Social media is slowly causing more and more teens to suffer from FOMO which is often the feeling of dissatisfaction. Being on any social media platform’s such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat creates an environment where teens are being constantly reminded of what other people are doing with their lives. Many times teens think what those other people are doing is much better then where they are at in their lives. No matter if you are willing to admit it or not at least 24% of teenagers who are online are constantly having FOMO, which is turning into an epidemic for us millennia’s (Wallace 2014).
There are multiple ways that social media platforms are causing people to have FOMO. The first is that checking Facebook or Instagram can make people feel like their lives suck, a study at The University of Michigan stated that the more often people check Facebook the worse they would feel about their lives (Wallace 2014). Not only is it making us millennia’s feel worse, but we even start to see our peers achieving something that they want which makes us start to think they have a better job, a better car, even a better relationship. For one thing, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are hubs for sharing information or pictures of what you have accomplished, where you are vacationing, who you’re with. With such easy access to others peoples business it is only normal that we will suffer from FOMO. “The average college student spends eight to 10 hours killing time on their cellphone each day, and when we consistently believe we are ‘missing out,’ anxiety and depression may set in” (Texas A&M University). Our lives a basically virtual crowed watching, critiquing, and applauding our every move because of social media
Some argue that social media dose not have any effect on FOMO, but Kelly Wallace who is a CNN journalist states differently. She says that a third of people fell bad, or that they were missing out after seeing people’s vacation photos posted on social media (CNN). This is an example of social media causing FOMO. According to the study by Psychology Today, reveal that key themes in relation to the negative consequences of FOMO include self-identity problems, loneliness, negative self-image, and jealousy because of social media usage. At least 13 percent of the population is diagnosed with a condition called social anxiety. By definition is the fear of being judged by others and FOMO just makes it worse if you are the 13 percent suffering from social anxiety (McLaughlin). Although many people are unwilling to admit that they have a bad case of FOMO, we need to start recognizing that we do.
Student Writer: Maya Ebrahimnejad is a University of Vermont student.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Rob Williams is a UVM professor of media/communications.
Strong, R. (2016, May 10). Social Media, FOMO and the Perfect Storm for the Quarter-Life Crisis. Retrieved April 03, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-strong/social-media-fomo-and-the_b_9880170.html
Texas A&M University. “FOMO: It’s your life you’re missing out on.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160330135623.htm>.
Wallace, K. (2014, November 20). Teen ‘like’ and ‘FOMO’ anxiety. Retrieved April 03, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/living/teens-on-social-media-like-and-fomo-anxiety-digital-life/