Social Media Leads To FOMO & We’re Not At All Surprised

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Want to get rid of your FOMO, a.k.a "Fear Of Missing Out"? Think about decreasing the amount of time you spend on social media. According to New York Magazine, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are the leading causes of FOMO. This may not be that surprising to hear, but you may be shocked to know that it's been scientifically proven. In a 2013 survey published in the journal Computers In Human Behavior, scientists actually found that social media and depression are part of a vicious circle. The more time you spend on social media, the more likely you will feel like you're missing out. In actuality, it's not that your friends are having more fun than you, it's that you are dissatisfied with your own life. Yeah, things just got real. But if a person isn't happy with his or her life, he or she tends to spend more time on social media. More time on social media leads to more FOMO. Hence, the vicious circle. The survey found that those who experience FOMO more often had "more positive emotional experiences and more negative emotional experiences" when checking Facebook. Scientists also found that of any demographic, young men actually reported having the "highest levels" of FOMO. Higher levels of FOMO also lead to a higher risk of depression. "For people who feel very secure in their relationships, their relationships are important to them, but they don't feel compelled to always be connected," study researcher Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex in England, told LiveScience. "Sometimes, it's good to insulate yourself from the world of possibilities." So, the next time you're perusing social media and think, Everyone's having more fun than me!, move away from your device and start thinking about what you'd really like to be doing and do that instead. It's the quickest way to experience No'mo FOMO.

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