Has anyone heard of this FOMO business?
Are we aware of this modern-day language?
Where on earth do these words come from?
WHO would even think up words like FOMO?
WHY does our language have words like this?
WHY do we say FOMO in our day to day talk?
WHY do we cut words down and reduce them?
WHY do our words feel short of their true meaning?
WHAT do we get when we research the word FOMO –
Fear of Missing Out
2013 – FOMO was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (1)
English Oxford Living Dictionary
Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.
Early 21st century: abbreviation of fear of missing out. (2)
A worried feeling that you may miss exciting events that other people are going to, especially caused by things you see on social media. (3)
If we take the dictionary literally for what it says – why is there any anxiety?
Could it be possible that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT when we have any fear?
Could it be possible our body is disturbed because it knows it is not the Truth?
Could it be possible that we get hooked out on what is happening elsewhere with our mind and our body is saying “listen mate, stop the false excitement as I am not equipped to deal with it”?
Could it be possible our mind can have its own agenda at the expense of our precious body?
Could it be possible that FOMO is like a drug because we know it is bad for us but we just cannot stop going for more and more?
Could it be possible we get these worried feelings because our life sucks and we know it and we just need some stimulation to keep going and stay buzzed up?
Could it be possible Social Media is the drug of our choice that we use every single day to self medicate as we do not like the misery, agony and hurts that we have buried inside us?
Could it be possible that those who post stuff that hooks us on social media are also seeking some form of relief because life day to day just ain’t what they want?
Princeton Journal of Science and Technology
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out is the feeling of being left out, the feeling of exclusion, the feeling of rejection.
It is those late-night thoughts of being at home and wondering what your friends are doing.
It is the sudden hypersensitivity around your phone.
It is the subconscious longing to have plans and to be out.
It is the quiet assurance that everyone you know is out having the time of their lives and you are left at home doing nothing.
One can view FOMO as a more developed form of social conformity.
Conformity is defined as a type of social influence involving change in belief or behaviour in order to fit in with a group. (4)
What is it about us that feels left out and wants to take action because we do not like being excluded or rejected?
What if we are excluding and rejecting who we truly are as its just not easy to be Real, Honest and Truthful in our world today, so we go with what everyone else seems to be doing?
What if we made a choice to not spend another late night thinking about what our mates are up to and instead got an early night?
What if we made it a Priority to do a social media DETOX and see what feelings come up?
What if we changed our FOCUS for a week and STOP checking our phone every few minutes?
What if we started to have real conversations and talked about real stuff face to face with others?
What if we got super honest and discussed our fears of missing out on this and that?
What if we just stopped all this planning that is causing so much tension in our mind and body?
What if being at home doing nothing is actually the best support we could give ourselves, as it may just lead to us feeling the pain we carry inside our body that needs to be released?
What if being at home doing nothing is a real opportunity to deal with our exhaustion and make some serious choices to get more quality SLEEP?
What is the real fear for us?
What are we missing out on?
WHY does it really bug us?
WHY does it drive us crazy?
WHY do we use FOMO to have a crap day?
WHY are we all subscribing to this FOMO game?
WHY do we use FOMO to play victim mode?
WHY do we use FOMO to change our Blood Pressure?
WHY do we use FOMO to alter the rhythm of our Heart rate?
WHY do we use FOMO to cram things into our busy schedule?
WHY do we think we are going to miss out on something exciting?
WHY do we think we are going to miss out on something interesting?
WHY do we think we are going to miss out on something amazing?
WHY do we think we are going to miss out on something spectacular?
WHY do we think we are going to miss out on what others are up to?
WHY do we think that what we do on Social Media adds to our FOMO?
WHY do we get aroused by the thought that something great is going on elsewhere and we are seriously missing out?
WHY do we have this FOMO anxiety inside us every night?
WHY does FOMO make us drive for miles, worried about the cost of it all and when we do get there, we really don’t want to be there?
WHY does FOMO make us spend money we don’t have?
WHY has FOMO made us buy stuff we know is not really us?
WHY has FOMO made us spend on plastic with no Responsibility?
WHY has FOMO got us in the red once again with our behaviour?
WHY has FOMO made us want to fit in with others all the time?
The Influence of Social Networks
A study at University of Glasgow, UK found FOMO might be a scientific mental condition.
Researchers found that teenagers significantly felt a societal pressure to constantly be available. This was linked to feelings of depression and a dependence on social media for fear of missing out on events, parties, plans etc.
467 students between age 11 and 17 were given a questionnaire about their emotional and psychological well-being. This covered self-esteem, anxiety, Depression, sleep quality and social media use.
The study found teens who were most active on social media reported higher feelings of anxiety, worsened sleep quality and lower self-esteem.
These effects were heightened in the evening when teenagers use social media more often and are more susceptible to feelings of exclusion.
“Teenagers feel pressure to be available 24/7 and not responding to posts or texts immediately can increase anxiety. Also, there is anxiety around ‘missing out.”
Dr. Heather Cleland Woods – Head Researcher (4)
This suggests a strong correlation between an invested role in social media and FOMO itself. Social media induces strong emotional investment and as a result, affects our perception of the situation.
What feeds that fear that brings on tension in our body?
What then gives us the anxiety that goes with FOMO?
What thoughts enter our mind that gives rise to FOMO?
What are the FOMO physiological symptoms that occur?
What if we all started asking these Basic Simple Questions?
Why FOMO Takes a Toll
FOMO is closely linked with and analogous to social exclusion.
When individuals experience FOMO, it registers a stress signal in the brain similar to that of being excluded from activities.
A study published in 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that individuals experienced increased activity in the brain regions associated with pain when experiencing social exclusion. (4)
The Science of FOMO and What We Are Really Missing Out On
New research does a deep-dive on the pervasive anxiety associated with FOMO.
FOMO is prevalent especially among young adults in western society.
While fear of missing out has always been there, the explosion of social media has launched our young people headfirst into the FOMO experience.
March 2018 – new study published in Motivation and Emotion, scientists at Carleton and McGill University, examined the social psychological basis of FOMO.
They wanted to see how it affected first-year university students, predicting it would be associated with a host of negative outcomes related to stress and negative emotionality.
Further, the scientists predicted that students who experienced FOMO would be more likely to miss out on sleep and experience more fatigue.
First Study: To get a better understanding of FOMO
Primarily, the researcher wanted to know on which days FOMO mainly occurred, how frequent the experiences were and what came out of the FOMO experience.
They also wanted to know if the frequency of FOMO experiences were related to the Big Five personality traits –
The results of the study showed that FOMO was present for participants throughout the day but mostly later in the day and near the end of the week.
People whose behaviours felt more like personal obligations, including studying or working were more likely to report greater FOMO.
FOMO was also associated with the predicted negative outcomes –
Psychosomatic symptoms (5)
Second Study: Follow-Up
In a follow up experiment, the researchers looked at how social media affected FOMO.
Overall it did not matter how people heard of the activity they had missed out on.
Hearing from a friend compared to seeing it on social media produced same amount of FOMO.
The researchers asked participants to read a person’s plans for the evening and then an alternative activity they could do instead.
Participants always chose to stick to the plan, then were “reminded” of the alternative activity through social media or a friend. No matter how sociable the activity they chose, they experienced high levels of FOMO and felt negative and distracted when they found out about the alternative.
Some People are More Susceptible to FOMO than Others
Overall, students may be likely to feel FOMO because of the pressure of “making the most” of their university experience.
48% first year students have less sense of social belonging and believe their peers are more socially connected than they actually are.
2017 – Study from University of British Columbia (6)
FOMO could also depend on our own satisfaction.
FOMO contributes to a person’s dissatisfaction with their own social lives and the fact they feel like they have less.
It triggers negative feelings like boredom and loneliness, which has an impact on someone’s psychological well-being.
Study by James Walter Thompson, Marketing Communications Company (2012) (6)
People who are already insecure may be more susceptible to feeling this way.
For example, when faced with excessive social media posts about other people’s lives, it can feel like they are always out of the loop with someone.
“But when you are caught in the loop of FOMO you tune out the real world and tune in to the fake one. And that is what the research shows: people with FOMO stop paying attention to life and turn to social media for their Happiness cure.”
In other words, it may be all about obsessively worrying that your experiences are not objectively better than anyone else’s, rather than your life actually lacking in any way.
Eric Barker – post in TIME (7 June 2016) (6)
Is this telling us something?
Can we join the dots here?
Could it be possible that those who are insecure are simply those who have not yet truly connected to their very essence?
In other words, they have not plugged in to who they truly are?
Could it be possible that if we are plugged in to who we truly are then all this outer stuff would not have the same hooking effect as we would know and feel it is not true?
What if being plugged in and truly connected to our innermost, we no longer subscribe to the fake world that is mentioned in the above post by Eric Barker?
What if being plugged in and connected means it is not possible to get caught in any loop because we just know and can feel when something is true and when it is not?
What if being plugged in and connected allows us to have a human life and not want a Perfect life, which is simply the images in our mind that are just not true?
What if being plugged in and connected means we never obsessively worry about anything because we know, we just know everything is taken care of and it feels true?
What if being plugged in and connected means we no longer are bothered or interested what others are up to?
What if simply being plugged in and connected to the real being inside us, stops the feeling of lacking in any area of life?
FOMO: How the Fear of Missing Out Drives Social Media ‘Addiction’
For some, FOMO leaves them in the grip of an “addiction” to their devices.
BBC News School Report – story for 6 o’clock News.
Year 11 students from a London school took challenge to turn social media off for a week.
When I was chosen to take part in this project, I was very enthusiastic and thought completing the entire week would be easy. But I was wrong…
After being briefed it fully hit me – not being able to access social media for a week is a really long time. Although this bothered me slightly, it did not put me off attempting the project as I went on with it.
As we shut off our devices, I already felt as if I had lost a limb.
I then had to think what I would do with the extra time I had which would have spent ‘wasting’ on social media sites.
On the second day, I was chatting with my friends at school and there was a video on Facebook that they had all watched the evening before and were speaking and laughing about it.
I felt as if I could not be as engaged in the conversation as I would otherwise be.
I gave in on Saturday.
Annoyingly, the downside was that I was super jealous of my younger sister who I could hear laughing out loud at videos and messages from her friends; this was a temptation as it made me think about all the laughs I could have, all the pictures I could upload and updates to check.
To this day, I cannot recall what I was thinking of that kept me through the weekend, because with every hour that passed the voice telling me to open up Facebook or peek at one notification on my BB messenger, got louder. (7)
42% admit they struggle with FOMO in terms of their social life, the places they have not yet visited and the material things they do not have.
According to a survey by Broadband Choices UK, a desperate need to not miss out leads to –
£353 average spend a year on things they do not actually want to spend money on
45% women and 37% men claim they get regular FOMO
37% feel jealous if their friends are having a night out without them
30% feel envious if a friend has landed a good deal on something in a sale
£3,276 spending in an adult lifetime on nights out we do not really want to go on
£3,087 on clothes we bought because someone else was wearing them
£2,772 on stag and hen dos we actually dread, according to the poll
30% feel FOMO if they miss out on a bargain that their friends have taken advantage of
58% wished social media was not around so they didn’t feel the pressure to lead the ‘perfect life’ (8)
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
This study was related to FOMO and Internet Use
30% young internet users are at risk of FOMO
20% adolescents have full symptoms of FOMO
20% young respondents – average age 13 show several FOMO symptoms (9)
For the Record – there is not much credible research that we could use for the purpose of this blog but the above gives us a clear indication that FOMO really does exist and our younger generations are those who are suffering the most.
What we did find was how entrepreneurs could make more money out of FOMO.
This means if we want more ‘experiences’ due to the fear of missing out then the suppliers (entrepreneurs) will give it to us.
This means we cannot Blame anyone or anything if we are going to be honest.
We make the choices, we want whatever it is out there and the suppliers provide that, so it all goes around and around.
Could it be possible that what is missing is not out there but actually inside of us?
Could it be possible that all those who have FOMO are simply wanting something outside of themselves because they forgot to Plug In and Connect inside them?
In other words, if we truly connected to who we are inside then things on the outside would not have an effect on us. We would be settled and content knowing that everything we truly need is not outside of us.
What if FOMO is not the unfortunate thing that we think it is?
What if we all got real and Absolutely Honest about FOMO?
What if we could get to the root cause of WHY FOMO exists?
What if there was Another Way to live where there is no FOMO?
What if there are people who do not have FOMO in their life?
What if FOMO does not have to ever be a word we use in life?
What if FOMO just adds to the stress and tension we already hold in our body because of our lack of Commitment to Life?
What if FOMO adds even more stress to our current Crazy Days?
What if FOMO makes us live life in the Fast Lane with no time out?
What if FOMO has no place in our Foundation for life?
What if FOMO is there because we live a life of self-doubt?
What if FOMO is there because we are always dilly dallying?
What if FOMO is there because it is meant to take us off track?
What if FOMO is there because we have lost our Focus in life?
What if FOMO is there because we really find life quite Boring?
What if FOMO is there because we are too busy looking at what everyone else is getting up to?
What if FOMO is there to make us think it is all real when it is not?
What if FOMO is there because we constantly want to out-do others?
What if FOMO is there to breed competition and comparison with others?
What if FOMO is there because we want to be ‘in the know’ and popular?
WHY is FOMO a lot worse when we get hooked into social media?
What if FOMO is hyped up with the Social Media frenzy we all like?
WHY do we use FOMO to check constantly on social media what others are up to?
WHY do we use FOMO in a way that it grips us into an addiction with our mobile phone?
WHY do we use FOMO as a license to get more apps?
WHY do we use FOMO to stay on the Internet all day?
What if FOMO is there to keep us updated about utter nonsense?
What if FOMO is there as we are always feeling uneasy about life?
What if FOMO is there to make sure we end up feeling distracted?
What if FOMO is there to keep us worrying all night about nothing?
What if FOMO is there because we subscribe to what others tell us?
What if FOMO exists because we are always Listen to Other People?
What if FOMO is there because our mind tells us it needs to be a Priority even though it makes no sense?
What if FOMO is there because we need to think we are in the right place at the right time and ticking the boxes?
WHY does FOMO have us spinning in the day and most of the night?
WHY do we use FOMO in the middle of brushing our teeth to run downstairs and see what others are talking about?
WHY do we use FOMO to make sure we get a bad night’s Sleep?
WHY do we use FOMO to book extra days on holiday Just Incase?
WHY do we use FOMO to end up at the party we knew was not for us?
WHY do we use FOMO to jam pack our activities with no time for rest?
WHY do we use FOMO to perpetuate the frenzy it always causes?
WHY do we use FOMO to be somewhere when we need to be somewhere else that was important?
WHY do we use FOMO as an excuse to say yes to everything even if it hurts us?
WHY do we use FOMO to do the wrong thing and we knew that before we said we would do it?
WHY do we use FOMO to enjoin others, when we know deep inside it is not our TRUTH but we like jumping on the bandwagon?
WHY do we use FOMO to such a degree that we actually don’t know how to stop this ill behaviour?
WHY do we use FOMO to be consumed in our head with endless thoughts that won’t go away?
WHY does FOMO never let us feel settled inside our body?
WHY do we use FOMO to drive us nuts about anything and everything?
What if FOMO did not exist in our lives?
Can we even begin to imagine life without FOMO?
How would life be like without any FOMO whatsoever?
How would our body respond without the FOMO drama?
How would our day be without any FOMO whatsoever?
Could it be possible that if we got Real and Honest, we would know what FOMO is doing to our body and we would Stop?
Could it be that Simple?
(1) (2016. March 30). FOMO: It’s Your Life You’re Missing Out On. Science Daily. Retrieved June 2, 2018 from
(2) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from
(3) (n.d). Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fomo
(4) Lopera, D. (2016, May 11). The Science Behind FOMO. Innovation. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from
(5) Hobson, N. (2018, April 23). The Science of FOMO and What We’re Really Missing Out On. Psychology Today. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from
(6) Dodgson, L. (2018, April 24). Here’s What’s Really Going on in Your Brain When You Experience ’FOMO’ – the Fear of Missing Out. Business Insider UK. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from
(7) (2017, March 1). FOMO: How the Fear of Missing Out Drives Social Media ‘Addiction’. BBC News. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from
(8) Jones, A. (2017, November 29). Brits Will Shell Out £22,000 in Their Life Due to FOMO. Metro. Retrieved June 2, 2018 from
(9) Tomczyk, Ł., & Selmanagic-Lizde, E. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) among Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Scale and Selected Mechanisms. Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 88, Issue undefined, May 2018.
A great question is what is it that we feel we are missing?
Does a young child feel like he or she is missing anything?
When do we decide that what we have is not enough?
Why do we look outside of ourselves for the answer?
Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program has supported me understand that when I feel like I am missing something it is because I am missing myself. And with simple techniques, I can remember that amazingness that I am.
Then I do not “need” anything because I have the greatest thing in the Universe, Me!
I had no idea FOMO was in the dictionary. And it’s been there since 2013!
And I had not reflected on how deeply ingrained it is. The fact that it has even been studied.
It really does make sense though and this blog shows the science.
It is sad to me that we are in a place where social exclusion is a cause of huge anxiety for so many. So many of us just wanting to belong. And social media seems specifically designed to exploit and maximise that so we keep going back for more.
But what if indulging FOMO is actually feeding the problem?
What if we actually need to break out of the cycle to relieve the tension with it?
I am sure I have some FOMO in areas of my life, but I know for sure I do not indulge it like used to.
The reason for this, I feel, is getting my personal priorities sorted. If I am clear what is important and what feels and does not feel true, then what could there possibly be to miss out on?
For example, I will never feel torn about not going out to a fun or fancy event if I know I need to sleep.
I value my rest so highly these days, FOMO can’t get a look in.
There is so much presented in this blog and much to consider and re-consider.
I am wondering why we are all so conditioned to look at what we don’t have, and to compare with others.
It feels like a massive game that keeps us in a cycle of dissatisfaction – not appreciating, and distracted from what we actually need. Stopping us from moving forward – keeping us down.
It is a great reminder to knock out comparison wherever it raises its head.
In realising this, I am re-committing to the responsibility I have to my kids to make sure comparison doesn’t play a part in their interactions or in our family.
If I am always thinking about what I am missing, then I will not feel what is happening at that moment.
It was a great way for me not to feel and take responsibility for the present.
Is this one of the reasons why we have FOMO?
Is it possible FOMO is a great way to check out?
“What if FOMO is there because we live a life of self-doubt?
What if FOMO is there because we are always dilly dallying?”
This, for me, is true.
When you have purpose and focus, FOMO doesn’t get a look in – there is simply no space for the wasted thought.
I agree what you say here about Focus JS.
For me, I know beyond doubt that with my true connection to purpose and my commitment to life, there really is no hole for this FOMO nonsense to get me or grab me and take me off on a needless distraction somewhere.
However, I do catch it when an ugly thought enters about a course I ‘should’ be attending as the world and its brothers (people I know) will be there and I will miss out on all that gold being presented.
Well hey ho is what I say because ALL I need is already inside me and in truth I am exactly where I need to be GETTING ON WTH IT and not missing anything.
I then have a choice, spend time thinking about the what if and buts or FOCUS on all that needs to be done and there is always plenty of that and GET ON WITH IT.
I am certain one thing that has really supported me with not entertaining the FOMO business in anyway is I have zero time for social media unless I can feel a strong purpose. Those platforms feel like hooks and for me it stops the deeper connection we can choose to have with our inner most being – our true essence. I chose the latter and that’s why we have this blog and another 120 published on this website.
It’s a no brainer if you ask me.
We experience FOMO in our family, particularly with the kids.
Wanting to know the details of every conversation happening in another room.
Devastation at the idea that a book would be read without them – that they would miss out.
Going off to a birthday party concerned about what fun the other sibling will be getting up to.
Wanting to do something notable if the other is going to a birthday party and they are not invited.
You can see the harm it does when these thoughts and behaviours come in. How they disturb and drain.
Like a sneaky form of comparison from looking outside instead of inside.
We work hard on this as parents – to cut comparison and FOMO stuff and support our kids to see and know they have all they need.
When I first heard of this FOMO I did not know what people were talking about.
Now I know, it makes total sense as I certainly lived with FOMO all of my life, but not now. I have become very content with me and what I have and so there is no longer any hankering after what someone else has or what they are doing.
I have a great sense of wherever I am being where I need to be and with that no FOMO.
When I lived with FOMO I always wanted to be like someone else and have their life. I would spend lots of money and get myself into debt to have the latest fashion items and go on holiday. I would go out to parties when I was very tired and would have done well to stay at home but that was not an option as I would have judged myself as being boring and uncool.
I also gained a right hip injury in my early 20’s which is nearly 20 years ago, by doing a dance course as I felt I was missing out if I did not do it – not a wise choice.
Living with FOMO and making our choices from there does nothing to evolve us.
What if FOMO can retard our growth as we can end up doing the wrong things and/or not being where we need to be in life as a result?
We are all different, with different life experiences and backgrounds and we all do not have the same things to learn.
What if we started to embrace life and what it presents to us, rather than trying to avoid it by worrying about what we might be missing out on and then taking the wrong path?
Would this makes our lives much simpler and joyfull?
Talking to a colleague about sleep. Something with which she struggles.
She called herself a night owl. She likes to be up late.
She said it is because the night is when the exciting things happen. It feels naughty to be up late.
Interesting, unusual, adult things are on tv.
She said it’s basically FOMO that keeps her up. A feeling she will miss out if she is sleeping.
She knows this is in her mind and it is a choice that doesn’t help her. But she keeps choosing it.
This FOMO stuff is big and whilst the whole thing feels light and made up, it really is not.
I have a friend who gets caught time and time again with this FOMO.
My take is she wants to be on the “in” and that means she thinks she needs to know what is going on and the only way is to make sure she is at the event even if it takes 6 hours driving and her body is totally exhausted from her day jobs.
I have got to the point in my life that when I take more rest and have a deep quality sleep there is nothing out there in this world that can hook me in.
I am done with travelling long distances in the name of FOMO and even if it was on my doorstep or in my community – No to FOMO works.
In fact, I have little interest where I can feel no purpose but what I can feel is my body saying “No thanks” and what a waste of time.
Regardless of the event, the inspirational person holding it or any other wow factor I am well and truly over this FOMO nonsense.
In my world that is exactly what FOMO is – utter nonsense, a game we play that harms us. It sure does not offer us evolution.
Reading this blog, it appears that social media plays a big part in this FOMO.
It seems somewhat paradoxical that we humans will become anxious and stressed by missing out on something but we then spend hours and hours trawling through our social media feeds and posting everything about our lives.
Having FOMO puts us in a position of angst.
Whether it is social media related or not, FOMO does nothing for us except cause harm.
Is it possible that, if we go into this mode of FOMO, any decisions we make after this, are not going to be the truth?
As this blog points out, is FOMO a simple case of not being connected, is it a case of not having self-worth, is it a case of comparison or jealousy?
Whatever our reasons for feeling this FOMO, is it possible that, if we never feel we are enough, we will always have a Fear Of Missing Out?