By Jazmyn Proctor
Have you ever felt that tingle of yearning, when you’re scrolling through your Instagram newsfeed and suddenly wished you were laying on a white, sandy beach staring into crystal clear blue water somewhere off the coast of the Caribbean? Solely based off of seeing your old classmate from high school posting pictures from their latest getaway, seemingly having the time of their lives, while you’re just eating Doritos on the couch?
The sensation that you’re missing out on an experience or feeling that could potentially be gratifying in some way is a phenomenon that is referred to as FOMO or the fear of missing out. First recognized by Dr. Dan Hermann in 1986, and ultimately made popular by Paul McGinnis in his Harbus article in 2004 entitled “McGinnis’ Two FOs: Social Theory at HBS.
The utilization of FOMO has become an essential part of the infrastructure of today’s generation’s way of being. Although the fear of missing out started as a marketing strategy, with the cultivating push of technology and social media, everyone is out trying to prove that they’re living their “best life.”
Celebrities and the upper class flock to social media in order to show their every breathing minute, including details of an extravagant lifestyle that most only dream of having. With so many engrossed over having the life they see online and on TV, there’s a frenzy surrounding any products or destinations his or her favorite celebrity may be seen/seen with.
Nobody wants to be left with the regret of what could have occurred from having certain experiences or possessions, but in present-day society the next level of FOMO is here. With the capabilities of the web it’s so simple to have your desires fulfilled instantly with the touch of a keypad.
Satisfying the crave for these experiences or material items may seem gratifying at first, however the need for that next trend that is publicized only intensifies. The highest cost being paid to FOMO would be productivity in our daily lives, careers, and personal relationships.
The distraction that FOMO has provided us with has allowed us to subconsciously put that which we might really covet on the back burner, no longer chasing our own goals, concerning ourselves with living somebody else’s ideology of the good life.
While bolstering the ultimate beach vacation may create the feeling of outshining those around you, if it costs more than just surplus in your bank account, is it truly worth having something to post about?