The fear of “missing out” – on an incredible party, on that TV series we are all talking about, of the news two minutes ago, or even of a work meeting – has invaded our lives as a virus that is aggravated by social media . A phenomenon that should be limited to childhood, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) brings to the surface what, as early as 1982, the singer Antonio Variações already suffered from: you are only well where you are not, only if you want to go where you do not go. The reality is that we have never been so aware of what we are not doing. But why this almost child like dissatisfaction (according to Psychology, the fear of exclusion begins around eight / nine years and ideally disappears after adolescence) so present in adulthood? According to the psychologist António Tomás, the psychic phenomenon that can generate serious cases of anxiety has to do with the feeling of exclusion, which in turn is related to issues of poor self-esteem, as well as insecurity on the part of the patient (truly) suffering from FOMO. “It is an idyllic form of life, where one seeks the maximum happiness possible. Constantly. Moreover, a person who is everywhere at all times becomes a slave to an unmanageable schedule that results in serious anxiety.
” Common to the person suffering from FOMO is also the idea of wanting to please everyone, feeling that by adhering to everything that presents itself, is being part of a group. Worst of all is that you often forget what you genuinely want and like to do – like staying home on a rainy Friday, reading a book, and eating pizza. Where intimately it actually makes sense to waste time and energy because, actually, “going everywhere” requires industrial doses of vigor, good will, and joy. The question is: if this phenomenon has been with us for a while, going back to the times of Antonio Variações and beyond, why is it only now that the acronym FOMO, established in 2000 by the American marketeer Dan Herman, has been gaining ground? “Of course, social media contribute a lot to the boom of this disorder,” says Antonio Tomás. The present world offers us a range of possibilities like never before. We are aware of everything that is happening around us whether we like it or not. If FOMO has always existed, social media have made it viral. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the “mosquitoes” that distribute the “virus” FOMO, from which we can hardly escape. We always have our head in a place that is not ours. It would be good to remember such commandments as the maxim of Carpe Diem (seize the day) and even some New Age literature that defends, wholeheartedly, that the secret to happiness is to be in the here and now. Although social media hold the best of intentions, allowing for better and easier connectivity between people, the lack of control in their use has only made the life of every human being absolutely miserable. Appearances deceive. And then disappoint.