I’m sure somebody has mentioned the implications of FOMO at some point in our class, but I felt it was worth mentioning after I missed out on the last football game last weekend. These days, most Millenials have heard of the phrase, a.k.a. “fear of missing out”. The word has certainly spread rapidly due to the increased usage of social media these days. FOMO most often occurs on weekends when you have to miss out on a night out with your friends for any particular reason. Basically, you get FOMO when you can’t participate in something you want to do. In an Elite Daily article, Michael Hogan, Ph.D refers to FOMO as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent… the desire to stay continually connected to what others are doing.” For example, last weekend I made the decision to go home and study because I was taking the CPA exam the following Monday. It was BC’s last home football game of the year, so I had to miss out on the festivities of gameday. At first, I wasn’t disappointed about missing out because our team was no longer bowl eligible. However, as I was sitting at home studying, I obviously opened up the various social media apps to procrastinate. I saw all the Snapchat’s of people tailgating and having fun, and honestly contemplated driving back to catch the postgame action. If it wasn’t for Snapchat, I don’t think my fear of missing out on the football game would have been existent at all.
If it were our parents choosing to miss out on something fun when they were in college, they likely didn’t have to worry so much about what they were missing out on, because they didn’t even know a lot of it was happening. Social media has made it so that everything is broadcasted and made public, whether through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram. These platforms make it difficult to avoid what people are doing, especially for a big event like one of the six home football games. This brings up another point, which I have noted in other people’s blog posts. For big events like this, it seems like people actively try to make it look like they are having fun to their followers. Sometimes there are so many Snap Stories in one day that it makes you wonder if someone is actually having fun or if they are spending their whole time trying to get a “fun looking” Snap Story to give off this perception. I have been guilty of it, as I am sure many others have too. Anyway, this is sort of an off-topic observation, but I felt it was worth mentioning within the whole FOMO concept.
In all honesty, the concept of FOMO is sort of a silly thing. Everyone has their own life, and missing out on one football game or one party certainly does not mean your life is ruined. There is always next football season or next weekend to attend another party. But when you’re sitting at a desk staring at the same accounting problems for hours on end, FOMO totally becomes a real thing, as I am pretty sure everyone in our class has experienced it in one way or another. Overall, I think it is important to hold everything in perspective and not get worked up over missing out on one little event. On days like these, it might be a good idea to shut down your cell phone and separate yourself from this sort of distraction. It might even feel good to get away from that world for a day or night of studying (and will likely make you more productive!). Social media is a great tool, but I think a lot of people in our generation have become too dependent on it. We really shouldn’t let a few Snapchats dictate how we feel either when we are attending an event or sitting at home missing out on one.