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Fear of missing out

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Stevicus, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I've been familiar with the basic phenomenon of this, but I didn't know it had its own acronym until recently (FOMO). Fear of missing out - Wikipedia

    So, I guess I could say I experienced a brief bout of FOMO because I didn't know what FOMO meant.

    Anyway, there's a short Wiki article on the subject, which defines it:

    The article references a study which suggests that FOMO can reduce psychological well-being, negative social and emotional experiences. It can negatively impact mood and life satisfaction, reduce self-esteem, and affects mindfulness.

    The phenomenon is compared to older, pre-internet phenomena such as "keeping up with the Joneses," which is something that most people are familiar with. But back in those days, the "Joneses" were usually someone in the same neighborhood and the same socioeconomic class. Now, due to the internet, it's more like "keeping up with the Kardashians," which most working class people can't do. Not that they'd actually want to, but anyway...

    I can sort of identify with Charlie Brown here:

    [​IMG]

    The interesting thing noted in this Wiki article is that the phenomenon was first identified not by a psychologist or sociologist, but by a marketing strategist. "FOMO" first appeared in an article in The Harbus, the Harvard Business School magazine.

    For the most part, speaking personally, I don't think I have any strong feelings of "FOMO," at least not anymore. I did in the past, so I can kind of understand where it comes from.

    I've heard some people suggest that a large factor in creating public dissatisfaction in the 1960s, particularly in the inner cities, is that television became more and more widespread. People were able to see parts of the world they've never had access to before, and they saw a little more about "how the other half lived." Then they would look at their own lives and realize how much they had been missing out on, which led to greater dissatisfaction and angst.

    With the internet, it seems such feelings might even be more greatly magnified.

    Of course, as marketing strategists are well aware of this phenomenon, they have sought to take advantage of it, as pointed out in the article:

    "Don't be left behind" - I guess many people have that kind of fear, unless they've already reached the finish line.

    I put this in the psychology section, since this seems fitting enough, although it's probably more in the realm of sociology. It's not necessarily politics or "class warfare" either, although it might touch upon that. Even people in the upper classes might be unhappy if they're not in the top tier.

    I guess what's helped me to overcome this is to take a lighter approach to life; I don't take things as seriously as I once did. After all, in the long run, we are all dead. In 100 years, nobody is going to care about the Kardashians or if anyone was able to keep up with them. Sure, I'll still pull for the "workers of the world" and root for the undercat, but I don't care who wins the rat race.

    I was just wondering others might think about this. Have you ever experienced FOMO ("fear of missing out")? Does the internet cause it, or at least exacerbate it? Have you had it in the past and overcome it? Is it something that requires psychological help, or is it something people can overcome on their own?
     
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  2. Vee

    Vee Well-Known Member
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    I think it happens to everyone. TV and the internet made it much, much worse, by selling people illusions. You can see FOMO at it's best in the financial markets. What people are willing to risk to make lots of money quick is beyond insane and in most cases doesn't work.
    I find it useful to wait before making a decision and ask myself how important it really is and how much could I lose if it doesn't work out. If I don't find the risk worth it I'll forget about it.
     
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  3. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    I know I'm missing out, and I'm cool with it. From the outside, it seems like a mess of problems, and I don't really desire more messes or problems. I'm fine with my current messes and problems.

    I think everyone else is missing out. ;)
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Seriously?

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    It does, daily. Only if I think of a future in goal to achieve. I can't expect life to wait for me or help me to do so in the way I expect. Best I can do is cultivate myself today. Of course it's just as important as the future, I just find time will surpass the effort.
     
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  5. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    Social media appears to be based on FOMO, and why it is so successful, although the obvious advantages of social contact and why so many feel it a necessary part of their lives will mostly be why they join in. Once upon a time we never had such and somehow seemed to survive, with many of us no doubt not being that interested in the news or even TV, but technology rolls on and over us. :oops:
     
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  6. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Sometimes, I wish I had “missed out.” Everyone’s idea of a good time or riding the wave is different. Ride your own wave, and you’ll never be missing out. :wink:
     
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