written by
Balázs Nagy

Fear of missing out: What does FOMO mean? How does it affect you?

Social 3 min read, September 2, 2020

So again, what does FOMO mean? Like spending more than usual time on social media? Or when you can’t wait to post your dinner every time you go to a fancy restaurant? Like, scroll, double-tap? Have you ever wondered how it, or rather FOMO affects you? Do you think it makes your life more cheerful in one way or another? You might think you’re just about to read another article on the real bad side effects of spending time on your phone in the name of ‘socializing’, but no, you aren’t going to. Instead, you might just get some tips on how to deal with FOMO and use it moderately, to get the most out of it.

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Photo by camilo jimenez - Fear of missing out: What does FOMO mean? How does it affect you?

What does FOMO really mean?

The Fear Of Missing Out is a phenomenon that became noticed when we people became more and more obsessed with public networks. It is a belief or rather a feeling of literally missing out on something that others might enjoy around you. Imagine one of your friends posting regularly about his or her personal life: going for fancy dinners, clubbing, night out with boys/girls and so on, while all you usually do is suffocating over your textbooks, trying to fit in as much information into your head in the shortest time possible, as the next exam is coming, along with the rest as well. It’s not just a feeling of ‘I’d rather be there than here’. It’s more of a pervasive sensation of ‘I’m under this horrible obligation to study a lot, while others can enjoy their lives’. Or more broadly: ‘I have to always be connected so that I wouldn’t miss anything happening around me’. Want to find out how exposed you are to this? Try this quiz:

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How to deal with FOMO?

After filling out the FOMO questionnaire and getting your score, you might be wondering what could be done to improve it. Sure you’ve already been told things like use less social media, which of course makes sense, but not entirely useful. Having a phone on you, which is always connected comes with its many benefits, such as weather alerts, contactless payment, reading the news, or just generally the ability to spend quality time while on public transport. Instead, you just have to more focused on what’s happening around you. Be fully present. You could create some barrier between you and your phone. For example, a new lock screen which tells you if it is really necessary to check on your device. Or you could just keep your phone in your pocket (ideally with notifications completely silenced, or do-no-disturb mode if that’s how you call it), instead of putting it on the table between you and your partner.

What else?

You can also limit your social media usage, meaning you only do that in the evening. Starting your day with it is not a good idea. Instead, you could use that time to reflect on yourself and your direction of self-development. Now, that’s something could be way more useful in the long run. And it surely will.
Here, for further information on the matter.

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