Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Fear of missing out (FOMO) [वंचित होने का डर] is described as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”. FOMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, a profitable investment, or other satisfying events. In other words, FOMO perpetuates the fear of having made the wrong decision on how to spend time since one “can imagine how things could be different”. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System having identified this unique problem of a serious nature, we appeal to all our valuable readers to know about the fear of missing out – modern technologies, causes, risk factors, and how to overcome it.

Image result for fear of missing out images
Fear of Missing Out (FoMO)

Fear of missing out Modern technologies (आधुनिक प्रौद्योगिकियों से वंचित होने का डर)

With the development of the internet, people’s social and communicative experiences, originally mostly face-to-face, have expanded to include much time interacting over social media. On one hand, modern technologies e.g. mobile phones, smartphones, and social networking services. On the other hand, mediated communication perpetuates an increased reliance on the Internet.

Psychological dependence on being online could result in anxiety when one feels disconnected, thereby leading to a fear of missing out or even pathological Internet use. As a consequence, FOMO is perceived to have negative influences on people’s psychological health and well-being because it could contribute to people’s negative mood and depressed feelings.

Fear of missing out Causes (वंचित होने के डर का कारण)

Urge for the fulfillment of specific needs (विशिष्ट आवश्यकताओं की पूर्ति के लिए आग्रह)

From the theoretical lens of psychological needs, FOMO could be attributed to situational or long-term deficits in psychological needs satisfaction, the prevalence of which contributes to increasing transparency of other people’s social lives and an escalating amount of real-time information. According to uses and gratifications theory, people actively choose and use social media to fulfill their specific needs, such as their needs for information or staying connected with others through socializing. For people who grapple with FOMO, social media involvement could be attractive because it serves as a convenient tool to be socially connected with a relatively low cost.

Basic psychological satisfaction (बुनियादी मनोवैज्ञानिक संतुष्टि)

Self-determination theory contends that an individual’s psychological satisfaction in their competence, autonomy, and relatedness consists of three basic psychological needs for human beings. People with lower levels of basic psychological satisfaction reported a higher level of FOMO. In addition, nearly four in ten young people reported that they experience FOMO sometimes or often. FOMO was found to be negatively correlated with age, and men are more likely than women to report FOMO.

Social presence and connections (सामाजिक उपस्थिति और कनेक्शन)

This means that individuals who are extroverts are very comfortable socially. It makes sense that there is a link between extroversion and higher and more frequent social media use. They use media as a platform that will enhance their social presence and connections with others.

Emotional instability (भावनात्मक असंतुलन)

Neuroticism which is a category of neurotic individuals alludes to emotional instability. This has been proven to correlate to social media use and internet addiction. People that suffer more from neuroticism more so than others are more likely to be drawn towards Facebook and Twitter. They use these apps as an attempt to validate themselves through their peer’s approval. They use these platforms because it is easier for them to interact via social media than in person.

Anxiety (चिंता)

Relationship maintenance is heavily based on one’s attachment style and those with anxious attachment styles are more likely to be insecure and seek reassurance often from their partner. The fact that social media provides a means of communication in which an instant reply is not necessitated also allows those who suffer from social anxiety to think about what they want to say without the worry of hesitation or awkward pauses. There is some ambiguity in regard to the extent of the correlation between one having an anxious attachment style and one using social media at an increased frequency, although it is strong enough for researchers to consider this as a predictor.

Unhealthy digital habits (अस्वास्थ्यकर डिजिटल आदतें)

Social media services like Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter are technological tools for seeking social connection and provide the promise of greater levels of social involvement. However, unhealthy digital habits can discourage sufficient engagement in present social interactions.

When people use technology to define themselves by sharing their thoughts and feelings even as they’re having them, they indirectly deliver an “I share therefore I am” message, which may lead people to distortedly misunderstand the essence of social connection or interaction. If more and more people attempt to seek novelty to share with others and catch their attention, perhaps they would progressively feel more isolated and empty.

Need to always “stay connected” (हमेशा “जुड़े रहने” की आवश्यकता)

Social media sites have become a large contributing factor to the FOMO sensation. People develop negative feelings and emotions from social media sites because of envy toward others’ posts and lives. Social media has created an easy-to-access, centrally located spot for people to constantly refresh their feeds and find out what others are doing at that exact moment. Snapchat has taken this idea to the next level.

People post Snapchat stories, which are a collection of photos and videos that last 24 hours, of almost any and everything in their lives. This may be anything from pictures of the meal they just ate to a video of the country music concert they are attending. This allows users to see all the fun things their friends have done throughout the last day, causing FOMO to really set in.

People who experience FOMO are more inclined to use social media sites because they feel the need to always “stay connected”. Before social media and the cell phone surfaced, people typically only knew what their friends were doing by being with them. Today, however, people can search for what they missed with a click of a button.

Addictive behaviors (व्यसनी व्यवहार)

“Millennials” refer to students who are currently attending college.  Millennials focus much of their attention on social interaction with friends and family by using cell phones to voice call or send messages back and forth, as a way to communicate with one another. However, there are downsides, along with upsides. On the upside, it helps individuals stay connected and have a support system while also eliminating stress levels. On the downside, however, technology can be a distraction for students, which can result in a high-stress level. In addition, social media could be an outlet for addictive behaviors, like depression or anxiety.

Emotional state (उत्तेजित अवस्था)

Scholars go on to mention that depression often includes two extremes of emotion. This is when positives or good moods are low, and negatives or bad moods are high. Those who suffer from depression also experience feelings and symptoms of distress, sadness, anguish, and other extreme emotions. Depression interrupts daily activity and hinders one’s ability to concentrate, sleep, eat, or even move. Over the years, researchers have found out that social media use is a cause of depression. 

Concern about difficult situations (कठिन परिस्थितियों के बारे में चिंता)

Anxiety is defined as a state of mind in which one is concerned about difficult situations or threats. Traditional literature suggests that anxious people are likely to suffer from multiple disorders. The idea that anxious people see their anxious state as problematic, chronic and inescapable is something that scholars disagree on.

Scholars have recently begun to study the prevalence of anxiety among social media users. Individuals who are anxious and engage in social media are likely to revert to different coping strategies, as a high engagement in social media use. Anxious users are more engaged on social media in order to relieve their anxious state, by trying to find a sense of belonging on social media and looking for attention.

Advertising and marketing campaigns (विज्ञापन और विपणन अभियान)

It is not uncommon for advertising and marketing campaigns to employ the appeal of FOMO in an era of new technology. Brands and companies often inform their customers of “can’t-miss-out” experiences or deals e.g. AT&T’s “Don’t be left behind” campaign, Duracell’s Powermat “Stay in charge” campaign, Heineken’s “Sunrise” campaign. Heineken’s “Sunrise” campaign, in particular, aimed to encourage responsible drinking by portraying excessive drinking as a way to miss out on the best parts of a party, eschewing the more common warning that such drinking is a risk to personal health.

Harnessing (काम में लाना)

Real-time updates about one’s status and major social events allow a more engaged media consumption experience and faster information dissemination. Real-time tweets about the Super Bowl are considered to be correlated with higher TV ratings because of the appeal of FOMO and the prevalence of social media usage.

Image result for fear of missing out causes images
Fear of Missing Out: Causes

Fear of missing out Risk factors (वंचित होने के डर के जोखिम कारक)

Among all the risk factors, mainly following include great risks:

How to overcome Fear of missing out (वंचित होने के डर से कैसे पार पाएं)

Some of a few practices that can help you with your FOMO includes:

Admit you have a problem (समस्या का स्वीकार करे)

Let’s get real, and say it with me: “I cannot be everywhere at all times and always be doing the coolest thing ever. And that’s OK.” Doesn’t that feel better? Admitting and accepting that you have anxiety can feel like your secret has been unleashed to the universe and the burden is off your shoulders. You’re acknowledging the insecurity, and with that recognition, you can now tackle the problem.

Switch off the chatter (चाटर बंद करो)

For gosh sakes turn off your phone! Learn to redo your morning without your eyes glued to Instagram. It may not be viable to deactivate your social media accounts, but learn to limit your activity. One CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) technique prescribes setting aside a certain time of day to check all your social media outlets. Let’s say that you take the bus home from work every day from 5:30 to 6:10 pm. Make this your one and only time of day to check your accounts. Find a time of day that works for you to catch up with Facebook, and stick to it.

Practice mindfulness (सचेतन का अभ्यास करे)

Try this mindfulness immersion exercise: Take a mundane daily activity like washing the dishes and try to sense the muscles you use to wash, the scent of the soap, and the feeling of bubbles between your fingers. Rather than multitasking or hurrying up this task to get on to the next one, appreciate your current state of being. Mindfulness can help those with major FOMO enjoy what they are doing in the here and now, instead of yearning for what else could be.



12 thoughts on “Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

  1. Yeah youngsters this days often keep on updating about themselves on the social media just for staying connected with others.

    1. The intention behind writing this article is to just make every youngster aware of the side effects of FOMO. You know well, excess of everything is bad. We must make use of social media for updating our knowledge and or enhancing it. I do accept it but understand that technology is for help and not for our inconvenience. It’s quite pleasant communication with you. Thanks for the good words!

  2. It’s one of the trending things going on in Social media, we youngsters call it “FOMO”.
    Very nicely explained

    1. Surely! Excess of everything is bad, Vishal. The same thing is applicable to FOMO. We should make use of social media for our comfort and wisely avoid its side-effects. Thanks for being with us.

  3. Getting too much habit of social media is also extremely harmful. You have explained the reasons for this on the subject and have expressed concern over it. This is very impressive.

    1. Sure, Shubham! It is quite worrying to find that many of us just can’t imagine living without social media. We have got so much involved to such extent that even while eating also we don’t keep our mobiles/smartphones away. I have seen some parents give their small children their mobiles who not even completed 1 year of the age! One should understand that technology is for our convenience and not that we become slaves of the technology. Let us restrict the use so that we can save ourselves from falling into health-problems. Thanks and share this knowledge with others!

    1. Surely, Atharva! I will continue helping others as long as people like you, avail of the benefits. If feasible, please share this knowledge with others. Thanks for your nice words!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar