Fear of missing out or FOMO is a phenomenon, causing high impact and can affect any person of any age. It means the panic or anxiety that everyone else is happy and enjoying life.
Though this phenomenon has been there for a long time, it has increased signification due to social media influence.
Dr.Dan Herman was the one who coined this term.
- When we had to decline a dinner party due to work, we keep thinking how much they would be enjoying while we are toiling.
- When we had to stay at home for a weekend for taking care of an ailing person and someone posts the fun they had on social media, it makes us envious.
- While our friend announces a holiday plan with their spouse, but we do not have plans due to financial condition, it punctures our self-esteem.
The above are some examples of FOMO. It affects us in ways unknown keeping us in constant resentment. Though there is no age definition for this, it can affect teenagers a lot.
When does FOMO affect us?
- We suffer from low self-esteem
- We are more bothered about what others think
- We believe that we are financially inferior to others.
- We don’t have a clear life goal.
How does FOMO affect us?
- We become too dissatisfied in our life and begin hating our lifestyle.
- It can lead to mood swings, stress, and depression.
- It can keep us agitated and envious of other people
- We may lose relationships as we keep setting high standards and expectations.
- We cease to enjoy the goodness in life and keep aiming for more.
- Our self-esteem becomes very low
- It can induce social anxiety as we presume everyone else is better than us.
Getting over FOMO :
Setting goals: Setting a life goal can keep us away from comparing ourselves to others. When we are focused on our goal, we stop paying heed to others’ life and lifestyles.
Goals are not only about a career. In various realms of our life like work, family, friends, spiritual growth, health, etc, it is important to set priorities. Retrospecting how much value we give them and is it attuning with our values will give us a clear picture of what our priorities are.
Reconsider goals: If we have already set goals, it becomes indispensable to reconsider them if they fit in with our values, or have we set them based on societal pressures or to prove us to others. If they are not on par with our value-system, let us refresh them.
Changing the way we spend time: turning off the notifications from social media apps and spending quality time can keep us away from getting caught into this vicious cycle. Reading books, gardening etc also helps to a great extend.
Same tribe: Shuffling our gang and spending more time with goal-oriented people could keep us motivated instead of obsessing over insignificant things.