BY STEPHANIE MWANGI – Ever felt like your friends are probably having much more fun than you? Like they probably had Fun as their middle name? Then you might be suffering from Fear of Missing Out, or otherwise known as FOMO

FOMO can be best described as an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may be happening elsewhere,which is often aroused by fear of missing out. Also it can be described as the assumption that your friends’ projects are more exciting than yours.

In other cases, one may simply start to acquire things they don’t need so as to keep up with the ‘trend’.

FOMO was first identified by Dr. Dan Herman in 1996, who then published the first academic paper on the topic in 2000

Dr. Herman observed this phenomenon while he was listening to consumers talk about products at focus groups, and during in-depth, one-on-one interviews.

Despite the large number of business categories being discussed, most consumers mentioned a common theme of their fearful attitude surrounding the possibility of missing an opportunity and the joy that could come along with it. Dr. Herman found this to be a new development in consumer psychology, and continued to research FOMO as a socio-cultural phenomenon.

Causes of FOMO

Unhappiness
This fear is closely associated with unhappiness, a state where one is not happy with his/her own career, life or wondering if your friends are having more fun than you are. So to make you feel better, you log in to Social media applications to see what your friends are up to.

This sort of addiction could not be any different from a cigarette smoker, or a drunk.

Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, WhatsApp Imaginations

The advent of photo editing and social media platforms has contributed heavily to this situations. One may simply pose next to a car on the parking lot, depicting an expensive and fun life. This in turn could trick an online user into thinking he/she is missing out.

Attention Seeking

With the thirst to know what your friends are doing, comes the challenge of trying to get people to follow, like and share your social media posts. Attention seeking, usually leads people to participate in various “challenges” that may undermine their dignity just to keep up with the latest trends.

4 Simple Ways to Overcome FOMO

Admit you Have FOMO

Acknowledging that you have this fear of missing out simply implies that you are aware of you’re challenge and you are willing to solve it either way possible.

Take A Break From Social Media

In this rapidly changing world, it is impossible to stay away from social media. But try to get less connected to the virtual world and more connected with reality. Spending less time on social media may reduce the need to constantly check up on new developments, therefore reducing your fear of Missing out.

Try Gratitude

Take a look at all that’s surrounding you, your job, your family, your possessions and appreciate that you have gotten that far. 65% of the lifestyle posted on Social media is fake, let that sink in, Fake. You might even find that the pressure on your friends to survive is much greater than what you’re going through in your relatively calm life.

Focus on Your Priorities

Don’t go after what you want, rather go for what you need. That trendy jacket you are about to purchase may actually dig deep into your budget, holding you back on personal development goals, like saving up for a home or buying your convenient car. Lack of priorities may result in wasting time and energy that would otherwise be essential in planning for your next phase in life.