The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Are you unsure of whether you are suffering from FOMO? The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a serious issue only in recent years being accounted for by medical professionals. A build up of extreme anxiety from FOMO can result in significant stress to an individual that may require some form of therapy to help overcome these fears.
Almost three quarters of young adults reported they experienced FOMO when the definition of it was present to them as:
“The uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you”.
Take a look at our 10 most common signs that may indicate whether you are showing signs of extreme FOMO. Identify how many of these signs resonate with yourself and view our results table at the bottom of the page to gauge any further possible steps that may require acting upon.
#1 – Always saying yes
In many instances, it’s great to say yes to things, however always saying yes can also be a symptom that you may be suffering from the effects of FOMO. Being mindful of the fact that you are agreeing to these situations is the first step to making a change. If the opportunity presents itself again and you can miss out on one occasion, it would be worth doing so accordingly to possible stop you suffering from FOMO.
#2 – Feeling negative/excluded when missing out
Being excluded from an activity can feel extremely difficult. These can take many different forms from seeing a Facebook post shared by your friends to co-workers discussing the latest news you weren’t aware of for weeks on end. These types of emotions and feelings of negativity experienced from social interactions has been explained by psychologists as social integrations and connections are vital to the survival of mankind. Unconsciously, those who feel disconnected from their peers and/or social groups tend to align these traits with primal behaviours; as groups used to share resources with one another rather than being left alone to fend for oneself.
#3 – Low life satisfaction
Research conducted by medical professionals shows a direct correlation between low life satisfaction and FOMO. The direct relationship between the two has most likely surged from the increasing presence and usage of social media which showcase everyone’s daily lives.
#4 – High social media activity
Finding yourself endlessly scrolling through your social media feed throughout the day? Although the digital age, specifically from social media, has given us the ability to know what one another may be doing every minute of the day is great, trying to reign the use of that power in is most certainly recommended.
iOS devices have certain features to help you monitor your mobile device usage and which apps you mostly spend your time on. Being vividly aware of which apps you are spending the most time on is the first step in rectifying this behavior.
#5 – Fast-paced lifestyle
Having a fast paced lifestyle, jumping from one hobby to the next is a possible symptom of FOMO. A fast-paced lifestyle is defined as someone who is always very busy due to spreading themselves too thin and in most cases, the individual is not necessarily moving forward but always in a hurry to complete the next task.
#6 – Shiny object syndrome
Being ‘in’ with the latest trends and quickly dropping them, leaving them for six is a great example that showcases shiny object syndrome. Not being able to focus on a particular subject, project or interest for a considerable amount of time before moving on to the next new adventure is a sign of missing out.
#7 – Concerned about other people’s opinions
Those concerned about what other people may think has been recognized as one of the symptoms of FoMO. The most popular attributes that an individual worries what other people think about, in no particular order, include:
- Hair style
- Makeup choices
- Family perceptions
- Overall lifestyle
#8 – The urge to be surrounded by others
An overwhelming urge for having friends, colleagues or associates is a sign that you suffer from the fear of missing out. If you suffer from being alone and constantly find yourself at the end of the phone to reach out to someone you may already be experiencing FoMo.
#9 – Poor health behaviours
A lack of sleep, fatigue or a significant amount of stress is an indicator that you are having symptoms of missing out. A study in 2018 published in Motivation and Emotion found FoMO existed among all personalities but was especially more susceptible to those that suffered sleeping issues, fatigue or had significant amounts of stress.
#10 – Distracted Driving
A study published by Elsevier named Computers and Human Behavior identified there was a strong correlation between distracted driving and FOMO. Although we may associate missing out as mentally damaging, the study identified it could even be life threatening!
Where did the term FOMO come from?
Over fifteen years ago a Harvard student named Patrick McGinnis wrote a column for his schools newspaper, naming it, Fear of a Better Option (FOBO) or more commonly known as, The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).