You know that unpleasant feeling of something happening, something fun and exciting, that you’re not a part of? Yep, that’s FOMO: the fear of missing out.
And although FOMO can rear its troublesome head at any time of the year, it’s particularly prevalent during summer, when everyone you know is out and about, having fun. Just open up your phone and you’ll be flooded with pictures of friends at the beach, going to gigs or revelling in bottomless brunches – always with an Aperol spritz in hand. Even when you’re doing one thing, a short scroll on Instagram can make you feel like you’re missing out on another.
Our time is limited and we couldn’t possibly take up every social invitation offered to us, attend every gallery exhibition in our city and new bar opening. Yet, we can feel a sense of discontent anyway.
One study led by Oxford University’s Andrew Przybylski found that feelings of FOMO can negatively affect both general mood and overall life satisfaction, and are spurred on by our increased awareness of what our friends, family and acquaintances are doing through social media. Perhaps unsurprisingly, another study found that those who use a wide variety of social media platforms, and use them more frequently, have greater FOMO than those who spend less time on the apps.