FOMO is Real


Anna Twitty

Senior Gabby Solon experiences FOMO as she sits at home and scrolls through Twitter

A typical day – you’re casually scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat when, suddenly, you realize, with crushing dismay, the many activities and laughs you seem to be missing out on. Apparently, your friends are having a whole lot more fun than you are!  Maybe you regret your decision to relax at home rather than going out with friends.  You start to realize that your  adolescence, the time to be reckless and free, is quickly vanishing before your eyes.

This situation is most commonly referred to as the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and it is  real. A teenager can no longer simply lounge on the couch on Saturday night and relax without feeling like a complete and total failure. All you end up with is the feeling that the experiences of youth are slipping by.

“I experience FOMO every Friday night because on Saturday morning, I have to wake up at 7:15 and go to work,” explained senior Molly McBride.

Ben Schreckinger, a writer for Boston magazine, researched the cryptic origins of FOMO and found the term was first uttered in 2000 by a market strategist named Dan Herman. However, the term did not catch fire until 2004 and its popularity has only grown as a result of the prominence of social media in society.

“FOMO is real for me because I am stuck in Michigan while other people are living it up in warmer places down south,” said junior Katrina Merza.

The internet is filled with photos and videos of beautiful people traveling to exotic places and sporting the latest fashion trends. FOMO adds unnecessary pressure to the lives of many young individuals who already have enough stress trying to balance school and work.

Every teenager wants to live the life they see on the Internet, a life in which day trips to the beach or a fun festival are frequent and good food is always present. They all want to hang out with friends and dance the night away. As a result, it’s hard to swallow the feelings of FOMO while witnessing classmates experiencing all these amazing things. Nobody wants to wait until adulthood for memorable experiences that last a lifetime, and teenagers are not different.

Don’t get the wrong idea.  Having a peaceful night at home is never a bad thing. It’s not a criminal offense to, night after night, do nothing but watch Netflix while cuddling with your pet. But after the third weekend in a row, the same routine gets old and you begin to feel the need to get up and do something worth telling people about. Become the person people envy as they scroll through their Instagram feeds and finally kick FOMO’s butt.