How FOMO Impacts Teens and Young Adults

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“You totally missed out!” This sentence strikes fear in the hearts of many teenagers more than almost anything else you can tell them. In fact, missing something bothers some teens so much that there’s even a special word for the sick feeling they get in their stomachs: FOMO.

What is FOMO?

In a word, FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”. FOMO, added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, refers to the thrill or anxiety a person experiences when they realize they are not attending a social event because they were not invited, not invited. attend or they don’t feel like going.

In general, FOMO makes people think they have a low social rank. This belief, in turn, can create anxiety and feelings of inferiority. Furthermore, FOMO is especially common among people aged 18 to 33. In fact, a survey found that around two-thirds of people in this age group admit to experiencing regular FOMO.

Why do people experience FOMO

Historically, people have always been concerned with their place in society. But with the advent of social media, FOMO has become a bigger issue, especially for young people who seem to be always online, checking status updates and posts. posted by their friends. So when young people miss a party, don’t go on a family vacation for a summer, or don’t go to the school dance, they may feel a little less cool than those who did. and post pictures online.

Meanwhile, research shows that people who experience FOMO are more likely to value social media.In fact, some psychologists have even suggested that the fear of missing out is what makes social media platforms so successful. For example, they argue that FOMO motivates people to use technology to let others not only know what they are doing, but also how enjoyable they are doing it.

But this is not surprising. It is very easy for teenagers to define their lives based on what they see online. In fact, watching, criticizing, and liking other people’s every move online is what makes them constantly measure their own lives against these posts.

Consequences of FOMO

If you ask teens if they experience anxiety on social media, most will say no. But what they don’t realize is that if they’re stressed or worried about what they see online, they may be experiencing FOMO.

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In fact, when teenagers and young adults live their lives through a virtual filter, they are more susceptible to FOMO. And with at least 24% of teens online almost constantly, it’s no surprise that FOMO is reaching epidemic proportions.

Worrying too much about what other people are doing only makes teenagers miss out on their own lives more. In fact, FOMO causes people to focus their attention outward instead of inward. As a result, this can cause them to lose their sense of identity and struggle with low self-esteem.

One study found that the more people used Facebook, the worse they felt from minute to minute. Their overall sense of satisfaction is poorer because they feel the need to stay connected with what others are doing. Meanwhile, another study found that a third of people feel worse when they’re on Facebook, especially if they’re looking at other people’s vacation photos.

Meanwhile, the Australian National Survey of Stress and Health found that 60 per cent of teenagers said they feel anxious knowing their friends are having fun without them. And 51% said they feel nervous if they don’t know what their friend is doing. Furthermore, the researchers say there is a very real correlation between the number of hours spent on digital technology and higher levels of stress and depression.

According to Project Know, teens may also feel pressured to use drugs or alcohol to keep up with friends or celebrities they follow on social media. They may also have lower levels of life satisfaction, which makes them especially vulnerable to other mental health concerns.

Another consequence of FOMO is learning as well as distracted driving. For example, teens with high FOMO levels are more likely to check their social media feeds during school hours or while driving. Furthermore, they are also more likely to text and drive.

Tips for dealing with FOMO

One way for teenagers to deal with FOMO is to practice what is called restraint, which is a mental exercise designed to help them see situations differently. And when it comes to FOMO, it can be extremely helpful in changing negative thought patterns. Here are some ways your child can begin to reframe his thinking.

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Watch for negative thoughts

One thing teens can do to deal with FOMO is to keep track of their negative thoughts and feelings in a diary. This allows them to observe how often they feel negative about themselves or their lives.

It’s important to track how often they experience negative thoughts and emotions, and record what they’re doing when those thoughts come up. You can then both analyze the diary and determine if there are patterns for negativity and what might need to change to feel better about themselves and their lives.

Choose positive thoughts

Tracking negative thoughts also allows teens to recognize the negative words and phrases they repeat to themselves. Then, when they catch themselves saying something negative to themselves, they can redirect their thoughts and replace the negative words with something positive.

Schedule tech breaks

Of course, turning off technology seems like a natural cure for FOMO. But simply turning the phone to “off” or “do not disturb” mode does not erase the feeling that FOMO causes. Teens may still worry that they’re missing out, even when they’re not using social media.

The key is to turn off technology and do something completely different like reading a book, applying makeup to a friend, baking a cake – anything that allows them to focus on something other than social media. Another option is to schedule a specific time each day to check social media. This way, teens don’t have to be glued to screens and are more productive if they just check social media at certain times each day instead of scrolling constantly through Instagram.


Encourage teens to realize that they have limited time and can’t be everywhere and do everything. So naturally, there will be parties or events that they cannot attend. But this does not mean that they necessarily miss something. Pictures can be deceiving. And while it may seem like their peers are having the time of their lives, this may not really be the case.

They should never let the fact that they can’t be somewhere influence their view of themselves. Help them avoid embracing the belief that their life is boring and that they never do anything fun. Remind them of the fun things they’re actually doing.

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Practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is an exercise where the person learns to focus intensely on whatever they are doing at the moment. Whether it’s something mundane like a soak in a tub or a walk along a forest path, the goal of mindfulness is for teens to focus fully on what they’re doing at the moment.

For example, if they’re soaking in a tub, they might focus on the temperature of the water, the feeling of bubbles between their toes, and the smell of the essential oils they sprinkle in the tub. In other words, they focus so intently that there is no room in their brain for worries and anxious feelings.

A very good word

Remind your teens that while they can see lots of pretty pictures with smiling faces, most people their age only post their best pictures online. They often share photos of events and activities that represent their ideal selves.

Instead of comparing yourself to these photos, encourage your teens to scroll through their Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter with a skeptical eye. They need to remember that while it may seem like their peers may be having the time of their lives, they may also be spending less epic nights at home watching Netflix. No one lives an ideal, perfect life, even though social media allows them to pretend to be.

Encourage your child to be mindful of the accounts they follow. If they only follow the accounts of people who don’t look like them or who are engaging in activities or lifestyles that are far removed from their current lives, they are more likely to feel bad about themselves. and their lives.

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