Side effect of social media: the fear of missing out

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It is without a doubt the biggest thing to happen in recent years, social media!

Keeping up with what is happening in the lives of friends has never been more fun, easy and convenient. For many people, social media and being more closely engaged in the lives of others has never so pronounced … it is almost a daily ritual.

Our capability to tap into other peoples lives and broadcast our own life, has brought about another occurrence, FoMO (fear of missing out). With social media keeping people in “the know”, research indicates that people under the age of 30 are most affected by this fear of missing out.

The social media phenomenon is by no doubt an essential development in human communication and a good thing, but too much of a “good thing” can also become overpowering. In order to keep up with everything that is happening in people’s lives, we get so engrossed we even fail to see what actually is working for us in our own lives.

Academics from the University of Rochester and the University of California, came up with a way that one can actually measure one’s level of FoMO. Not only did this research come up with a way of measuring levels of FoMO, it also found that people with high levels of FoMO are most likely to give in to the temptation of composing or replying texts, emails while driving. They are also the most likely to get distracted by social media in the course of their higher education lectures.

Enjoy your social media, however if you feel that your fear of missing out is growing and distracting you from living your life, perhaps you need to get back into balance.