices 
I know Social media isn’t a devil. The technology is incredible. We have the ability to connect with friends instantaneously and from all around the world. But there should be a limit on how much we connect.  When we over connect we feel the strain. Technology is not the reason for experiencing fear of missing out. It’s just a medium for it.

We tend to compare ourselves to others and this leads to a competition where everyone is trying hard to look their best. It’s completely ok if you don’t fit in something. You don’t have to put yourself off limits. What matters is happiness in the things you do.

The reason that we experience Fear of Missing out is our struggle to answer essential question (not essential as such but we feel that they are damn important) such as:

1. Will people (may be colleagues, friends etc) remember me?
2. If I achieve success or accomplish my task will it make difference to anyone?
3. Am I loved?
4. Am I worth loving?

Consequences of Fear of missing out:
1. Increased feelings of being singled out
2. Increased dishonesty in the portrayal of one's self-image
3. Increased feelings of personal inadequacy
4. Increased feelings of loneliness
5. Increased unfair judgments of others
6. Increased dissatisfaction with one's life
7. Increased detachment from family and friends
8. Increased jealousy in any relation

But guess what!

We will never be able to overcome this fear of missing out. Not joking. Seriously it is great news. It’s not possible to get over this vital human fear.  And there is no need to think how to overcome this fear of missing out because it enforces us to love more, to achieve enormous success and it increases the urge to live more. The question that we should not be asking is how I can overcome my fear of missing out. All we need to ask ourselves is what my fear is telling me? And when we understand the reason, the causes for why we are experiencing such fear of missing out it can escort us to a more fulfilling life. The fear of missing out is our natural alarm and we can use it to make savvy decisions. Understand fear of missing out and do what makes you happy.

Forget the “FAKE PERFECT LIFE” of FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM etc that lead to FOMO. Do not miss the beautiful and amazing experiences you are having in your life. Remember one thing it’s your life that you are missing out because of FOMO.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.
About the Author
Simran Munot
A writer by passion and a bookholic. I believe that no one can tell your story so tell it yourself and no one can write your story so write it yourself.