FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

1 Apr, 2014 | By Corey Schottenstein | , , , , , ,

FOMO is a form of social anxiety where someone has a compulsive concern that he/she is missing out on opportunity.  With the rise in popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, the term FOMO is becoming more and more widely acknowledged.

QUESTION: Does the use of social media increase FOMO or does FOMO increase the use of social media?  

The answer is both.  FOMO and social media are synonymous with one another and are thus, driving each other.  Even Urban Dictionary now lists the definition of FOMO as “The intensely annoying act of being psychologically and physically compelled to open social networking.”

QUESTION:  How & Why do FOMO and social media drive each other?

It all starts with one of the basic reasons people use social media to begin with.  People use social media as the perfect medium for “humble-brags” and self-promotion.  More specifically, people use social media to humbly-brag to their existing friends and self-promote to their potential friends.  An overwhelmingly majority of the things people post onto their social networks is either what they’re doing or where they are.  Within Sceney Network, we call this a “Move.”  You’re not posting Moves of you at work, you’re posting Moves of you backstage at the concert or laying poolside on vacation.  And even if you do post those pictures of you at work, it’ll be a Selfie of you in your new “business attire,” or the caption will highlight how successful or important you are…. This is how social media drives FOMO.

As people see all of their friends having so much fun in their daily lives, they begin to wonder why their lives don’t seem to be as much fun as the pictures their friends post on Instagram and the Moves they make on Sceney, so they begin to develop feelings that they’re “missing out.”  Now usually, exposure to a bunch of self-promotion alone wouldn’t entice us to respond, but in the case of social media, these humble brags that hit us in the face on a daily basis are not from just anyone, they’re from our friends.  People we went to high school with, people we work with, relatives, ex-boy/girlfriends.  Because of this, it becomes a constant battle to ’1-up’ your “social-competitors” (aka your friends), and this is how the same FOMO we feel from social media is turning around and driving us to use it.

In a time where so many people under 30 have such a strong mentality to “fake it til they make it,” the probability of this vicious cycle continuing to escalate is very high.

It is my hope that the Sceney Network platform, while still providing an ideal medium for you to partake in the same “humble-brags” and self-promotions that you do on Instagram, will at least calm your FOMO syndrome a little bit thru the implementation of the “Scene-Feed,” allowing you to make sure what you’re doing and where you are is the hottest place to be…. Is it #theMove?

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