Fear of Missing Out: Get to Know The Negative Effect

Fear of Missing Out

Have you ever heard about the fear of missing out, or FOMO? This feeling can be associated with a deep sense of envy and anxiety when you scroll through your social media. In fact, the phenomenon of FOMO is getting more common for social media users. Thanks to social media for opening the access to stay connected 24/7. Now, you can easily see your friend’s latest activity through your timeline. Actually, it’s good to know what they are up to. However,  seeing people live a better life than you, sometime will leave a deep sense of envy.

What is the fear of missing out?

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a belief that people are living better lives, gaining more achievement, or simply experiencing better things than you. “Fear of missing out” was first coined by Dr. Dan Herman in his research in 1996. According to the World Journal of Clinical Cases, British psychologists define FOMO as “pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. FOMO is not just the envy feeling that is easily forgotten. FOMO often leaves us in a strange feeling of exclusion and self-loathing. Moreover, these feelings can lead to dissatisfaction, depression and stress.

The rise of social media makes people more aware of other’s activity and achievement. Also, the excessive time spent on social media often leads them to experiencing FOMO. According to the research, FOMO is most widespread through the millenial. To make things clear cut, we should realize that social media is not real. People can easily exaggerate or falsify representations of their lives through their account. And it makes it easier to envy them.

The effect of FOMO

FOMO may lead to a negative impact. It causes a serious impact on your mental health. To some extent, it can disturb your wellness as well.

1. Low self-esteem

FOMO often leaves us with a low self-esteem. It happens, because FOMO provides a situation in which you are comparing your life to others. Today, people will start comparing everything. From beauty, wealth, or even happiness. You may find yourself feeling inferior when someone posts their traveling photo, and continues their master degree. And that’s how social media constructs your feelings. You probably start wondering, why can’t you do that? Basically the feeling of lacking will hurt your self esteem. Rather than feeling grateful, you want more and more. You always feel inferior, without realizing that you are surrounded with many blessings.

2. Anxiety and stress

Frequently comparing yourself to others is a big no. According to Weinstein et al (2015), FOMO relates with the amount of time spent on social networking sites as a predictor of emotional distress. It means, FOMO can increase your level of anxiety. Especially when you are being left out for an event or achievement. Just imagine, if all your friends are taking a cool vacation abroad. Meanwhile, you just sit at home and watch them post it on social media. At the end of the day, you will feel anxious and frustrated because you are not going anywhere.

3. Reduce life competency

Research found out that FOMO puts a big distraction on daily life. The constant connection to the phone due to FOMO will make you lose focus on your real life. FOMO prevents us from truly enjoying the moment. You can easily see it everywhere. People get stuck with their phones even when they are hanging out with their friends. Instead of talking or laughing, they are being silent and focusing with their phone. We can conclude that fear of missing out limits the amount of time we take to enjoy moments with no distraction.