In an era dominated by continuous technological refinery and advancement, we have the ability to travel to the ends of the world, plus everywhere in between, and become instantly connected with some of most influential people alive, as well as loved ones who may be a ocean’s distance away, all with a single swipe, scroll, hashtag or instant message.
However, when we find ourselves completely immersed in the Instagram feeds, Snapchat stories and Facebook posts of others showing off their latest adventures, travels and achievements, our love for social media can easily become an annoying reminder of how much we think we are not doing.
You know that overwhelming feeling of unease, and maybe even pangs of hurt and jealousy, when you realize your friends or others are off doing cool things and you are left wondering “Why wasn’t I there?!?” or “Why am I not doing that too?” There’s a name for it and it’s coined the “fear of missing out.”
A recent 2013 study is what has made this phenomenon gain much popularity, defining the “fear of missing out” (FoMO) as a “pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent” and “characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.”
The study found that FoMO:
- was associated with lower need satisfaction, mood and life satisfaction.
- linked to higher levels of social media engagement.
The most important thing to note about this study is the fact the definition of FoMO includes the word “fear.”
The term implies we have a perceived belief we are missing out on life’s opportunities when in fact, we aren’t.
If you happen to be someone who constantly feels as if you are missing out, or you happen to say “yes” to every opportunity so you won’t, take a breather and read on as I explain how to get over this irrational fear.