An investigation into FOMO: the social condition ruining lives

Nearly three-quarters of young adults have FOMO

If you rarely experience FOMO, then count yourself as lucky. With social media predominantly being the stem of our fear of missing out, it is genuinely having an impact on people’s well-being. First it was Snapchat stories, then Instagram stories, and now Snap Maps – it’s as if someone is trying to enforce FOMO upon us.

For some, FOMO is a real problem, a genuine issue which means you end up going out no matter how ill, tired or worn out you are.

We spoke to Josephine Flight, a behavioural psychologist, who told us that fear of missing out is a real issue, and it’s mainly down to the rise of social media. Josephine told The Tab: “Since 2012, nearly three-quarters of young adults have been reported to experience FOMO. This number is only growing due to the increasing use of smartphones and social media, with studies showing that FOMO is positively associated with more time being spent on social media.

She continued: “Despite social media’s role to connect people, it ends up emphasising a feeling of lack and feelings of social threats. We experience FOMO because humans are social animals and our social connections are extremely important to us. When we feel a threat of being excluded or rejected the social monitoring system activates FOMO. However, some people are more predisposed to FOMO due to having a higher propensity to neuroticism than others.”

Can you not stand missing out? Here’s a comprehensive list of things you’ll only understand if you’re a true FOMO sufferer.

There are lots of wasted outfits because you end up getting ready so quickly 

You’ve had this outfit for a while and have been saving it for a big one. But because you’ve been so indecisive all night about whether you should even go or not, you’ve only got ten minutes to get ready, so you wear an outfit that you already had planned for the weekend.

You literally slap on any makeup you can find, shove on a fuck ton of glitter and hope for the best.

looking fit and no one even got to see me

You have no money control because of your irrelevant spending

First you buy a bottle of wine for the walk because you missed out on pres. Then it starts raining because you’re in England so you have to get a taxi. You’ve spent so much time faffing about you’ve missed the discounted entry, and have to pay triple the price when everybody else has paid a pound.

You vowed to yourself you won’t spend any more money, but you can almost smell the cheesy chips and gravy on the horizon and will put money aside for that –  it is the best thing about a night out after all.

FOMO sufferers always get unnecessarily fucked 

Because you missed pres, downing that five-pound bottle of rosé in approximately eight minutes was your only option to catch up with everyone else. By the time you’ve got inside the venue, you don’t actually really know what the fuck is going on.

“I was only coming for one”

There is a never ending hangover because you never have a day off

You physically can’t say no to a night out whenever your friends are going. Say you have five close friends, they all have their other friends too, in your condition you could easily end up solidly going out every night. Despite work, uni and other important life things, you have commitment issues with everything except a good old sesh.

we’ve all been there

Spending time alone is your worst nightmare

You almost envy your friends who enjoy their own company. You realise that you have a deep-rooted issue where you find it impossible to have fun by yourself, your own company being that unenjoyable.

Constantly looking at Snapchat and Instagram stories in pain when you can’t go to and event

It’s like your parents have said yes to you your whole life and then one day say no, and you can’t do anything about it. The harsh reality of growing up is when you realise that things cost money and as a matter of fact you can’t actually do everything ever. Summer is a hard time in particular for FOMO suffers, you didn’t get tickets for Glastonbury, your fate is sealed and there is literally nothing you can do.

Why am I like this

Being in a shit mood when you’re there because you don’t actually want to be there

The reason you couldn’t make a decision to go out in the first place is because you’re tired, not really up for it and don’t have any money. You end up going out, and these feelings of dissatisfaction only heighten as time goes on. You don’t want to be there, but you just genuinely can’t handle the fact that your friends are having fun without you.