Have you seen that funny meme that has been swarming around Facebook lately? But how, have you not heard about the latest Twitter controversy? And the one Rihanna has messed with on Twitter? News, events, viral videos, marital statuses of friends that change, contacts that have their birthday today and you have not yet congratulated, what will there be this weekend in my city? I need to unlock my mobile to find out, so I don't miss out on what's new, so that nothing escapes me.
Have you felt reflected in the previous paragraph? Do you have the perpetual feeling that you are missing something , that something is happening right at this moment and if you do not find out you will not be 'in the wave', you will not have anything to talk about with your friends and acquaintances ? Well then you have FoMO. FoMO belongs to the acronym in English 'Fear of Missing Out', which literally means 'Fear of getting lost' but if we adapt it to the subject that concerns us it would be something like 'fear of missing it'.
History of FoMO
The first allusion to FoMO disorder can be found in an academic paper by marketing expert Dan Herman in which he alluded to 'fear of missing something'. Later, in 2004, its acronym 'FoMO' would appear in an editorial in the Harvard Business School magazine written by Patrick J. McGinnis, in which, in addition to this phobia, he exposed another called FoBO or 'Fear of Better Options' (fear to better options): we are surrounded by so many alternatives that it overwhelms us not to choose the one that best suits us.
What is the FoMO?
Never as up to now have we had such access to information. Fake news and rumors aside, the information is instantaneous, sometimes pure and unfiltered. And when we talk about information, we also talk about event dates: the cascade of data and information is such that it is unaffordable for anyone to be aware of everything . And because of that fear that we may be missing something incredible, we are continually connected to the Internet.
We open WhatsApp to see if we have a new message or Facebook to check that there are no messages to reply, events to confirm or news to read so that we can then talk to others. That being permanently connected to our phone for fear of losing something is what is known as FoMO. And surely we all suffer from it or have suffered it at some time.
Consequences of FoMO
Anxiety is the mechanism that we have within us and that alarms us of a real danger just to put us on our guard. In the words of Marta Arbona, from the Mind Psicólogos cabinet, there are "no real dangers in our society of such caliber, as it is built, as to have to be on guard at all times." This means that the body "recognizes dangerous situations where there are none and sets in motion that natural mechanism that would prevent us, for example, from the attack of a lion."
Being at home doing nothing and finding out that there is an important party, which happens at those times, triggers our anxiety. Even if we don't feel like being at that party, our body generates the anxiety of missing something important : being at home is associated with a missed opportunity and that translates into anxiety.
How can we avoid FoMO
The first consequence of FoMO, in addition to anxiety, is a total and absolute dependence on our phone , the most handy device we have to always be connected. If we find ourselves fatigued, with excessive concern about any situation that may arise and we even have symptoms related to chest tightness, dry mouth and tingling in the arms, we are suffering from anxiety and one of the reasons may be FoMO. We are going to give you some tips to try to avoid FoMO and drive away this dependency.
Reflect and be realistic
Stop and think for a moment. It is literally impossible that we can make the best plans and know everything that happens in the world always . You must establish your priorities well, not everything interests you in the same way and in the same way. You'd rather watch a movie than attend a conference, or vice versa.
Social networks do not reflect reality
That wonderful concert? Maybe it was very boring. Appearances can be deceiving , and more so in social networks when everything is usually wonderful and we give the best face of ourselves. How many photos have you seen of friends studying or just bored and hanging out? Very few or none.
Reduce your time on social networks to certain hours
To try not to spend time in networks, try to determine a few hours of relaxation, dedicating the rest of the day to other activities. For example, look at Facebook and Instagram from 5 to 6 in the afternoon. And the rest of the time, won't we have the feeling that we are missing something? Devote your mind to other things, read a book, start making crafts, go for a walk, do the shopping ... Your life is more than what others do. It's more about what you do, that's what's really important.
Do sports and exercise
The golden rule when we have anxiety. There is nothing better than taking to the streets, going to the park and jogging around or simply taking a long walk for an hour, leaving your mobile at home and looking at the little details of the street: its buildings, the hidden corners , green spaces. You don't even listen to music, just soak up what's around you and enjoy.
Talk more, write less
Especially when you are in a meeting of friends. You cannot allow yourself to become the slave of your mobile .
And above all…
Life is very boring for everyone, more times than you think. Neither their lives are fantastic nor yours is a disaster. We all try to live as well as possible and it is impossible not to compare ourselves with others. But everyone does. The important thing is to be aware of the world around you and not get carried away by unreal and learned fantasies . Turn off your mobile for a while and go to the street: it is a more fun and rewarding experience.