Do we still suffer from FOMO?




‘FOMO: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.’

In 2013, FOMO was added to the Oxford English dictionary. Once again I was late to ball as I only noticed its infiltration into popular culture and discourse in 2014 whilst coming across various Buzzfeed posts centred around the term…

The 6 Stages of Chronic FOMO Everyone Experiences

19 Signs You Live With Spine-Crippling FOMO

11 Signs You’re Infected with FOMO

In all honesty I had somewhat forgotten about the phrase; perhaps because I am no longer at the job where browsing through Buzzfeed was the only thing keeping me sane whilst simultaneously accelerating my downward spiral into madness, or perhaps because it is simply no longer in circulation due to a decline in its popularity and use. There is of course also the possibility that I am no longer ‘down with the kids’ and no longer able to keep up to date as to what the ‘hip’ new vernacular seems to be but for the purposes of my delusional belief that I am still ‘cool’, let’s assume it is the former rather than the latter.

Nevertheless the expression popped back into my mind a few weeks ago on my commute home as I noticed a couple of advertisements placed side-by-side in an underground station.


I found these adverts particularly interesting as they seemed to have one key thing in common; FOMO. They were attempting to capitalise on the fear of missing out. Granted this is probably not a new advertising or marketing strategy  but I was still rather impressed by this direct tactic and clear message.

By inferring that the consumer would not rise to the challenge of what the advert was asking of them (albeit through somewhat passive aggressive and manipulative discourse), they were both targeting the consumer’s competitive nature through provocation as well as alluding to the reward on offer that others will miss out on.

As a digital media masters student currently studying a promotional culture module I found this form of marketing rather intriguing as I had never so consciously been taunted by an advertisement before. It would be interesting to find out just how effective these adverts and tactics have been. I suppose this depends on where we do in fact suffer from FOMO…

According to this Buzzfeed quiz, I quite clearly do…

I got FOMO! Let’s be honest, you saw someone else take this quiz and you just had to get involved. You have severe FOMO and you’re fine with it. Better that than be stuck inside on your own, right? Life is for living! Sorry, we won’t distract you any longer, there’s probably something much more fun you could be doing.’ 


One reply on “Do we still suffer from FOMO?”

[…] Alas the feeling of freedom I had experienced during my time away from social media was quickly replaced by a sense of panic yet again as I made my return to the world of digital communication devices. First were my emails; I had missed out on getting some tickets I had eagerly been awaiting. Then came Twitter; I had lost some followers due to my sudden lack of tweeting. There was also the countless news/pop culture stories I had missed that I usually find out about through either Twitter or Facebook. Not to mention various friends personal updates; Penny’s wedding day photos, Mya’s latest photo of her baby daughter in yet another “amusing/adorable” outfit, Rob’s cryptic and just that little bit passive aggressive status about someone “doing his head in”. These were things I missed. Correction: these were things I had missed out on knowing as they happened and therefore could not provide a live running commentary as my fellow social media users could. However, these were not things I missed in the same way one misses a loved one. Nevertheless missing out can cause anxiety; hence the introduction of the term ‘FOMO’ into our vocabulary; on which I have previously written a blog post. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s