You’ll probably go to bed feeling pretty crummy and disappointed. As you fall asleep you’ll likely find yourself wondering: how many great things am I missing out on right now?
Researchers have found strong correlations between social media use and FOMO. In a study linking the two, it was shown that symptoms of loneliness and depression may be worsened by the overuse of social media and the fear of missing out that comes with it. It turns out that having constant access to our friend’s lives can be both a blessing and a curse.
So what can we do to stop these negative feelings and be happier with our own plans?
Be in the moment
Being mindful and keeping our thoughts focused on the present moment are great ways to avoid FOMO. The temptation to check our phones for notifications is nearly constant. All of us are guilty of thinking that we can multitask throughout the day. But multitasking is typically a recipe for distraction. The more often we find ourselves multitasking with our social media feeds, the more chances we give our brain to wander from the present moment and feel a fear of missing out.
Practicing mindfulness through meditation, consciously monitoring your technology use, and avoiding too much multitasking are all great ways to avoid FOMO. When it comes to our fear of missing out, we should all try to have some perspective, and remember that it is impossible to have grand plans all of the time.
Don’t miss out
Feeling a fear of missing out is entirely normal and human. It would be impossible to not feel this way at some point in your life. We can all benefit, however, from remembering that our current era of constant technology use is perhaps doing us more harm than good if we aren’t careful to stay mindful and in the moment.
So the next time that you find yourself feeling badly about the plans you could be missing out on, remember that some habits can help you to feel FOMO less keenly. Take some deep breaths, be mindful, and focus your attention on the moment. Why spend too much time worrying about other people’s lives when you have so much going for you in your own wonderful life?
- Dehaan, C., Gladwell, V., Murayama, K., Przybylski, A., (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014
- Hope, N., Milyavskaya, M., Saffran, M., et al, (2018). Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO. Motiv Emot, 42, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-018-9683-5
- Scott, H., Woods, H., (2018). Fear of missing out: Cognitive behavioral factors in adolescents’ nighttime social media use. Journal of Adolescence, 68, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.07.009
- Reer, F., Tang, W., Quant, T., (2019). Psychosocial well-being and social media engagement: the mediating roles of social comparison orientation and fear of missing out. New Media and Society, 21(7), https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818823719