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What is FOMO?

In the age of social media and constant connectivity, a prevalent psychological phenomenon called FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, has emerged. It's a phenomenon that affects people of all ages but is particularly pronounced in the lives of the younger generation. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of FOMO, exploring its definition, causes, and impact on individuals' mental well-being.

The Fear of Missing Out

Being left out of certain moments through life is inevitable. Social media actually creates a heightened sense of FOMO- having access to everyone’s day-to-day happenings through stories and snap maps, it’s impossible to avoid the feeling, especially for young hearts.

 

Will allowing social media, such as snapchat, bring FOMO down and create a sense of togetherness and connections? The short answer is No.

 

The long answer is...while your child will have a new avenue for communication via texting and sending pictures and there will be moments when in a group chat or through DMs they will feel a sense of inclusion. However, the reality is more complex. For the younger demographic, the allure of social media platforms such as SnapChat and Instagram lies in the promise of instant connectivity and inclusion. Group chats and direct messages may initially create a sense of belonging, but the fleeting nature of these connections often leads to an unhealthy cycle. Once the novelty of constant communication wears off, obsession takes over, and the likelihood of feeling left out in the world of social media increases. The chance of feeling left out rises while your child’s self-worth lowers.

 

Remember that what people show on social media is just the edited highlights. Not the reality of the situation.

What Can Parents Do To Help?

To mitigate the impact of FOMO in the digital age, it's essential to:

  • Delay social media if your child is not emotionally mature just yet for the online world (See When To Allow Social Media)

  • Guide your children by fostering open communication about the potential pitfalls of constant connectivity

  • Encourage a healthy perspective on social media use

  • Emphasize the importance of real-world interactions and self-worth beyond online validation

  • Seek a balanced lifestyle prioritizing healthy sleep habits

  • Validate your child's experience with FOMO and brainstorm activities to stay busy (See FOMO + Anxiety)

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