Facebook FOMO: Fear of Missing Out


In college, my friends and I would heckle one another about missing a party or event by saying NO FOMO. FOMO stood for “fear of missing out” – we were warding each other away from the unsettling possibility of missing out on a great time.

I’m not sure if we made that phrase up, but I haven’t seen it outside of that circle of friends and the koozies and Chilifest t-shirts we made.

Now, as a college graduate and full-time member of the “real world” workforce, that phrase doesn’t have quite the same power as it used to. Missing a happy hour or late night out is not always as scary as the thought of losing hours of precious sleep or showing up at the office hungover.

However, as I’ve recently contemplated giving up social media, even temporarily, FOMO is my number one diagnosis. So many times I dream of life outside of the constant documentation of my newsfeeds. It’s not even that I post that often – probably every 2-3 days. But knowing that a majority of my friends are on there, and basically it holds the key to my updates on their lives, not to mention constant entertainment when bored, makes it as hard to give up.

I think that if I were to give up social media, even for just one month, I would have to go cold turkey. I still need to convince myself that a digital detox is worth the initial FOMO, but it can only be good for me.

Do you also have a fear of missing out when it comes to checking out of the social media world?

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4 responses to “Facebook FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

  1. I’m in college and all of my friends use FOMO in regards to going to parties, too! But addressing your question– I don’t have the fear I used to have with checking social media platforms. Honestly, I could do without it and it has mainly become a source of entertainment only when I’m bored, except for Instagram…I am always instagramming. :)

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    • I go through phases of that same mentality – when I could go without checking my social media accounts. But the thought of deactivating my account – where no one can “find” me to send a message or comment, or tag me in a post or picture, I am honestly “afraid” that if I’m not on facebook, they won’t take the extra step to shoot me a text or call instead! I know that sounds sad, but how many times have you looked up someone, couldn’t find them, and then went on with your life and forget the reason you wanted to communicate with them in the first place? I wonder sometimes if there will be a sudden movement where everyone leaves Facebook (my number one addiction in this case), and then if everyone is off it, I would have nooooo problem. haha

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  2. For me I keep in contact with a small number of people. But ever since My birthday came and gone I’v been kind of pissed at some of these so called friends. Call me crazy but every year when it comes to their birthdays I always wish them a happy one and out of my 36 friends only 11 of them wished me a happy b-day. So i waited a day or two to see if anyone else might wish me one and nobody did. So i started removing their asses off my friends list.

    I just think that is the biggest insult. Or people are always logged on but never really there how does that work. Really I should just keep the people I want to keep in contact with and leave it at that. I also have a good amount of photo’s on facebook that I don’t have on my laptop.

    And FB is the only place I’m on. I hate twitter joined it when it first came out but did not like it I know its better now but not for me. And thats it really.

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    • I’d guess that a lot of your friends are connected to a larger number of people, and they may not be using facebook to communicate on an intimate level. I know that when I want to contact one of my best friends, I usually would do it via phone or person rather than facebook. Facebook has become a broader network, for me at least, and perhaps if that’s the case for your facebook friends, it may be seemingly easy for them to overlook your posts or the birthdays section. Honestly, I have my good friends’ birthdays memorized, and I don’t even write on their facebook wall – I call them. Anyway, I definitely agree with the photos thing… that’s probably the number one thing keeping me on the interwebs :)

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