FOMO contributes to a person’s dissatisfaction with their own social lives
FOMO is a pervasive modern anxiety perpetuated by social media. Noah Webster, in his first “American Dictionary of the English Language” published in 1828, had no reason to include the word. Yet in 2003, MySpace launched and was followed by Facebook in 2004. Thousands of people began sharing posts of daily life. Before 2004 closed, FOMO was a real word defined in the dictionary that still bears Webster’s name as “fear of not being included in something (such as an interesting or enjoyable activity) that others are experiencing.”
In an April 2018 report, businessinsider.com expounded ”… FOMO contributes to a person’s dissatisfaction with their own social lives … It triggers negative feelings like boredom and loneliness, which has an impact on someone’s psychological well-being.”
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides three ways to overcome FOMO:
1. Acknowledge the insecurity.
2. Limit social media activity.
3. Practice the therapeutic technique of mindfulness.
Becoming mindful, asserted verywellmind.com in March, may involve changing daily patterns: “Rather than focusing on what you lack, try noticing what you have.“
Verywellmind.com also advised FOMO-afflicted individuals to:
4. Keep a journal with positive memories and photographs. “This can help you to shift your focus from public approval to private appreciation of the things that make your life great. This shift can sometimes help you to get out of the cycle of social media and FOMO.”
5. Plan opportunities with real people to foster more intimate connections.
Forbes in 2017 pointed out that while interacting with many people on social media — instead of one or a few in real life — may seem to be a remedy for feeling left out, it actually can increase feelings of isolation, sadness and depression.
A more involved lifestyle may also ward off FOMO. Harvard Medical School in 2013 shared, “Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression.”