FOMO syndrome: feeling that the life of others is more interesting
The feeling of missing something or FOMO syndrome (fear of missing out) has been recognized by psychologists as a disorder caused by the advancement of technology and the number of options that are presented to people today. The cause of this phenomenon is to be continuously connected to the network.
What is FOMO syndrome?
In previous articles of Psychology and Mind , we echoed the growing phenomenon of selfies and made reference to the importance of education to prevent the possible harmful use we face because we are always connected.
The number of individuals that they feel that their life is much less interesting than that of their acquaintances is growing . Wanting to be accepted by others has always existed, and it is logical because it refers to social identity. Nobody likes to feel left out. We usually function in society wanting to be recognized by the different groups of which we are a part: our family, our childhood friends, friends of the university, work colleagues, among others.
Social networks and the FOMO
Social networks expose the variety of activities that one could be doing at any given time and provide a multitude of opportunities for social interaction. The problem is that many times more options are presented than we can cover and this can lead to the perception that others are having better experiences than us . In these cases, contact with reality is lost and it is the imagination that plays a determining role when it comes to interpreting what we see in these media.
Being connected 24 hours a day through our smartphones, this feeling can be experienced not only at various times of the day, but also with the different groups to which we belong. This can lead us to be always aware of this showcase to be able to stand out among our contacts and show the great social life we have.
Research on FOMO Syndrome
Recently, Mylife.com He published an interesting study by Dr. Andy Przybylski in which he researched more than 2,000 adults in the United States about their ability to disconnect from their smartphones.
The study concluded that the FOMO syndrome has a greater intensity among young people and among young men in particular , and the high levels of this syndrome correlate positively with social circumstances such as the low level of social satisfaction, which causes feelings of inferiority. The research suggests that FOMO can lead to problems in people's mental health, as it can lead to depression or anxiety. Other previous studies conclude that individuals who give more value to social networks as part of their social development, tend to experience more FOMO.
In social networks We try to show how we want to be and not how we really are , being able to perceive that the life of others is free of problems and is much more interesting and exciting than ours. Social identity, especially in young people who live immersed in new technologies, is created in large part, through Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, etc. It is clear that this new way of life is "shaping" in an alarming way, for better or for worse, the lives of adolescents.
In context: FOMO syndrome and the technological society
Experts warn us that this syndrome is the result of a type of cognitive distortion which leads to irrational thoughts. For people with a propensity for these kinds of thoughts, social networks can become harmful. Even so, they recommend, that completely unplugging from social networks does not solve the problem since it is just a way of avoidance . Cognitive behavioral therapies or other forms of psychotherapy can help correct negative thoughts.
As we have already commented in other articles, education is basic to prevent this type of pathologies associated with the use of new technologies and it must be done from an early age to equip minors with useful tools that allow them to maintain a strong self-esteem, despite external influences.More on this point: "Depersonalization and (in) communication in social networks"
Social networks are attractive because they represent a space where adolescents are protagonists and are an ideal place to interact with other groups of people who use their own language and share their tastes and interests. But as socializing agents that are, they also transmit values . It is the task of adults to ensure that these young people understand the positive and negative consequences of their use.