Written by Julianna Bonnett
What is FOMO? FOMO refers to the Fear of Missing Out.
What is becoming a real phenomenon that has become increasingly common and can cause significant stress in your life, the fear of missing out is feeling anxious or worried about missing out on something, usually a social event or a gathering (like a party). This feeling can stem from the fear of missing something important, or missing something fun when you're not there.
FOMO can also refer to the anxiety of missing out on something because you weren't invited. Either way, it's that lonesome feeling of not being included.
So when did FOMO start?
The fear that you may be missing out isn't anything new, however, the term was coined in 1996 after a research paper by marketing strategist, Dr. Dan Herman was done to identify what FOMO really meant.
When it comes to the feeling of missing out, it doesn't help when everyone on your friend list is frequently posting about events that you're not a part of. In this era of social media, where people are always posting about vacations, concerts, parties, etc., it's easy to feel left out or envious of other people's experiences.
FOMO has been linked to creating negative thinking, and could lower our self-esteem by comparing our lives to those we see on our social media feeds.
If you think you're experiencing FOMO, you should consider the following:
If I was invited, should I have gone?
Sometimes, you might have been invited to attend something, but you decided to say "no." Remind yourself why you made that decision. At the time, saying "no" was the right decision. Maybe you just wanted to take some time for yourself. Perhaps you weren't in the mood. Either way, don't feel ashamed for saying no. Sure, there might be some scandalous thing that may happen that people might talk about later, but you made your decision for a reason.
Create your fun and create your own experiences. A lot of the time, the reason why people post about attending events or vacations is to brag.
Just remember that everyone's good times look different. It might not be a giant party or attending a music festival. It could just be a low-key hang out with a few close friends.
In general, don't fear missing out on something. Focus on your life and what matters to you.
If you decide not to attend something you've been invited to, remember that sometimes missing out can be just as good.