The phenomenon FOMO and the runaway train

FOMO or “fear of missing out” relates to the fear that we will lose something, that we will „miss the train“. This is the feeling of anxiety associated most often with opportunities in the online world. On social networks we are constantly bombarded by the possibilities and things that others do. What if we miss interesting information, investment, invitation to the event or where did our friend go on holidays?

The generations before us did not have to deal with how to make a living. You often had it all planned. The children of the farmers became farmers, the children of the buyers became buyers, etc. We, as generations with laptops on our laps and unlimited possibilities, have it all very different. What if I work in IT? As programer? Or as a cyber security expert? The IT topic is now hot and IT guys earn a lot of money. Do I do something wrong when I do what I do? Those IT guys and experts look so satisfied and successful on social networks! That is also the FOMO.

What is the FOMO and what impact does it have?

FOMO is a modern addiction, thanks to which we spend a lot of time on the Internet. Like any addiction, the FOMO negatively affects our health. And what are the most common consequences of the need to stay online?

  • Nervousness
  • The superficial experience of the reality of everyday life
  • Distraction
  • Poor mood
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

Each of us will experience the FOMO sooner or later. Man is a social creature and fear is a natural emotion. The fear of missing is used by marketing companies to encourage impulse for purchase presented by actors in the form of time-limited discounts and limited editions. Satisfied and confident people are at risk of FOMO less than people who are unhappy and have less self-confidence.

According to OptinMonster marketing statistics:

  • 56% of social networking users experience FOMO.
  • 45% of people cannot stay without social networks for longer than 12 hours.
  • 27% of us control the mobile right after waking up.

And what if it can be done differently?

On the other side, there is the JOMO “joy of missing out”, or the joy that something has escaped us and that we have „missed the train for purpose“. A more familiar approach to life than JOMO is “here and now.” Man is satisfied in the present moment and consciously experiences the reality of the surroundings and the presence of the beloved ones.

JOMO can serve as a tool to manage the consequences associated with the fear of misappropriation. And how to do it?

  1. Be aware of your life priorities
  2. Prefer a personal meeting over online meeting
  3. Reserve your time on the Internet and especially times spent on social networks
  4. Turn off notifications
  5. Reduce the use of social networks which stop bringing you benefits

Although most analyzes focus on the negative impact of FOMO, there are a few studies that FOMO presents as a suitable tool for social networking. If the FOMO is your current topic, try to focus on what you have and not on what you miss or might miss. Add a digital detox and take the „train“ only occasionally and only when you really need it.