Is your smartphone the first thing you pick up in the morning and the last thing you check at night? Do you spend hours scrolling through your social media feeds? And on top of that, your social calendar is oversaturated? Yet still, do you constantly feel that you might be missing out on the best events?! Well if you answered “yes” to the questions above, then, it is quite likely that you are suffering from FOMO or Fear of Missing Out!
FOMO Phobia or Addiction to Social Media
Welcome to the FOMO era! While FOMO has, in fact, existed for centuries, its prevalence and intensity has greatly accelerated over the past few decades. Thanks to the advent of the internet, and particularly social media, today we live in an information-rich (and obsessed) society. Thus enabling FOMO “addicts”: in just a click they can scrutinize the highlights of their “friends” lives in real-time. All they need to do is rush to their Facebook feed! This addiction to social media is undoubtedly the main cause behind this 21st century syndrome. The expression has become so commonplace that it is now in the Oxford dictionary, who defines it as: “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website”.
Phobia or hysteria? There has been a lot of research on the topic and it seems that FOMO can have a real, detrimental, impact on psychological health. Constant phobia of missing events can cause anxiety and sometimes even depression, especially for the under-30 crowd. In extreme cases, these social insecurities can even lead to violence and feelings of shame! So why can’t we just unplug? Instead of living and judging other people’s lives, why can’t we just enjoy our own? Fighting the symptoms of FOMO can be really challenging. Here are a couple of questions that you should consider before engaging on a FOMO crusade. Do I envy those having a more exciting and/or interesting life than myself? In which case do I need to change something in my own? Can I afford to embrace this lifestyle I envy? Is it just an “ephemeral” or is it going to enrich my life in the long run?
It’s a shame that our addiction to social media, and technology in general, can keep us away from living our real lives to the fullest! So, if you are in the hottest place in town and you are still wondering whether you picked the best option, then step back, take the short quiz above… Well, are you succumbing to your FOMO?
Are you in the grips of FOMO-addiction? Share your thoughts below.
Picture above: Courtesy of Brainsonic ©