How FOMO And Social Media Fatigue Are Linked Together
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, has become a constant in so many people's lives during the modern age. It can be understood as a fear of missing out on interpersonal reactions that may be rewarding or beneficial (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6211134/). The habit of always having a phone or other device on hand contributes to this fear. Many studies have examined the effects and causes of FOMO. The consensus is that it is in human nature to seek out connections and interpersonal relationships. Still, fear of missing out can be a side effect of obsession with being connected to others through social media (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476225/).
The deeper rooted issues are called Problematic Social Media Use. When people often experience strong symptoms of FOMO, they likely are using social media problematically.
This problem can occur on any social media site. This term includes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms. Constant updating of stories can cause people to become accustomed to receiving constant updates about everyone's lives; it can cause them to feel anxious or scared when they aren't receiving these constant updates.
Although teens are especially vulnerable, this issue can affect anyone. Teens are afflicted with a fear of missing out because so much of their livelihood depends on social interaction. Lives can be made and ruined with one wrong social media post or missing one party. That makes it so difficult for teens to not experience this issue at some time or another.
That having been said, anyone can suffer from Problematic Social Media Use. Humans demand connection, and this causes them to fear missing out on inside jokes and the like. This causes them to be dependant on sources of media because they are sources of information about what's happening in the lives of their friends and family.
This issue can appear at any time after a human is exposed to social media. It is more likely to happen after a human is exposed to social media by their own free will; that is, they can control what they look at, on what sites and for how long, but even if screen time is limited, people can have FOMO.
It is still somewhat unclear how this happens so consistently. Studies try to learn about this to resolve the problem. It seems the only solution would be to eliminate social media, which is something not many people are willing to do. Fear of missing out is a direct result of social media, so while media is still around, the fear of missing out will be around, as well.
Fear of missing out, in essence, occurs when a human is trying to create the best experience possible for themselves. They search for the most fun things to do and the funniest jokes to be a part of and the most exciting experiences. Social media is not a clear reflection of lives, and this creates a problem. When another human's life looks constantly exciting and inspiring, the first human, seeing this, feels upset. Are they missing out? Is someone creating a more fun experience for themselves? This feeling is frustrating and causes fear of missing out. Fear of missing out is more prevalent in people who are unhealthfully attached to social media. The constant feed of the most exciting things happening in your area creates a constant conflict within yourself to better your experience, which can make you dependant on social media. It is a vicious cycle. The best thing you can do to prevent these symptoms is to take breaks from the social media that you interact with most. You may miss out on some Snapchat stories or Instagram posts, but in the end, you will be happier and healthier for it.
Although the fear of missing out is generally a blank spot in the scientific community, some things are known about the issue. There is no cure-all for this problem yet. Still, there are things everyone can do to ease the issue with themself. This issue can affect anyone. For this reason, it is vital that everyone is aware of this problem and how they can solve it. When in doubt, sit one out. Taking breaks from social media can increase the chances of avoiding fear of missing out and problematic social media use.