Do you have FOMO? How social media has redefined the meaning of happiness and success

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Saudi Gazette

The Fear of Missing Out, also known as FOMO is described as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having great experiences from which one is absent. Most people have felt it, while scrolling through their timelines when everyone you know is at an event and it has made you feel left out almost instantly. The idea of seeing people enjoy themselves is not the disturbing part but social media’s constant reminder and the fact that you can’t get away from it may make you question your social skills and a lot more. Mainly a millennial concern, FOMO is derived from anxiety that is caused mainly by posts seen on social media of an exciting event that may be trending yet happening elsewhere. For the most part, it stems from the fear that if you miss a party or event, it means you will miss out on something important. In 2013 the word ‘FOMO’ was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary. The condition has become increasingly popular among teens now thanks to social media and introduction of ‘live’ streaming options on almost every app so there is always a chance one will be missing out. This obviously has a bigger impact than just being a new kind of anxiety. It has a direct effect on personal wellbeing, mental health, mood and anxiety as well as overall success. It can dampen your mood, lead to demotivation, stress and totally disfigure the meaning of happiness and success. Just because you didn’t make it to a party or festival does not mean you did not make it in life. However peer and social media pressure can have adverse effects. This is also undeniably one of the causes of sleep deprivation and depression among teens. Make sure you recognize FOMO for what it is and take effective measures to get out of the social media trap designed to make you feel left out. Act now before you reach your saturation point.


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