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  • Writer's pictureNitul

What is fomo? What does fomo mean & how fomo is manipulating your life decisions.

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

“Fear of missing out or simply ‘FOMO’ is a social media slang that is used to describe a situation of feeling anxious on seeing someone doing better or projecting a better life of himself on social media.”

Social media has become an inseparable part of our life. The revolution brought tech to every other sector. With the rise of social media, the life of people worldwide has changed a lot in every aspect. FOMO is a byproduct of social media.

What is FOMO?
Credit: Unplash

Humans are social creatures. The first human society was formed in around 3300 BC in Mesopotamia. The only thing that differentiates us from other animals and makes us the fate decider of this planet is our ability to cooperate. With the formation of society, anxiety, jealousy, and hatred became so common in the human mind. The introduction of social media just fuelled these emotions among humans.

What does FOMO mean?

Fear of missing out is the feeling of missing out on something that someone else is having or pursuing. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are the biggest contributors to this syndrome. From missing a vacation to a Saturday night party, all these are great examples of FOMO.

FOMO is not a very new concept to the world. There is evidence of FOMO in many ancient texts. The concept got famous when the marketing strategist Dr. Dan Herman published a research paper on this in 1996. He named the phenomenon as ‘fear of missing out.

How FOMO is manipulating your life situations!

1. Jealousy:

Jealousy is a basic human reaction. It's quite normal to find people being jealous of your achievements or lifestyles. No human society on this planet is free from jealousy. It's just a psychological reaction to some subjective feeling. Social media is a big contributor to making people jealous. Fear of missing out is a big reason for people becoming jealous of each other. So, next time you feel jealous of someone, think twice before reacting to it.

2. Hatred:

Hatred is also a result of jealousy. We often find people around us, appreciating in front and hating at the back. As you start moving upward the hierarchy pyramid, you will start getting more hatred. It is also a reaction to insecurity. The more you see success, the more hatred you will get. That's the fact. Human society works this way. In modern Internet societies, FOMO is the biggest reason for spreading hatred among the people. Open any of the social media channels, you will agree on this.

3. Frustration:

You are working day and night. Suddenly you open your Instagram and get to see your colleagues enjoying their vacation. You start feeling low about yourself followed by hating your work and eventually you start feeling frustrated. This is a perfect example of FOMO( fear of missing out). You don't need google to search for FOMO meaning. The answer is within you. Just ask yourself every time when you feel frustrated with something and jealous of anyone.

4. Anxiety:

Anxiety and depression are amongst the most discussed topics regarding millennials. One of the biggest reasons for anxiety is social media. Thanks to FOMO. You start feeling yourself less by seeing others doing “cool” things. It's a trap actually. You run after “coolness” throughout your whole life and somewhere around this struggle, you forget being happy.


What is FOMO? What does FOMO mean? What does 'FOMO' stand for? These questions may have sounded interesting at first when I mentioned them in this article. You don't need to open an urban dictionary to know the fomo's meaning. Just observe yourself, your surroundings and ask yourself the basic question “Why am I feeling like this?” You will get your answer.

Some thoughts:

Human society is a hierarchy-based structure. Be it status-driven or power-driven, humans have always loved the social hierarchy. In a society structured in a hierarchy format, jealousy and hatred are naturally to be the basic emotional reaction to life situations. From the evolutionary perspective, you cannot deny that. But, as society develops, we can surely upgrade our minds to free from such feelings to build a future society of goal-driven replacing the present status-driven structure.

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