Beware of FOMO

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An issue which I would much rather label as a disease, has recently taken over my life. No dramatization here. I suffer from FOMO. For those of you who have luckily missed this phenomenon, it means 'Fear of Missing Out', and boy does it ruin lives. Described in the most reliable of sources - the urban dictionary - as: 'the fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.'


A normal weekend with no particularly exciting plans can in an instant turn to into a weekend away somewhere random, or a weekend of mental nights out, taking you further into the deep dark depths of your overdraft. The rationale behind it? Always something to do with the fact that you don’t want everyone going on about this one event you missed. You may be £100 down but at least you can join in with the conversation.


Here’s an example:

Last weekend I was innocently chilling at my friends ‘abode’, when I received multiple texts from my house mates telling me to come home because they missed my ever so excellent presence (I may have added the ever so excellent part). I was happy seeing the friends I hadn’t seen all summer so I stood my ground, until I received the most tactical phone call I have ever received. My house mates, knowing my overarching issues with FOMO, rang me and sang down the phone a series of top quality 90s hits that dancing to is an absolute MUST. The type of songs that get your foot tapping and your head bobbing, way before your conscious has registered this is happening. Need I say more? I was out of the house and running back home within 5 minutes to join the party.


But FOMO is genuinely an official ‘thing’ - in the sense that research has been carry out on the topic. Quite unlike YOLO; because quite frankly, a teenage girl's seizing of the day and deciding to get a McDonalds meal rather than just chips, probably isn’t anything to worry too much about. It is also probably not the intended purpose of the phrase ‘carpe diem’.


Dr Andrew Przybylski of the University of Essex has recently published his study on FOMO. His study found the main causes of FOMO to reside within the work place, due to the ever increasing importance of social media and personal endorsement in the individuals everyday life. Such research argues that FOMO is a problem within modern society which needs to be solved.


Whether or not the issue deserves such severe consideration is difficult because honestly, as much as I hate it, it does ensure I have a bloody excellent time. 

Suziee Cassels

19 year old Newcastle University student

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