Written by Rebecca Bridge • Published 17th June 2013

Whilst far from a new phenomenon, the ultimate first world problem – FoMO, which means ‘fear of missing out’ for those not in the loop… is becoming more intense than ever due to the prevalence of social media, according to new research.

Before the existence of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, we could remain in blissful ignorance that our acquaintances, or even friends, were up to much more exciting activities on a Monday night than a Made In Chelsea marathon and date with their sofa – but not anymore…

Put simply – social networking provides notification that you are missing out…

As a member of the YOLO generation of 16-35s who would happily sacrifice the recommended eight hours of sleep for fear of missing out on fun with my friends, I very much instil a ‘yes’ policy to my social life. But on the rare occasions when I do actually say no, my pangs of jealousy are only intensified by photos and check-ins flickering across my phone screen.

However, trivial night out anecdotes aside, research from the University of Michigan suggests that this rise in social media-induced FoMO could actually lead to increased feelings of loneliness. Whilst in the past, people were happy to be kept informed on a day-to-day basis; social media now enables us to be provided with minute-by-minute updates of what our peers are up to. If we are constantly anxious that something better is happening elsewhere then we’re in danger of missing great moments in our present by being in someone else’s.

Do you suffer from social media-induced FoMO? We’d love to hear from you!

FOMO fear of missing out facebook

Cover image courtesy ojhaymesisvip, flickr.com