According to the Washington Post, there has been a recent study that reveals a link between the trend FOMO – a.k.a. “fear of missing out” – and social media. We think that this is a no-brainer, but after testing whether or not you suffer from FOMO, and to what degree, the study linked the success of social media platforms to FOMO, since people feel the need to use the technology to keep them informed on what’s happening elsewhere.
However, in certain cases, FOMO might actually proactively encourage us to socialise with friends outside of the virtual world. And then there’s the rising trend of JOMO: the “joy of missing out”. Whilst both trends are related to lifestyle choices and behavioural changes, we are also witnessing a growing movement to limit the amount of time people spend in digital spaces.
Think about all the no-technology retreats, the ‘National Day of Unplugging’, and instant erase apps such as SnapChat, as well as the decline in active users on Facebook. In theory, JOMO should reduce the number of people who suffer from FOMO – since they’re less exposed to what they’re missing – but the increase in popularity of sites like Instagram suggest that FOMO is very much alive. And so these two contradictory trends co-exist.
Our Future of Britain study found that 32% of Britons have decreased or stopped drinking and 25% have cancelled a holiday. If the driving force for FOMO is social media, what if the real reason behind the rising JOMO trend is that people are struggling to afford certain luxuries in today’s economic climate and, therefore, with nothing exciting to post on their digital platforms, they have pushed themselves to no longer be as socially active?