14 symptoms you are suffering from FOMO

The new era brings new disorder. More technology, gadgets, apps, and social media usage bring more and more anxiety. Many of us are suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome) and FOMO like new disorders. Thanks to technological advancement we see daily around us. Today we are discussing FOMO. Many of the readers reading this may not know about this new disorder.

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

Daily plenty of time we scroll through the Facebook posts or other social media updates. On LinkedIn, we see many are getting promoted and many are getting new jobs. We know about the activities, enjoyments and career progress of our friends and colleagues. We make up the mind about how wonderful lives they all are living. But alas, you are missing out from these kinds of enjoyments, outings, events, and progress. These missing out feelings which occur to us knowing about others’ makes us go nuts.

The word FOMO was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

What does it really mean? A recent study on the subject defined it as:

…‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’.

Under this framing of FoMO, nearly three-quarters of young adults reported they experienced the phenomenon.

It’s not a good thing. And it leads you to check social media again and again and again so you don’t feel out of the loop. So you know you’re doing okay. So you don’t feel left out.

This is a real problem. This is a problem of anxiety and unhappiness.  Seeing others in action, successful and enjoying, we compare ourselves with them. This is the beginning of the problem. Competitiveness turns into jealousy, whether we accept it or not.

Even FOMO feelings are equally applicable to stock market investments. FOMO investors enter the market late and make the wrong decision to buy costly when the market is already at its peak.

Some of the prominent FOMO symptoms- actions and thoughts:

  1. Constantly on the phone/ even when with friends
  2. Always active on social media
  3. Asking people about their weekend plans
  4. Living beyond means
  5. Engaged in too much gossiping
  6. Saying YES when you shouldn’t
  7. Have many social groups and don’t miss parties/outing with them
  8. Refuse to leave party even if tired
  9. Want to be surrounded by people

Psychology Today reports following three FOMO thoughts:

10. I made a bad choice.

11. They’re having fun without me.

12. I’m a loser.

Additional thoughts are:

13. I am left behind

14. My life is boring, others are enjoying

The speaker of the Ted talk Fear of Missing Out, Priya Parker even says the present generation is even suffering from FOBO. Fear of Better Opportunity (Too many choices are leading us to choose nothing under the fear that something better will come up in future).

Be that as it may, FOMO makes us depressed, anxious, jealous, shakes our decision making and confidence, restless. All these negative feelings make us unhappy, which is anti our goal of becoming happy. Unhappy we invite many psychosomatic diseases.

How to deal with FOMO/FOBO Feelings:

  • Enjoy the personal time. Give yourself space. Have your life goal and priority in place. This will not make you distracted. Remember everyone is thinking “grass is greener on the other side”. You as everyone else are unique. Remain unique don’t try to imitate others. There are people who are following you and you are their role model. They need not declare this. Act like one.
  • Enjoy out of the loop status. 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. Dash learned to find pleasure in JoMO after the birth of his son when he discovered the simple joy of getting home in time to give his son a bath and put him to bed.
  • Take a break from social media. Try staying offline for a day, a week, or maybe even a month. There are examples of people cutting themselves off and waking up to the wonders of the real world. One of the technology executives did just that few years ago. He took himself off social media for a full month. He read books, spent time with friends, meditated, ran three miles a day, and wrote a book.


“Ambition and stress put the body on a war footing.“  Ted Talk by Priya Parker

The ambition of better opportunity (FOBO) and the stress of missing out (FOMO) both put our body on a war footing. War has its own casualties. Avoid.

In conclusion remember;

  • Don’t compare, enjoy your uniqueness.
  • Enjoy living with the self. Remember Joy of Missing Out.
  • Take social media break. Extend the break and get your life back.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman (From the Ted Talk by Priya Parker)


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