Fear of missing out or isolation is quite common in our society. There are many reasons for this, and the ones that most people can relate to are, being too shy to join clubs or groups of peers, being afraid of rejection, or being scared of being left out. All of these are valid reasons for fear of missing out. Fear of missing out or isolation has been described as a fear of being left out of something while not being present for it. However, fear of missing out or being left out can also have the opposite effect on a person; a person may be afraid of being left out of something that they perceive to be a party.
What is the fear of missing out, or FOMO?
Our socially anxious fear of missing out can affect our lives in a variety of ways depending on what we fear or are missing out on. For example, if you are a member of the cool kids, then what is considered to be a party might be something that other members of your age group would want to attend. If you are the person that everyone wants to be at, then what is considered to be a party might be spending time with your closest friends, playing video games, or watching TV instead.
Social anxiety has been shown to occur in a variety of forms, and the main factor is related to feelings of loneliness. Sometimes it is difficult for introverts to socialize. When people do not feel that there is any type of connection or sense of connection in their life, this causes depression and other similar feelings. Lacking social media use has been found to increase feelings of loneliness, which leads to depression and other related emotions. Therefore, the reduction in social media use may lead to higher feelings of self-worth, better life satisfaction, and lower levels of depression.
A recent study found that the decrease in media and computers use may lead to an increase in social anxiety symptoms. Those that were more socially active had lower rates of symptoms. Those that were less active had higher rates of symptoms. This study was done in two different groups, and the results showed that those that were more social had lower depression symptoms than those that were less social. This shows that although one can have increased symptoms it is not true that all individuals that are less socially active are at higher risk for depression.
High amounts of anxiety mean lower life satisfaction
As mentioned earlier, those that had high amounts of anxiety had lower life satisfaction, but only those that were very social had lower depression symptoms. This was also done in a group that had low levels of social media use. It was found that those in the social media group did not have an increased rate of depression, but those in the control group did have a lower rate of depression. This study strengthens the theory that those who fear missing out are not as satisfied with their lives as others.
Another psychological disorder that is common in those who fear missing out on something or being left out is social anxiety. Those that have this disorder often feel anxiety when they are excluded from activities or even just not included in social events. They may be worried about what people think of them and how they will receive treatment. Those with social anxiety also have to worry about the feelings of others and whether or not they will come through in a positive way. Even though most of these fears are unfounded, they can lead to depression.
Unrealistic concerns about what others think of them
People who have social anxiety may also have unrealistic concerns about what others think of them and what their own social media profiles will say. The worry can be so severe that they have a real fear of being rejected or of not coming through in a positive way. This problem can lead to depression and excessive stress.
Those with food may also experience depression. Those who experience depression because of missing something might have an unrealistic concern about being alone. In this situation, they would use social networks to comfort themselves. This action, however, could cause them to miss out on the chance to be with friends and family members. This type of depression could lead to suicide attempts.