Is the fear of missing out a real thing?

With the internet at its peak, people are always hooked on social media. And there, they get to document the entire day or come across the experiences of others. This made the world identify a new term, the Fear of Missing Out, in 2004.

Fear of Missing Out
The sense of belonging to a particular place or group trigger FOMO

As per British Psychologists, “it is a thought that people get from overviewing the life of another, and assume that the latter is indulging in rewarding experiences of which they are not a part.” Often, the person driven by the condition of “Fear of Missing Out” might not even realize their actions and be influenced by external forces. Nonetheless, researchers are still trying their best to uncover the core triggers of FOMO and, so far, have had their experiences.)

What causes FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?

Humans, as social beings, do want to belong to a particular place or group. And people as they grow, there is a rise in the urge for their sense of belonging. That does inflict a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). However, because people are getting access to too much information from social media, FOMO triggers affect them negatively. And ultimately, these people all end up undergoing severe anxiety attacks and peer pressure.

Fear of missing out – FOMO Symptoms

As per research, “the thoughts running in a person’s mind are connected to the ways they perceive the world – and how do they feel when are not able to be a part of the same.” Moving on, here is a list of all the symptoms relevant to the concept of Fear of Missing Out:A person feeling excluded or missing out all the time:


FOMO and introverts
FOMO is common among the teens

With social media playing a primary part in our lifestyle, people are often seen obsessing over posts by their friends or family. A person suffering from FOMO does take such acts as a negative challenge in their life and feels left out when they are not invited to a gathering.

Says “yes” to everyone:

There is no harm in saying “yes” to certain plans and social gatherings. However, too much “yes” can be a symptom of triggering FOMO. People sometimes say “yes” to activities that are irrelevant to their personal growth and are solely focused on being part of a large group.

Not satisfied with themselves:

Researchers conclude a direct relation between Fear of Missing Out and low self-satisfaction. And social media does have a huge role to play, making people think “how boring their life is.”

Always active on Social media:

The fourth on our list, people suffering from the symptoms of FOMO often try to put up an image on social media. And in this instance, they end up oversharing daily activities that are not used.

Taking decisions in haste:

Constantly moving from one hobby to another or trying to be there for all is a prominent symptom of FOMO. These people are always seen jumping from one situation to another, not giving enough attention.

Tries to be in trend/ Shiny Object Syndrome:

Quite relevant to the point above, people suffering from “shiny object syndrome” does count in the list of FOMO symptoms. They are always searching for the subjects in trend and do drop off the same quickly.

Overthinks about others’ opinions:

People suffering from FOMO are always overthinkers. They try to fit in under any circumstance and worry about certain things for no particular reason. The list goes as them worrying about – clothes, occupation, weight, makeup, hairstyle, and family background.

Takes unnecessary effort to be a social butterfly:

These people need someone to validate their decisions. And are constantly seen reaching out to others over the phone or in person.

Which personality types are more prone to developing a Fear of Missing Out?

As already discussed, the concept of “Fear of Missing Out” has a lot to do with people and the thoughts in their minds. It is how they perceive the social world to be and try their best to fit in. out of all, here is a list of the various personality traits and their proneness to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Fear of missing out among introverts

The first on the list are introverts and their vulnerable minds getting all bombarded by the Fear of Missing Out. Introverts likely find it easy to keep among themselves and not indulge with others quickly.

Socializing is already quite difficult for these people, which is substantially more than their energy levels can afford. Among introverts, the concept of FOMO brings in the act of not being enough. They are always bombarded with the idea of “there is more that you need to do.” And ultimately, this causes them to give up on their wants and needs.

Fear of missing out among the people diagnosed with OCD

OCD is about people obsessing over tasks that do not add up to their progressive levels. This includes indulging in cleaning and washing, repeating words in their mind, asking for reassurance, or hoarding over something. Also, these people are seen as control freaks. They often end up pressurizing themselves over unnecessary issues.

The primary concept of FOMO revolves around – one getting sad because they cannot be a part of a group or party. And moving on, a person diagnosed with OCD feels triggered when not getting the reassurance they wanted or cannot control a certain situation. That sums up the case and correlation between the Fear of Missing Out and people diagnosed with OCD.


As ADHD stands – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Here the person diagnosed mainly faces difficulty with attention, is impulsive and goes through severe phases of hyperactivity.

These people are also avid social media users and find it difficult to shift their minds from the same. With time the sense of missing out on life events that they find important reaches its core. As a result, these people undergo severe panic attacks and are always unhappy with themselves. It does move forward, becoming a vicious cycle, and the person can no longer come out of the loop.

How to overcome the fear of missing out?

Moving on, let’s find out the best ways to overcome a person’s Fear of Missing Out:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

The main focus of Cognitive Behavior Therapy is to address the distorted thought process of an individual and find out ways to get rid of the same. It is about controlling oneself from irrational thoughts and behaviors rather than abstaining. This particular therapy does require external assistance, and often, a counselor or psychologist does offer proper help.

Getting rid of social media and focusing on a new hobby

For those who are now aware of the concept of FOMO and want to try to get out of this vicious cycle all by themselves, this particular point can help. You can focus on your life outside social media and prioritize creating a reality. Getting a hobby can help, and finally, you will be doing something that satiates your personal growth.

Believe in yourself

Multiple articles on the internet are trying to convince you that the best way to get rid of FOMO is to delete social media apps or abstain from using them. However, it is not always possible right. So what can be done? Just believe in yourself and your journey. Things happen for a reason, and every little step you take reflects growth. If you are someone resuming your Ukelei classes after a 10years break, that is growth. Also, if someone is marrying at 23 and starting a new life, that is personal growth.

Fear of Missing Out can hamper a person’s normal thought process and reacting abilities. With time and consistent positive inputs daily, one can eliminate this type of irrational thought. Also, believe in yourself and never lose hope. Things will get easy.

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