We have previously discussed how to avoid FOMO (the fear of missing out) but why should we really be avoiding it and what impact does it have on our lives, relationships, and work life balance? FOMO is becoming an increasing feeling that has been created by our extended connectivity and the ability to interact with others easily through technology.
1. Phone Attachment
Being glued to our smartphones that are pinging with every notification from social media to emails wastes plenty of time throughout the day and sends us deeper and deeper into a FOMO spiral. Seeing everyone’s best selves on social media plays havoc with our brain and makes us wish we were involved in the party. Not only that, it gives us a warped sense of what happens in people’s lives, making us feel less happy with our own, making us jealous and less content.
2. Missing The Moment
Spending so much time on our phones damages real-world relationships as well, to the point that “phubbing” has now become a new term that implies “phone snubbing”. This means that you pay more attention to your phone than your companion. FOMO is making us miss out on our actual lives, causing us to miss the special moments that others are afraid of missing out on!
3. It Controls Your Life
The fear of missing out can cause you to do things that you don’t want to, such as agreeing to go out or completing projects that you don’t want to do, simply because what happens when you are not there may be great. This can cause a huge problem if your FOMO is so bad that you spend money you don’t actually have (plus you’ll be exhausted and for what?) Most of the time, you aren’t even paying attention to what is happening anyway because you could be missing out on something else! It’s a vicious cycle, so it’s important to do what you want to without letting the FOMO seep in and control your life.
4. Negativity Spreads
When you spend all your time being jealous of others and letting the FOMO in, you will find you may stop being happy for others and their achievements. This can cause you to be more negative, rude and bitter to those around you which will make them want to hang out with you less. Plus, negativity spreads and you will very quickly find that you have a different view on all aspects of your life, making you less and less happy with it.
5. It Validates Your Life
When you start to feel like you have to post typical photos on your own social media as well as deliberately posting photos with the sole purpose of making other people jealous, you have to stop. When you require social media to validate your life, you are letting FOMO rule it because everything still happens, even if nobody knows about it on Facebook or Twitter. It’s important to find validation elsewhere as well.
6. Lowers Self-Esteem
Everyone’s lives are different and you can start to feel like you aren’t good enough just because someone else is travelling or doing something you wish you were doing. It can make you feel like you are wasting your time and also that you are missing out on a lot more than you are. It can also make you feel like people aren’t inviting you to things when in fact that’s not the reason at all.
7. Makes You Risky
The group mentality implies that basically people are more risky and reckless in groups which is exactly what happens when you are afraid of missing out. You are more likely to do something that is risky (or even illegal) because you want to be involved with everyone else and need to be involved in the social status of the group. FOMO added to peer pressure can be a lethal combination but remember that you can always walk away from a situation!
FOMO is exhausting and as you can see, incredibly harmful to our mental and physical health as well as our bank balances! It is a cycle of negativity that has a tendency to spiral, cause you to feel inadequate and end up resenting your own life, even though there is nothing wrong with it! It’s important to know how to avoid FOMO, so you can live your best life.