FOMO: (foh-moh), or the fear of missing out; typical amongst most adults who always want to be a part of something.
It is probable that most, if not all, people experience FOMO at some point in their lives. When FOMO occurs, it is usually while someone begins wondering what their friends or acquaintances are doing for activities, perhaps a nightclub or an on-campus event. The subconsciousness behind FOMO is that one does not want to miss out on what, supposedly, everyone is doing. They most likely fear that they will regret not being involved, create distance from their friends or community, or hear the crazy stories post-activity. All of these are valid reasons to always want to be included in any and all activities. It is, however, important to remember that 1) everyone experiences FOMO and 2) there are benefits to putting it in the back of your head.
FOMO is a lot more common than people realize. It can be as typical as staying in on a Saturday night and watching Netflix instead of going out. However, people experience FOMO even when they’re out with their friends. For example, if someone is out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings with their friends instead of being at Toad’s Place, that someone might begin to wish that they were also at Toad’s so he or she can live to tell the tale of the guy who got kicked out for attempting to take a nap on the grimy stage.
Now, there are ways to relieve oneself of the burden that is FOMO. To be honest, it is basic common sense. FOMO is probably occurring more and more because of the advancement of (surprise!) social media. Let’s be real, the whole point of Snapchat is to show other people that what you’re currently doing is great and fun and you should totally be where they are. Everything posted to Facebook and Instagram is (usually) positive and has the capability to make people envious. As a result of social media, we are constantly exposed to what other people are doing, and we wish that we were doing the same things.
Back to basic common sense, though (or my version of solutions to FOMO). I am a young, spry, baby freshman. In my first semester of college, I was lucky enough to befriend some awesome, funny and overall amazing people. Every moment that I spend with my best friends here is quality and enriching, so much so that I do not want to be anywhere they are not. If I were having a casual movie night with my friends on a Friday, and I saw someone post a Snapchat story of a Foster the People concert, I wouldn’t want to drop everything and leave my friends because I selfishly don’t want to miss Foster the People.
In short, the way to be immune to FOMO is to (surprise!) live in the moment you’re in. If you are constantly wishing you were doing something else or were somewhere else, you will eventually be a very unhappy person. When you start feeling that terrible anxiety of FOMO coming up, remember that you can’t be in two places at once. You are where you are, you are with who you are with. Whether you’re sitting in your jammies watching “Supernatural,” or partying hard with your best friends at Toad’s, enjoy that moment. Trust me, there is nothing you would rather be doing.