FOMO, or the “Fear of Missing Out,” is something many of us have experienced. It happens when we start to feel nervous about not taking part in social events, like that awesome party anyone who’s anyone showed up to last weekend. FOMO can contribute to anxiety and depression — but, at the same time, there may actually be some perks to people’s fears about missing out. And while recent research suggests FOMO’s a phenomenon made bigger by social media, people have always been concerned about their social standing.
Let’s Not and Say We Did: The Need-to-Know
FOMO is often associated with a perceived low social rank, which can cause feelings of anxiety and inferiority . When we miss a party, vacation, or any other social event, we sometimes feel a little less cool than those who showed up and snapped photos. In some cases, people are even afraid to miss out on bad stuff! (Not having a job is an exclusive club, after all.) FOMO is most common in people ages 18 to 33 — in fact, one survey of people in this age group found two thirds of participants said they experience these fears. The survey also suggests FOMO is more common among guys than ladies, though it’s still unclear why.
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