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  • Writer's pictureBarsha Singh

Why Do We Experience FOMO?

Why Do We Experience FOMO?

FOMO (fear of missing out) is an emotional reaction to the notion that others are having better, more fulfilling lives or that crucial chances are being missed. Unease, discontent, despair, and tension are all common side effects of FOMO. FOMO has been more prevalent in recent years as a result of the advent of social media. It seems to be most common among millennials, according to data.

FOMO may be caused by social media and other factors.

FOMO is a kind of anxiety triggered by the fear of missing out on an exciting encounter or a significant opportunity. The amygdala, a region of the brain that determines whether or not something is a danger to life, causes FOMO. The feeling of being left out is seen as a threat by this area of the brain, causing worry and anxiety. If a person is already hypersensitive to environmental hazards, they are more likely to feel FOMO. People with social anxiety, obsessive or compulsive habits (including documented obsessive-compulsive disorder), or a history of emotional trauma fall into this category.

Smartphones and social media have exacerbated FOMO by putting people in circumstances where they are constantly comparing their lives to the idealised experiences they see online. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, among other applications and websites, make it simpler than ever to know what other people are up to. The glamorised versions of their life that are displayed on services like Instagram Stories or Facebook walls distort a user's sense of normalcy and lead them to believe they are doing worse than their friends. Instead of looking within at the fantastic things in their own life, people gaze outward at the experiences of others.

FOMO's worry and discontent, on the other hand, might cause individuals to want connection and engagement, or to strengthen their attempts to avoid missing out by visiting various social networking websites more often. In any case, individuals are drawn back to social media, creating a dangerous loop. As a result, social media plays a role in both the cause and the consequence of FOMO.

FOMO marketing has become popular as a strategy to persuade customers to purchase particular items or attend certain events. Customers' fear of missing out is triggered through FOMO marketing, which motivates them to act.

The following are some examples of FOMO marketing strategies:

• demonstrating that other individuals are purchasing the items;

• showing a clock that counts down to the promotion's end;

• generating competition by publicising the number of other persons who are interested in the transaction;

• encouraging experiences by displaying real-life examples of individuals who have enjoyed the event or product.

While FOMO marketing is effective in motivating individuals to spend more, it has a detrimental impact on customers by causing despair and anxiety.

FOMO's Side Effects

Constantly checking the phone while watching a movie, sharing everything on social media, and fretting at the prospect of being without a phone are some of the evident impacts of FOMO. While these consequences may not seem to be very harmful, FOMO may also lead to hazardous habits like as texting while driving, which can be fatal.

The impact of FOMO on mental health is reflected in all of these observable impacts. As previously said, FOMO may lead to emotions of melancholy, worry, anxiety, and tension, as well as dissatisfaction with life. A person suffering from FOMO may find oneself obsessing over what others are doing, leading them to lose out on their own life. When a person gets captivated by other people and their lives, they lose their sense of self and are unable to function as a genuine person in the world.

FOMO, on the other hand, is a feeling fueled by ideas, not a mental illness. Fear is created by thoughts, which may lead to a diagnosis. As a result, FOMO might be a sign of a larger issue.

How to Deal with FOMO

Understanding what FOMO is and where it arises from is the first step toward overcoming it and enhancing life pleasure. Once FOMO has been identified, steps may be made to eliminate it from one's life. The majority of recommendations for persons trying to combat FOMO include taking breaks from social media and paying greater attention to the present moment, as well as the people and surroundings around them. Being more present in the moment reduces stress and anxiety by removing threats sensed by the amygdala.

Other things you may do to aid with FOMO are:

• Shifting the emphasis away from what is missing in life and onto what is present. This might involve changing social media sites so that more positive individuals appear in the feed than negative ones, or just adding more things that make people happy.

• Instead of publishing everything on social media, keep a notebook of great recollections and events. The journal turns the emphasis away from public approval and toward individual adoration of what makes life worthwhile.

• Keeping a gratitude notebook may also help you concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. It will also make dissatisfaction and inadequacy more difficult to experience since it pushes the recognition that life is already full of wonderful things.

• Making genuine relationships with individuals one-on-one or face-to-face. Making arrangements with friends and getting out of the home might help you feel more connected and less like you're missing out. Instead of a public post, sending a direct message to a buddy may establish a good, private conversation that will improve emotions of connection and lessen FOMO.

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