On April 9, 2011 Jenna Wortham wrote an extremely interesting article that discussed the combination of social media with the old theory of FOMO or fear of missing out. While this is a theory that has been around for awhile social media has allowed it to catch fire. FOMO deals with the concept of picking up a newspaper on Monday morning and realizing what you missed over the weekend. While you may be bummed that you missed a big concert or event however it’s in the past and at that point there is nothing that can be done. What social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, and so many others have done is allow you to see what your missing out on as its happening. For example the writer of the article describes cuddling up on the couch for a movie night by herself when her phone starts to update her on what her friends are doing at the same time. While she is having a cozy night in she finds out that right near her home a couple of her friends checked into a venue that usually hold concerts and such and she also is able to view a picture of another set of friends dinning at an upbeat and trendy restaurant in her city. When viewing these photos and check ins this causes the writer to think about if she should be out doing things like her friends. It even had her debating an impromptu night out. While she decided to stay in and opted to turn her phone face down (she couldn’t yet bring herself to turn it off) we can see much social networking has affected our lives. While the writer does admit that she doesn’t always get jealous and states that a lot of times she is excited to see what her friends around the world are doing she can be affected by the status and picture updates of her friends and more specifically those closer to her location as well as those who fall closer to her age. The concept of FOMO isn’t a new one but the ways in which we can experience the phenomenon are changing and evolving. Do you think that FOMO is a common experience for lots of social media users? Is it Facebook and Twitters fault or are these types of feelings inevitable?
I do agree with the above blog post. I do feel that FOMO is something that many people that use social media and social networking sites can feel from time to time. They see their friends going out and having a good time when they are not. That feeling might not always be the best and it is social media to blame. What I do feel that people need to realize is though, the nights you are going out and posting about it, those other friends might not be doing the same, they might to relaxing at home.
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