5 Tips to Understand Your FoMO

Did you see X's post on LinkedIn?

Look at what X is doing with her life. I just saw her post

Social Media is great tool for connection, but if used incorrectly it can be a tool for comparison. In this post, we'll talk about the theory of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and 5 tips to understand your own version of FoMO.

Millennials can use social media for social good  @thequarterdesig
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What is FoMO?

Fear of Missing Out is the feeling of missing out on opportunities.  Coined in 1996 by researcher, Dr. Dan Herman, FoMO is the fearful attitude towards the possibility of missing opportunities. This fear can create a tool of comparison to what other people are doing. This phenomena isn't new...

We've been 'Keeping up with the Joneses for decades. The biggest problem with today's media interaction is that we don't compare ourselves to the Joneses anymore, we look towards the Kardashians. 

FoMO and Social Media

Here's the thing about FoMO. Most of us don't even recognize that we are comparing ourselves to others online, because it's so ingrained in our daily conversations. Although it may seem great connecting with many online, we are subconsciously comparing each other thus the spirit of FoMO creeps around us. A recent article posted by the Daily Mailjust released this startling statistic. 

The average cell phone user picks up their device 85 times a day.
— The Daily Mail

Here's the good news. There are tons of resources to help you understand your FoMO and use social media for social good. 


5 FoMO Tips

1. Ask yourself what are you doing too much of?

In my FoMO article, I explained that the source of my FoMO derived from my tendency to work a lot. A lot of times when we are comparing ourselves we're actually trying to say something else. Think about why you are talking about person X. 

2. FoMO quiz

 Think you have FoMO, but aren't sure? My colleague, Tara Ryan, LCSW, created a quiz to help you through your FoMO.

3. Develop a new habit

We can't live without technology, but there are smarter ways to use it. One great technique used is the Pomodoro Method. When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called "Pomodoros") that are spaced out by short breaks . The Pomodoro Method is one of the many techniques that can help techno-holics take a break. 

4. Turn off your phone

We eat eat Social Media for breakfast. You can’t avoid. If the average person checks their phones 85 times day, you know that we must get our FoMO early in the morning. Just turn off your phone.

 5. Funnel your Media

With companies likeHootsuite, Tailwind, and Buffer we can look at all of our social media feeds in one area. This is incredibly helpful if one is truly trying to have a conversation with people.

 We can also funnel our newsfeeds with sites like Feedly and Newsify.

FoMO is real and very natural, but there are some strategic steps that can help us understand our own FoMO. My colleagues and I are talking about FoMO and other topics over at The Quarter Design chat, July 26th.