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What is FOMO? Everything you need to know about Fear Of Missing Out

Everyone has a girlfriend or boyfriend who is constantly afraid of missing out. As a result, this person has an overcrowded schedule, rushing from event to event, from movie to party, complaining of a lack of time. But this can also mean that this person can be found continuously on social media. Or that choices are made that later turned out to be unwise. For example, buying certain cryptocurrencies.

What is FOMO?

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out, which means “fear of missing out”. It’s not primarily about not being able to attend an event that would interest you. Rather, it is a kind of “social anxiety”. About the fear of losing connection with the social environment and of being ‘left behind’ because one misses an opportunity for social interaction. It is a concept that is very appropriate especially in this day and age. Everyone is active on social media.

So it’s not about missing personal pleasure, but about real fears. Psychologically, FOMO is seen as a kind of offshoot of the inferiority complex that extends to the most diverse areas. The problem can also manifest itself in the form of addictive behavior and lead to pathological behavior when using the Internet or drinking alcohol.

Usually, the problem also lies in the fact that these people are really afraid of missing out – but they don’t know exactly what it should be. So it can take different forms.


Psychologically, the FOMO phenomenon, which of course does not only exist today, is explained by the search for psychological satisfaction or reward. People with this problem find little satisfaction in their daily lives and therefore rush to find such replacement satisfactions. 

One survey found that about 40 percent of young people surveyed said they were at least familiar with these symptoms. Nevertheless, FOMO is age independent and is generally more common in men than women.

Symptoms of FOMO

Anyone who suffers from FOMO may exhibit the following symptoms:

– Sadness when you are alone

– Fear that friends will leave if you don’t immediately respond to their post on social media

– Nervousness for which there is no reason

– Trouble concentrating or studying

FOMO can get progressively worse over time. The more you give in to the need, the greater this need becomes. FOMO can also cause a lot of stress and fatigue. When you suffer from FOMO, it is important not to give in to the needs.

FOMO and social media

FOMO is nowadays mainly associated with social media such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. It leads to more TV and media consumption, which in turn can lead to more intensive use of social media. Marketing campaigns already take the FOMO phenomenon into account by tackling certain reactions.

For example, FOMO is deliberately used in the design of apps. In this way, the app makers want to ensure that users become ‘addicted’ to the app. For example, you will see a red dot next to the Facebook app when a notification is ready. This makes you inclined to go and see what is going on as quickly as possible.

Cryptocurrencies and FOMO

It is also possible that you suffer from FOMO when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Many people are afraid of missing out when it comes to investing. This ensures that the price of a crypto currency can fluctuate a lot. It is also directly responsible for FOMO in cryptocurrencies.

Just think about Bitcoin . As Bitcoin increased in value at the end of 2020, more and more websites started writing about Bitcoin. This caused more and more people to start getting into Bitcoin. As a result, the demand for Bitcoin continued to increase, causing the price to rise as well. This only increased the fear of missing out.

Why afraid to miss?

But why are we afraid of missing out? In the case of Bitcoin, it is easy to explain. It is simply the case that people spend more energy not to lose than to win. We don’t mind getting nothing as much as losing money.

The moment everyone around us gets into Bitcoin and makes money with it, we feel like we are losing. It is because of these emotions that people decide to buy Bitcoin as well. They only hear the positive stories about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Unfortunately, things don’t go well in all cases. Because these investments are based on emotions, there is a good chance that a loss will be made in that case.

There are therefore many people who decide not to invest on feelings or emotions. They want to be able to substantiate their choice technically and analytically. If this is not possible, they will not invest. That is an important tip if you suffer from FOMO.

Joy of Missing Out (JOMO)

More and more people are opposing FOMO. They believe that FOMO is too often created on purpose by application makers, or by the media. That’s why these people started a counter-movement called JOMO. JOMO stands for Joy of Missing Out. It means that people deliberately DO NOT do something, in order to enjoy it afterwards.

For example, you could deliberately not respond to WhatsApp for a day on purpose. This gives you more time for sports, reading, family or other important things. Or do you see that the price of Bitcoin has suddenly risen 20%? Then you can choose to intentionally do nothing with this on purpose, and just enjoy everything else in the world. 

Especially when you are looking for more focus, concentration and relaxation, JOMO is an important method to use.

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