FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

JACK OUGHTRED looks at a new phenomenon infiltrating the students of Durham

durham fear of missing fomo ftb klute subway

Why is it that Durham students, as far as I can see, seem to go out more than those at other Universities? Maybe it’s because we need to make up for our less-than-wild nightlife (compensating for a lack of quality with an increase in quantity), or perhaps it’s down to our genuine love of esteemed establishments such as Klute (sausage).

However, a few days ago I heard of a new phenomenon, which perhaps holds the key to explaining why those of you who feel compelled to go out whenever the opportunity presents itself do so. The answer, quite simply, is fear; fear of missing what could be a great night. It’s called FOMO, an acronym for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’.

When I first heard this mentioned, I dismissed it as just another meaningless Durham proverb (e.g. FTB), however when quizzing fellow Durhamites on the subject, I was met with replies such as "FOMO is jokes… It’s what makes me so popular".

The person from whom this particular claim came will for his or her own safety and reputation remain nameless, yet the point still remains. It is the psychological condition of FOMO that causes so many students of this famous academic institution to make regular appearances in the ‘timeless’ student haunts scattered around the city.

There are many things that people might argue they would miss by not going on a night out. I’m sure there are individuals within the student body who would get withdrawal symptoms if they spent too long without encountering the dreadlocks guy in Subway, a.k.a. Liam the Sandwich Artist, who can be relied on for some top notch late night chat, or a rendition ‘Amore’ in Klute, or even the classic outdoor urban pursuit of wheelie chair racing down the bailey.

However, when we stand back and think about it, we shouldn’t have a fear of missing out at all. Because although this may sound pessimistic and cynical, the majority of our nights out tend to be much the same, and we really don’t miss out on anything in particular…only the hangover.