Seems like FOMO -- aka the Fear Of Missing Out -- is everywhere these days. Trend expert Faith Popcorn just wrote about it over on HuffPost Media, pointing out that FOMO isn't so much about you feeling like you're missing out, but, rather, you feeling like other people aren't... and that they're therefore getting more out of life than you are. "Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Instagram keep us connected with our friends and in touch with the culture, but they also raise our awareness of all the things other people are doing that we aren't," notes Popcorn. "In that way, social media can be a constant goad to envy, insecurity and discontent."
April Dykman, a staff writer at GetRichSlowly.org, compares FOMO with the ol' "keeping up with the Joneses" syndrome, and reports that she attended a SXSW presentation about "how marketers can tap into the fear of missing out." Apparently, FOMO makes some sufferers question not only their purchases and activities, but their life choices, too -- and it's having an adverse effect on their finances. (Not surprisingly, Dykman recommends unplugging once a day to help keep FOMO in check.)
According to Australia's "Herald Sun," South Africans between the ages of 15 and 50 really need to get on that: A recent study found that 62 percent of them live in "constant" FOMO. Question: Why are South Africans so full of FOMO? Answer: They're the "most enthusiastic tweeters in Africa." (The spokeswoman of the pharmaceutical company that conducted the study pointed out that FOMO increases stress levels and keeps people from getting enough rest, putting them at a greater risk of illness. So FOMO's nothing to sneeze at.)
Meanwhile, everyone and their dog is posting timeRAZOR's awesome FOMO infographic, which bravely attempts to answer the question, "How bad is this epidemic, and are you one of the sufferers?" (Hint: If you're browsing social media mid-party, you've got yourself a raging case of FOMO.)
Think you've been infected? Check out these tweets from fellow FOMO sufferers, then tell us your own FOMO woes by commenting below or tweeting us all about it @HealthyLiving using the hashtags #becomingfearless and #fomo. If you tweet, you will automatically be entered into Toyota Corolla's Most Fearless Tweet Contest! (Click here for the Official Rules.)
Phumzile Van Damme
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