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The FOMO Effect

BY: Admin • Jul 05, 2019

PAUSE and Rewind.

Did you ever catch yourself fiddling with your smart phone, spending a ginormous amount of time surfing Facebook, instagram, or twitter and wondering something along these lines…

 “I wish I could go to (enter a post worthy tourist spot here) as well.” or….

“They’re so awesome they are already able to buy (enter a new model of gadget here).” or maybe…

 “I hope I could get into (enter a really trendy and expensive restaurant here).”

Well? Did you experience or ask yourself such questions before?

If your answer is yes, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just had a FOMO experience!

FOMO… also known as the Fear Of Missing Out. This is a term coined by Adam Poswolsky in his book, THE QUARTERLIFE BREAKTHROUGH: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life that Matters.

FOMO is that tearing feeling in our guts when we consciously or unconsciously compare our lives to others based on the things we see in social media. It’s that experience when we find ourselves asking whether we are the only ones struggling in finding our paths or finding stability in life. You know… that throbbing question, “Am I the ONLY one like this???” After all, social media has a very good way of shoving the “ideal” pictures of other people to our throats as we gag from the feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy. And most often than not, these comparisons tend to end up eating us from the inside.

Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis shared the outcome of their study in an article entitled “A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel” in Harvard Business Review which supported the assumption that too much use of Facebook tends to decrease an individual’s overall well-being. Other studies on the effects of social media had been a topic of interest for many researchers and their results showed that too much social media use may decrease in various life aspects such as face-to-face relationships, engagement in meaningful activities, and self-esteem among others. These studies highlighted the individual’s tendency to self-compare as a strong influence on one’s behavior. Though there are still a lot of research that needs to be done about this topic, these results somewhat makes you reflect on the current state of your being.

Of course I am not saying that you go ahead and delete all your social media accounts (if you have the strong conviction to do so, then please, don’t let me stop you) but instead, I want to remind you about something important that we often miss as we skim through the feeds… as Adam Poswolsky said in his book, “All of us (myself included) are sharing our highlight reels on social media, but social media makes life seem rosier than it actually is.”

Let us be mindful of the fact that there is more to life than the part which we see on social media. Our lives are a mixture of different highlights and shadows. Each and every journey that we take is unique. After all, our definitions of happiness and success might be different in the molecular level for all we ought to know.

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