Is FOMO (Fear of Missing out) a thing nowadays because of social media ? And how we dealt FOMO in our daily life?

Veronica Dian Sari
7 min readFeb 20, 2021


Be yourself, love yourself and remember you are the main lead in the story of your life. — Andarwati

I just heard the FOMO word a few days before writing this article because my friend told me this to her reaction about the new Social media star “Clubhouse”. Clubhouse becomes the hottest one nowadays after being promoted by Ellon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and makes the FOMO tendency for some people. Shortly, Clubhouse is an audio-only social media platform in ios (for now) released in May 2020 and headquarters in San Fransisco. In the first month, Clubhouse only has a thousand user, but become the peak in 2021 after many famous artists, business people, and inventors make room and talk on that platform.

Clubhouse using the invitation-only system, which is quite a new method for sign up on social media. Still, in my opinion, this method successfully to get attention from peoples, especially Gen Z. I see in some e-commerce the Clubhouse invitation become a thing that you can be sold at a high price, around 15–18 USD on the e-commerce based in my country, Indonesia.

This phenomenon makes me curious to see people behaviour due to this FOMO. I try to ask some of my friends, and the result is 45% say yes, and the rest say no. I try to see and predict the time they spent on social media and came to my hypothesis “The increase of surfing time in the social media will make you easier to get manipulated by the trend in the platform.” This hypothesis still not yet proven, but I think that a good research idea.

I also came up with a question about “Why you ever or never feel FOMO in your life?” And one of my friends answer me with the quote that I write in the opening, and I super agree with that statement, you are the central control of your life, you can choose what life you want to do. Some of the answer that they said they never feel FOMO because they don’t give a fuck of the trends and say that useless in their lives. The rest who said yes answer they curious about the trend and because their circle is follow up the trend so if they did not follow it, they will feel FOMO.

So, what is FOMO ?

Based on the paper I read, “Fear of missing out (FOMO) and social media’s impact on daily-life and productivity at work: do WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat use disorders mediate that association (Rozgonjuk, D and friends)” , Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the tendency to experience anxiety over missing out on rewarding experiences of others.

It has been associated with daily-life disruptions, such as distractions during driving. FOMO has also consistently been a predictor of Internet, smartphone, and social networks use disorders. They found that, in general, higher levels of FOMO were associated with more impact of social media on daily-life and work productivity.

It’s certainly not a good thing. And it leads you to check social media again and again and again so you don’t feel out of the loop. So you know you’re doing okay. So you don’t feel left out. Sometimes that alleviates the anxiety — but often it doesn’t. And either way it drives you to keep running around the digital hamster wheel to feel okay with yourself.

Is FOMO bring unhappiness?

Based on the study “Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out (Andrew K.Przybylsk and friends)” . The research reach the statement FOMO originates bring the unhappiness.

Our findings show those with low levels of satisfaction of the fundamental needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness tend towards higher levels of fear of missing out as do those with lower levels of general mood and overall life satisfaction.

I think almost Gen Z and teenager do this, even myself always check my smartphone first in the morning after wake up.

Results conceptually replicated findings from Study 2, those high in FoMO tended to use Facebook more often immediately after waking, before going to sleep, and during meals.

That behaviour makes us even we are at first in a good mood, after seeing something, maybe it can trigger us not to feel so great whether we realize it. We continue surfing to make it feel better, but the problem there is it makes us feel worse.

“The problem with FOMO is the individuals it impacts are looking outward instead of inward,” McLaughlin said. “When you’re so tuned in to the ‘other,’ or the ‘better’ (in your mind), you lose your authentic sense of self. This constant fear of missing out means you are not participating as a real person in your own world.” — FOMO: It’s your life you’re missing out on

We depend on other people attention, like many FOMO feeling came up from the sense that we need awareness and try to become a famous and influential person for the other, even for the strangers. The happiness should come from yourself; you can not depend on your satisfaction for someone or something.

Your happiness is determined by how you allocate your attention. What you attend to drives your behavior and it determines your happiness. Attention is the glue that holds your life together… The scarcity of attentional resources means that you must consider how you can make and facilitate better decisions about what to pay attention to and in what ways. If you are not as happy as you could be, then you must be misallocating your attention… So changing behavior and enhancing happiness is as much about withdrawing attention from the negative as it is about attending to the positive. — Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think by Paul Dolan

How we dealt with FOMO ?

Research shows that a fear of missing out can stem from unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life and that these feelings can propel us into greater social media usage. — Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out (Andrew K.Przybylsk and friends)

FOMO is not a good thing, and we should try to minimize that for our mental health. Fortunately, steps can be taken to curb your FOMO if it is something you experience. I try to sum up some article the tips for us to bear with FOMO below.

In turn, greater engagement with social media can make us feel worse about ourselves and our lives, not better. In this way, it helps to know that our attempts to alleviate feelings of FOMO can actually lead to behaviors that exacerbate it. ​ Understanding where the problem lies, however, can be a great first step in overcoming it.

Try and Focus on Gratitude

Studies (Positive Psychology and Gratitude Interventions: A Randomized Clinical Tria — Luzie Fofonka and friends) show that engaging in gratitude-enhancing activities like gratitude journaling or simply telling others what you appreciate about them can lift your spirits as well as those of everyone around you.

Keep a Journal

It is common to post on social media to keep a record of the fun things you do. However, you may find yourself noticing a little too much about whether people are validating your experiences online. If this is the case, you may want to take some of your photos and memories offline and keep a personal journal of your best memories, either online or on paper.

Keeping a journal can help you to shift your focus from public approval to private appreciation of the things that make your life great. This shift can sometimes help you to get out of the cycle of social media and FOMO.

I try to do those two first steps over a year using the self-help book “365 Ways to live generously by Sharon Lipinski” and try to do my journal to keep track of my life and habit. I feel my life come better after doing this, and I limit the screen time to some of my social media apps to prevent me from surfing all day.

Seek out real connections

Feelings of loneliness or exclusion are actually our brain’s way of telling us that we want to seek out greater connections with others and increase our sense of belonging. Unfortunately, social media engagement is not always the way to accomplish this — you might be running from one bad situation right into an even worse one.

The one Instagram post from Abigail Limuria hit me. She said it’s tough nowadays when we try to find a friend to listen to our story. Still, if we try to tell our experience on the Instagram live, clubhouse, podcast, many people will listen and get many follow-up questions. Furthermore, she said you should make your story interested, become inspiration and engaging, where it becomes the culture of everything is content.

With her statement, seeking your faithful friend is becoming an essential and expensive thing now, find the people who want to listen to our story and support us with her willingness to listen is enough for us. Rather than coming up to social media and back to the problem, sometimes it will trigger our FOMO, but it the choices in your hand, not every story public care; they only care about the content but not care about yourself.

Change the focus

Rather than focusing on what you lack, try noticing what you have. This is easier said than done on social media, where we may be bombarded with images of things we do not have, but it can be done. Add more positive people to your feed; hide people who tend to brag too much or who are not supportive of you.

You can change your feed to show you less of what triggers your FOMO and more of what makes you feel good about yourself. Work on identifying what may be sapping your joy online. Work to minimize these as you add more to your feed (and life) that makes you happy.


Social media isn’t the devil. But we’re wired to compare ourselves to others and you know where that leads on a medium where everyone is cutting corners to look their best. How we want to become something is in our hand, try to not depend to others for your happiness because it come from yourself. Everyone feels a certain level of FOMO at different times in their lives. If you ever feel FOMO, try to find people who care about you and change your perspective to see your life. We can be grateful for what we have now, and that gratitude might help us reduce this FOMO feeling.