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What is FoMO? Why it could be damaging your mental health

FoMO is among the most well-known of these acronyms. What is FoMO and what are FoBO and MoMO? Here is our comprehensive guide!

In many ways, social media has created a brand-new universe. Our means of relating to one another are developing more quickly than ever. Social movements, dating, and advertising may all be done online today.

What Is FoMO? 

But that change is not without difficulties. How are our brains adapting to the change, then?

Sometimes it turns out not so well. Over the past three decades, the development of social media has spawned a plethora of labels to characterize the new emotions that networking apps generate, some positive and others negative.

The word, which was coined in 2004 and became in prominence over the following decade, defines a specific anxiety that occurs when a person believes they are missing out on a crucial social encounter and then attempts to rectify the situation.

This may involve persistent monitoring of others’ activities or compulsive attempts to keep contact.

In a 2013 study, a group of psychologists described FoMO as a continuous fear that others are participating in rewarding activities while one is missing.

It is commonly associated with the rise of social media, as a result of knowing so much about one another’s daily lives. If we didn’t have to see what we were missing out on via Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., we wouldn’t fear it as much, the argument goes.

Alternately, social media can be utilized as a de facto remedy for those with a severe fear of missing out, since they may perceive it as a low-risk means of connecting with others and monitoring their activities.

Is It The Same With Anxiety?

FoMO is a complex feeling phenomenon associated with multiple mental health effects. 

In a 2021 study published in The World Journal of Clinical Cases, Mayank Gupta and Aditya Sharma state that FoMO is connected with a variety of bad life situations and emotions, such as:

  • lack of sleep,
  • reduced life competency,
  • emotional tension,
  • negative effects on physical well-being,
  • anxiety 
  • lack of emotional control

Anxiety is undoubtedly a component of the FoMO phenomena. Cognitive behaviors associated with FoMO include compulsive refreshing of social media sites and notifications, which heightens anxiety as a person anticipates a message or update as a reward.

The pressure to remain always involved and current, along with the frequently filtered nature of social media, can lead to a negative self-comparison with the skewed reality that exists online.

Read more: You might think these are healthy foods but are actually worse than eating candies!

What Triggers This Condition?

FoMO-Anxiety-Health-US News-Lifestyle
FoMO is among the most well-known of these acronyms. What is FoMO and what are FoBO and MoMO? Here is our comprehensive guide!

According to a 2013 study, FoMO may be caused by unmet psychological demands. Specifically, connectedness: a closeness to others.

This lack of connection may prompt an individual to participate in social media more, creating a vicious cycle of FOMO. 

It goes something like this: a person feels detached, logs on to Instagram to feel more in touch with others, and then sees their peers in an apparently hyper-connected condition, causing them to feel even more alone.

Ultimately, human interaction is beneficial. Our mental health depends on one another. While social media may appear to be a straightforward path to community, they are actually a double-edged sword.

It can provide a wonderful means of connection, but should not replace all other forms of human interaction. 

When it comes to FOMO, the online illusion of other people’s perceived fame and busy social schedule can be problematic, sometimes isolating us further and provoking negative self-comparison.

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