missing out

What Is FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out?

What is FOMO or the fear of missing out?

This is a phenomenon that’s become more common in the age of social media. FOMO can cause a stress as well as anxiety in your life.

Anyone can be affected by FOMO, especially if you have an underlying mental health disorder.

What Exactly Is FOMO?

FOMO is a form of social anxiety. It stems from the belief that others are having fun without you.

It’s marked by a desire to always stay connected with what other people are doing.

It’s often triggered by posts seen on social media. They’re posts about exciting or interesting events that may currently be happening.

It’s estimated that 69% of millennials have at one point had FOMO.

An Example Of FOMO

An example of FOMO is having an all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out. It could be something that your friends are doing or what they have more of such as status. Also, you may have FOMO over something that you don’t have.

For example, you may have an all-consuming feeling that your missing out on owning the latest iPhone. Also, you may feel jealous and sad over someone else’s perceived happiness.

Causes and Effects Of The Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO is a phenomenon with many causes and effects.


It’s easy to say that the main cause of FOMO is the overuse of social media. However, it goes down deeper than that.

If you have problems with loneliness as well as mental health problems, you may have a fear of missing out due to a deeper problem. Overuse of social media is the main trigger that sets FOMO off.


In the short-term, FOMO causes problems. It may lead to sadness and anxiety, especially when you realize that you either left out or not invited to an event. This is a normal response when you’re missing out on something you want to do.

Social media use long-term can make this sadness and anxiousness worse. It also leads to being very unhappy with life, along with feeling not good enough while comparing yourself to others.

FOMO can be like gasoline being dumped on a grease fire if you suffer from a mental disorder.

Social Media And Bipolar Disorder

If you’re suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder FOMO can amplify your symptoms. These can include extreme social anxiety, mood swings, negative self-talk as well as abandonment issues.

FOMO also causes you to not focus on your own needs, instead you’re focusing on other people instead. As a result, you may not be taking care of yourself. Spending too much time on social media leads to internet addiction as well as sleep problems.

Internet addiction is a common and growing problem. It’s fueled by FOMO which leads to an overuse of social media. Having bipolar disorder as well as other mental disorders makes you more vulnerable to internet addiction, but to addiction in general.

Sleep problems are common with bipolar disorder and social media addiction makes it worse. The light emitted by your smart phone tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, as a result you’ll face worsening sleep problems.

Here’s a related post: “How To Overcome Sleep Problems”.

How To Overcome FOMO Or The Fear Of Missing Out?

The all-consuming fear of missing out can be overcome. However, you can overcome FOMO it helps to know what fuels it.

Tips For Overcoming FOMO:

Spend Less Time On Social Media:

Since social media is a trigger for FOMO, it helps to put limitations on it’s usage.

Limiting your usage has many other benefits. You’ll find overtime that your sense of self is reclaimed and also your self-esteem gets a boost. Also, you’ll notice that you have more time and you’re more productive due to better focus.

Less time spent on social media also leads to better mental health. It helps to recharge your emotional health and rid your life of negativity that it creates. As a result, you’ll find that you’re less anxious and depressed.

Learn To Focus On The Present Moment:

Having FOMO is a distraction. It causes your mind to bounce back and forth between a stressful thought about a future event and also at the same time recalling the past.

After cutting back on social media, you’ll find that you’re better focused. See this as an opportunity to learn to focus on the present moment.

When you’re focusing on the present moment, you’ll find that you have mental health. Also, you’ll have a better idea of what is important and what is not.

Embrace JOMO:

The opposite of FOMO (the fear of missing out) is JOMO or the joy of missing out.

If you have FOMO, you may always be second-guessing your choices. For example, you may be wondering if you’re missing out on something better. On the other hand, if you have JOMO you may end up embracing your choices. If you choose to do something, you’ve find joy in the present moment instead of regretting the choice you’ve made.

Prioritize Quality Relationships:

Having FOMO can be the result of a lack of fulfilment brought on by a lack of quality relationships.

It helps to focus your time and energy to create quality face-to-face relationships as well as nurture the skills that they require. You’ll find that this brings higher levels of fulfilment into your life.

Along with mental health problems, social media has caused a disconnect between people. As a result, more people lack quality relationships and this leads to loneliness as well as lack of fulfilment.

Have You Ever Had A Fear Of Missing Out?

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