How do I get rid of FOMO

FOMO: About the panic of missing out

FOMO is a bit like it used to be when you were a teen, when your parents forbade you to go out on the weekend. How miserable could you feel, please? Everyone else could go to the party and you yourself stared at the ceiling and felt as if the world was about to end.

What if you missed something crucial? Even if it was only about whether the crush would show up at the party or whether X Y had to give X Y a kiss for truth or dare: The feeling of not being there while others were having fun together was simply awful. You know the feeling? Well, then you also know FOMO.

FOMO as a research object

As is so often the case with things, feelings and situations that many of us are familiar with, at some point someone clever comes along and gives the whole thing a name. FOMO stands for "Fear of missing out": the oppressive fear of missing out on something, a social event, a great experience, an exciting experience.

Thanks to digital media, our permanent presence in social networks and constant availability, FOMO has taken on completely new features today. No wonder that psychologists and medical professionals have long since kept an eye on the phenomenon.

Because what caused frustration and long faces as a teen is a serious problem. In fact, many people are totally fixated on the internet and social media. The consequences are not only social isolation in real, non-virtual life, but also serious depression. FOMO ultimately makes you sick if we are not careful.

FOMO is back - even as an adult

At the time, no one would have thought that a FOMO could still happen to people after they were teenagers. Although one is more relaxed today and sometimes cultivates a well-groomed idleness, the FOMO feeling is not out of the world.

Especially when you have decided to escape the free-time terror and just stay at home on the comfortable couch at the weekend instead of going out to party, then you catch yourself looking relaxed (at first) on Instagram and Co. what's going on.

And then pop up all the wonderfully filtered "look-here-how-colorful-my-life-is" pictures, then suddenly it happens again: We feel left out. We are not there. We are missing something where others are celebrating the fun of their lives. FOMO.

And even if we know better: The virtual world of experience still deceives us again and again. We see a few pictures and think that every boring friend, colleague, relative or acquaintance has a mega great life - and your own life already looks dreary and bland.

Especially since we are constantly confronted with the variety of great opportunities in life. Too many to really make a clear decision on one. And how should you feel good if variant B would have been even better?

What makes it even worse: Especially those who are socially isolated and have few contacts in real life like to withdraw into the virtual world. And the concentrated load of perfect bodies, style, travel, lust and life must first be tolerated. And not everyone can do that.

Do we have to worry if we suffer from FOMO?

Ultimately, of course, you have to ask yourself: Why exactly is this getting me so cold now? Am I really scared of missing out on something important? Would I feel better if everyone else lay down on the couch with me with the bag of chips at the same time?

Ultimately, FOMO can only strike so hard if we are dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives. If I were completely satisfied with myself, I would say to myself: "What does the moon care if a dog barks at it?"

We can do that against FOMO

So it is also clear what helps against the lousy FOMO feeling: Concentrate on yourself instead of just looking at the others. And that also means digital detox, i.e. spending less time in social networks and more time in real life, with real friends and experiences.

You have to turn your head on and say to yourself clearly: All the perfect filter beauties there on the beach that can be photographed in the sunset on Bali may look happy. What you forget: Behind every perfect selfie there is possibly an annoyed friend with a camera and behind him there are thousands of other Instagram beauties who can also be snapped on the same spot. And if you have to take photos and post all the time, you can't really enjoy yourself, can you?

I ended up at a party. And the next day the friend who couldn't be there wrote: Send pictures of how it was. Lo and behold: Nobody had even taken a single picture. We had just had too much fun to think about poses and posts for a moment.

How about JOMO?

Anyone who realizes that the brave new world of the Internet from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to Twitter is a pimped, illusory world can relax a lot more. And look at yourself and look: do I really need that? FOMO and envy of the lives of others?

Instead of FOMO, we should therefore practice JOMO. "Joy of missing out" - the joy of missing something. No generation before us has been exposed to such a flood of information via the Internet and social media as we are today. So we can't help but pull the plug every now and then and say to ourselves: I'm missing something. And that's good.

Even more topics related to social media, smartphone addiction & Co .:

Digital Detox: 9 rules for fewer smartphones in our lives

Nomophobia: When hell is called a dead zone

Better to live simply: What is behind the deceleration trend?