We all have different things that we are afraid of; Whether it be heights, spiders, or even the dark, there is something out there that scares you. However, if there is one fear we all have in common it is most definitely FOMO. Also known as the Fear Of Missing Out, we have all experienced this at some point in our lives. It is the simple, yet painfully aggravating idea that there are better, more exciting plans occurring elsewhere. As I sit here, packing for my weekend trip home, though I am immensely excited, I can’t help but feel that I will be missing out on yet another crazy weekend here. I, too, have suffered with this awful fear.
At a time when we are constantly connected to our phones, it is no surprise that social media would contribute so largely to this issue. We are being exposed to posts and pictures of what everyone else is doing. Thus inevitably producing the feeling that we are missing out. In the article, “Social Media addiction is a Bigger Problem Than You Think”, it discusses a study that was done through 99DaysofFreedom.com attempting to get people to give up Facebook for 99 days. It turns out that most people dropped out after just a couple of days after starting. Society has become so hooked on social media and the continuous persistence to post their every move. Based on that article, it does not seem like this is going to die down any time soon.
Inside our brains we have the Amygdala which is basically responsible for emotions and reactions. This article, explains how the Amygdala can sense when there is a risk to our well-being. To sum this up, when we feel left out as though we are not a part of something (or at a certain party), we begin to stress or feel as though we are missing out. Although we know this information, there does not seem to currently be an antidote or solution to FOMO, other than taking breaks from social media. Many issues dealing with psychology have pills that patients can take to help with this issue, for example Depression. However, after researching I was unable to find anything like that for this case.
What happens as a result of all of this is that we allow this fear to get in the way of our own lives. We spend so much time worrying over what we are missing out on that we fail to appreciate what’s right in front of us. It needs to be realized that one is not missing out on as much as they think they are. The article, “This is the Best Way to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out”, discusses “The Facebook Illusion” which is the idea that events look better online than they actually are. Parties and plans seem so much more fun on social media than they may actually be in reality. Tying in what we’ve learned in class, it is kind of like a false positive. This is when we think something is occurring when it is actually not. This amazing party that you’ve made it out to be that you’re missing out on is not actually real—nor is it worth the stress.