FOMO? Is this a new brand of cosmetic? Or a pop group from Finland? No!
It is this phenomenon of “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO). As the name suggests, it is a form of fear or anxiety. It describes this constant nagging feeling that you need to have that new gadget (e.g. Samsung Galaxy 6) because it has such a cool screen; that you must visit this new café downtown because there is so much rave on Instagram; or the urge to enroll your child in the brain training programme.
It is a fear or anxiety that you might be missing out on that elusive ticket to fulfilment or more loosely put, happiness. FOMO can be detected when you experience this uneasy, nagging feeling that someone has it but not you; when there is an overriding desire to want to be in the know or to be part of a group; when the go-getter in you grabs every opportunity to get the best deals in town; or when anxiety builds up because you have not had time to check your social media accounts to find out what others may have been up to. These are all tell tale signs of FOMO, and if left unchecked can take a toll on your subjective well being.
Still unconvinced that FOMO is not an issue for you? Read the following scenario and be brutally honest with yourself.
A peer shares with you that he/she/his child/her child has just been talent spotted for a big role. Do you:
Undoubtedly, response d or e would have been better though if we were honest with ourselves, we would have felt a, b or c at one time or other. Notice the jealousy, disappointment, insecurity and even malice that it gets linked with? Perhaps it is time to pause and check if we are motivated by what is legitimately our own beliefs or is FOMO what drives us daily to do what we do? If FOMO is a problem, lets start acknowledging it and turn that awareness around to work for our own good.
For more insights into FOMO, read what leadership coach and writer Kristi Hedges has to say in her ForbesWoman post.
Angeline is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) with the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (USA), and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Regent University, USA), a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics (NTU, Singapore) and a Bachelor of Arts with Diploma in Education (NTU, NIE, Singapore). Angeline is a doctoral student at Regent University (USA) and is currently part of a team from the university instructing and supervising student counselors in Ukraine. More about Angeline
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