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The Science of FOMO and What We’re Really Missing Out On

The effects of FOMO

In a recent study, scientists examined the effect of FOMO on first-year university students.

  • The results of this study showed that FOMO was present throughout the day, but mostly later in the day and nearing the weekend.
  • Those whose behaviors felt more like obligations, including studying or working, suffered more from FOMO.
  • FOMO was also associated with adverse outcomes, such as fatigue, stress, sleep problems, and psychosomatic symptoms.
  • FOMO was felt by all regardless of personality.

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The Science of FOMO and What We’re Really Missing Out On

The Science of FOMO and What We’re Really Missing Out On

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/ritual-and-the-brain/201804/the-science-fomo-and-what-we-re-really-missing-out

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

The fear of missing out has always been there. But the explosion of social media has made FOMO more prevalent as we can easily see what all our peers are doing all the time.

The effects of FOMO

In a recent study, scientists examined the effect of FOMO on first-year university students.

  • The results of this study showed that FOMO was present throughout the day, but mostly later in the day and nearing the weekend.
  • Those whose behaviors felt more like obligations, including studying or working, suffered more from FOMO.
  • FOMO was also associated with adverse outcomes, such as fatigue, stress, sleep problems, and psychosomatic symptoms.
  • FOMO was felt by all regardless of personality.

FOMO linked to social media

In a study, the team was interested in finding out if FOMO experiences were linked to social media usage. FOMO seemed to be a commonly reported feeling, which created negative emotions and feelings of distraction.

How to get rid of FOMO

There might be some intervention techniques that could equip a person with certain regulatory resources to combat FOMO. It might be a shift in attentional control: To mitigate the harmful effects of FOMO, focus less on the potential losses and more on immediate gains of what you're doing now.

But until the perfect solution arrives, in the meantime take comfort in knowing that FOMO reduces with age.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

FOMO Meaning
The “fear of missing out” refers to the feeling of “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere.”

Most people at one time or another have been preoccupi...

Relish feeling out of the loop
Admit that you are missing out and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

Blogger and entrepreneur Anil Dash wrote about the “Joy of Missing Out,” a term he coined to describe the satisfaction of doing things on his own terms. 

Refrain from social media
Try staying offline for a day, a week, or maybe even a month to wake up to the wonders of the real world. 

If you return, decide which sites to spent time on and which not.

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FOMO Comes From Unhappiness

You’re not feeling so great — whether you realize it or not — and you turn to social media to make you feel better. Only one problem there: it actually makes you feel worse…

The Facebook Illusion

We all know that Facebook doesn’t provide a very well-rounded picture of people’s lives. It’s more like the cherry-picked perfection version.

People with FOMO have ambivalent feelings toward Facebook. It brings them up when they post about their own carefully edited version of life awesomeness, and slams them back down when they feel they have to compete with other people's lifestyle awesomeness - especially when they're feeling a little down or anxious themselves.

The Problem Is Attention

Looking at social media for happiness is a bad idea. You won’t find it out there. Your happiness is determined by how you allocate your attention. What you attend to drives your behavior and it determines your happiness. 

Changing behavior and enhancing happiness is as much about withdrawing attention from the negative as it is about attending to the positive.

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FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

FOMO is the experience of worrying that other people are doing more interesting things than you, have more friends than you, and are just all around living a better and cooler life.

Th...

What you really wish to do

Choosing one path means missing another.

When you feel FOMO coming on, ask yourself if the trigger is really something you wish you were doing yourself, or if the sudden recollection of the great number of choices in life has simply brought on a moment of insecurity about your own

If it’s the latter, taking a moment to reaffirm your decision is all it takes to chase the FOMO away.

The need for a change

Keep in mind that your FOMO trigger may not relate directly to something you wish you were doing yourself, but can instead point more broadly to something you want to change about your life.

Examine the source of your FOMO before dismissing it; there may be a good reason you feel insecure about your decisions.

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The Scientific Mind
The Scientific Mind

The mind of a scientist cannot be that just a set of beliefs. It has to be an objective, open and experimental mind. A scientific way of thinking is always systematic, based on testing, bui...

Not Trusting Scientific Knowledge

Though science has helped humanity for centuries, it is not fully trusted. Part of the reason is that scientific knowledge is incomplete.

It is often resisted by a section of people, who don’t believe in vaccines, climate change, or the man-made genetic advancement in crops. As an example, many families believe vaccination causes autism in children, and no matter what is done to counter it, the belief is stuck in people’s brains.

Science And Pseudoscience

Many people from all sections of society do not trust in science, as they don’t trust the authority of the scientific community. The Pseudo Scientists try to debunk science by:

  • Arguing that the entire scientific consensus is a conspiracy.
  • Getting fake experts to produce information that contradicts scientific findings.
  • Argue using selective data, and using a small example to discredit the entire field.
  • Deploying false analogies and other fallacies that appear logical.
  • Setting impossible expectations and counter-arguments towards the scientists.

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Working strategically
Working strategically

A famous quote from Thomas Edison is that "genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

While passion and perseverance are essential to reaching your ...

The strategic mindset

A strategic mindset questions and refines your current approach while facing setbacks and challenges. People with a strategic mindset continuously look for a more efficient route.

We might all benefit from thinking strategically in the pursuit of our goals.

Understanding our thinking processes

A new study found a strategic mindset may make the difference between success or failure.

We should be aware and understand our own thinking processes. Useful strategies would include tracking your progress, recognizing your flaws and the areas that need improvement, then creating steps to overcome those challenges.

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First dates and first impressions
First dates and first impressions

The first time we meet somebody is actually the time we make an impression of them, impression which usually tends to last until our very last interaction with that person.

Well, first dat...

The functions of dating

Research has identified seven functions of dating among which the below:

  • Recreation
  • Socialization
  • Increasing status
  • Sexual experimentation
  • Companionship
  • Courtship
  • Intimacy.
The reasons for dating

Research has highlighted that there are different reasons people date, reasons which can be split into two main categories: first-date goals and partner-focused.

It is quite important to know why the other chose to date you, as you might end up discovering that you two do not share a viewpoint on this topic.

The Big Five
It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.
Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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FOMO “fear of missing out”

FOMO  is a form of social anxiety — a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.

An enviou...

How FOMO Forms

FOMO is not just wondering what other people think of your experiences and choices that you post on social media. 

FOMO forms when you begin to compare yourself and your experiences to others and start to actually become scared that you are missing out on something.

Face Your FOMO

One way is to swop FOMO for JOMO, the “joy of missing out.”

More and more, people are realizing that true joy that can come from not caring what other people are doing, not feeling envious and not being afraid that they’re missing out on anything.

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The "Fear" in FOMO

Living with constant or recurring fear, from post-traumatic stress to paranoia to FOMO, doesn’t improve life quality; it just makes us haunted and tense.

Our task is to live in a FOMO-plag...

FOMO is based on lies

When you feel FOMO coming on, remind yourself that practically every image you see on practically any screen is likely misleading. 

The human experience depicted by the media is never the whole truth — and often an outright lie. 

Fight FOMO with FOMO

What if we let FOMO mean something else? 

  • Fear of Moving On. With this definition, you remind yourself that fixating on things you may be missing is just another way of resisting your own life, your own unfolding destiny.
  • Find One Magnificent Object. When FOMO strikes, let it prompt you to contemplate something wonderful: the sun, a bowl of soup, your own hand.
  • Feel Okay More Often. Realize that simple equanimity, along with the enjoyment of small things, is the healthy diet that yields sustainable happiness.

Try inventing your own FOMO definition. 

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Slow down

Practice taking your time when eating, driving, talking, or engaging in the tasks of everyday living. 

Practice discernment
... in regard to distinguishing what is truly important and necessary from what is merely desirable.

Focus on the kinds of things that enhance the quality not the quantity of your experiences.


Go for the experience, not the symbol

There are always going to be people we admire and perhaps envy. It’s “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome.

Focusing on the experience—a feeling of accomplishment, adventure, connection, fun, self-respect, freedom—that underlies the object or symbol—wealth, marriage, a sports car, a luxurious home—helps us distinguish what is truly fulfilling from that which can only provide a temporary feeling of pleasure.

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