If you don’t know what FOMO stands for, you’re clearly missing out. FOMO is the popular new acronym meaning, “fear of missing out.” Generally, when friends or fellow students say they have FOMO, it means they fear that they are going to miss out on something important if they don’t go to a certain event.
Let me describe a scenario of a typical college student experiencing FOMO on a Thursday night: The student has been working since lunchtime and they do not get off until 10. They are definitely not going out that night, due to complete exhaustion after a long work week.
But of course, the student comes home to find that their roommates are all dressed up and finishing the last touches to their make-up. The roommates beg the drained student to come out with them, saying, “It’s going to be such a fun night!” The student listens to their body’s exhausted state and ends up saying, “I just need to shower, watch some Netflix and go to bed.” The roommates proceed to a night in the town leaving the exhausted student in their bed. And then it hits… FOMO.
I’ll be the first to say that I have a serious case of FOMO almost all of the time. But how can you blame me? With social media being so instant, it is impossible not to see what one might be missing out on. Let’s face it; we are ALWAYS being reminded of what we are not doing.
I realize that FOMO is just a type of social anxiety. It is not something that someone should have every time they miss out on something. As students, we should be focusing on our studies and other responsibilities, rather than on what everyone else is doing. Although a lot of people experience it, there are ways to manage FOMO and not be bothered by missing out.
Putting things into perspective is one of the key ways to get rid of FOMO. At first glance, your friends crazy Snapchat story probably made you think, “Wow, why is my life so boring?” In reality, you do fun things too. Just because work took priority this Thursday night, does not mean there won’t be a chance to do something fun tomorrow.
In the moment, it can be easy to get down on your somewhat, “boring night,” but relaxing is a good thing and no one should be ashamed to do so. Enjoy the little things!
Be honest with yourself, it is something we could all work on. If you’re really not in the mood to go out after a long day, don’t let FOMO take over, conquer it and do what makes you happy. Don’t let the snap stories, Instagram posts and tweets make you feel that what you’re doing is lame (even though maybe it is a little). Enjoy the pint of ice cream, bucket of popcorn and movie on a Thursday night.
Maybe one day, we will all be able to enjoy the bliss of missing out.