Have You Heard of Fomo Addiction: The Fear of Missing Out
FOMO is the fear of missing out. At first glance, most of you might be thinking of grand life adventures, such as travelling to a foreign country, or going getting lost somewhere on an island. These things can all be filed away under FOMO if you truly worry about missing out on those things. But what many don't realize is that nearly everyone succumbs to the fear of missing out on a daily basis.
As with many things these days, FOMO boils down to social media, or social connectivity. It's considered normal now for young kids to have I phones, Facebook and Twitter accounts. It's not out of the ordinary to wait in line somewhere and see that nearly every person in front of you has their phone out. Everywhere we look people are using some sort of technology to connect with others via some sort of media platform. This is where FOMO comes in.
Some of you might laugh at the idea of fear of missing out tying into cell phones and the internet, but in reality this is one of the largest procreators of FOMO out there today. First consider texting. All over the country, texting while driving is being outlawed. Why? Because people do not consider the risk they take when looking at their phone and driving. It not only puts their lives at risk, but also all others that are around them. Put simply enough, one would imagine the obvious danger involved with staring at a phone while operating a vehicle (which could kill an individual very easily), and we want to stop people from taking that risk. This is not the case however; laws and punishments have to be set up to keep people from texting and communicating with others while driving. This is FOMO. The fear of missing out, where suddenly social connections are more important than safety.
A decade ago, texting or surfing Facebook while at the dinner table would have gotten anyone a dirty look or two. Now, when we go out to eat, or even stay home it's not odd to see a cell phone or tablet in use. It's become an everyday norm. This doesn't mean that using technology at the table has become less rude. When someone you are eating with pulls their phone out, they are basically saying that something much more interesting might be happening via social connectivity. The difference between then and now is that the vast majority have been sucked into this form of FOMO. Instead of it just being "high schoolers," or college students getting the bad rap of being technology addicted, it is now everyone.
Some people might claim they log into Facebook and twitter everyday because it is fun. The same can go for those who are positively glued to their phones. It is fun, we can't deny it. But we also cannot deny that the real, ground-in motivation for doing so may be coming from FOMO, the fear of missing out.
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