FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is a psychological addiction where the fear of missing out on something (or somebody) more interesting, exciting or better than what you’re doing becomes all-consuming. It’s why some people always want to move on to the next party, simply because it might be better than this one.
This condition is prevalent in social media, too – a recent study showed that 40 percent of 13-67 year-olds said that social media had increased their fear of missing out. And as we all bear witness to the flood of updates from friends, global trends and shared online content, it’s a condition that’s only going to get worse.
The irony? Technology (and this includes Twitter and Facebook), which was supposed to make us freer and allow us to do more things, might actually be getting in the way. 55 percent of adults said that they felt overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to digest to stay up to speed, and 47 percent of teens said that they get uneasy when they learn through social media that their friends are doing things that they’re not.
Overall, 63 percent of teens, and 67 percent of adults, said that it was important that their Twitter and Facebook profiles conveyed a certain image of them.
This infographic from TimeRazor takes a closer look at social media FOMO.