The fear of losing something, known by the acronym FoMO (Fear of Missing Out), can be defined as 1 widespread apprehension of being absent from enriching experiences in which others participate.
This syndrome is characterized by the desire to be continually connected to what other people are doing, which often involves spending a lot of time on social media.
Participating in social media becomes an effective option for those people who want to be continually connected to what’s going on.
Social networks, an attempt to meet our needs
Self-determination theory gives us a perspective on human psychological needs and is an interesting point of view for understanding FoMO.
According to this theory, effective self-regulation and psychological health are based on meeting three basic psychological needs: competence, autonomy and relationship. Competence is the ability to act effectively in the world, autonomy is having one’s own paternity or personal initiative, and relationship is defined as the need for closeness or connection with others.
According to this point of view, the phenomenon of FoMO can be understood as a system of self-regulation of a chronic deficit in the satisfaction of psychological needs.
Following this line, the low levels of meeting our basic needs would be linked to FoMO and social media participation in two ways.
On the one hand, there would be a direct link between dissatisfied individuals participating in social media, Being a resource to stay in touch with others, a tool to develop social competence and an opportunity to deepen social bonds.
On the other hand, the link between participation in social media and the satisfaction of basic needs would also be indirectIn other words, through FoMO. Since needs deficits can lead some people to a general susceptibility to fear of losing something, it is possible that these unresolved psychological needs are related to the use of social media only to the extent that they are connected to the FoMO. In other words, the fear of losing something could mediate that links the deficiencies of psychological needs to the use of social media.
We can follow about 150 people
According to anthropologist Robin Dumbar, the number of people who can identify with a given system is conditioned by the size of our brain neoscort, so in the case of our species we would be talking about 150 people.
Our current brain is not very different from the brains of our prehistoric ancestors, these ancestors lived in clans of about 150 individuals so our brain would have evolved to stay in contact with this number of people.
In fact, according to a 2011 estimate, a Facebook user has on average about 150 “friends” and a friend of any user has, on average, 635 followers.
Since the size of our brain neoscort is what we can be wonder if these relationships are as real as we sometimes think.
Not all forms of social interaction are the same
We are social animals, that’s a fact. We have a number of emotional and belonging needs that need to be met, we feed off the relationship with one another in the same way we feed on the food we eat. however, just as not all foods offer the same quality in their nutrients, not all forms of relationship are the same. You can be obesoydesnutrido at the same time because the amount of kcal is not synonymous with the quality of the food.
Continuing this comparison, we might see some uses of social media like fast food in human relationships.
The Anglo-Saxons have a term known as “quality time” which refers not so much to the time people spend with their loved ones but to the quality of that time. This quality moment would be the gastronomic nourishment of social relations.
Spending too much time on networks can be detrimental to our well-being
Some research suggests that digital media they can have a decreasing effect on self-reflection and ultimately decrease well-being.
This phenomenon of permanent communication offered by communication technologies could distract us from important social experiences in the here and now. According to Plato, it would be like preferring the shadows of the cave to the reality of the outside.
This syndrome can be a source of discouragement or depressive feelings. in part because it reduces the feeling of making the best decisions in your life.
Better repent before
Bronnie Were wrote a book called “The Five Repentances of the Dying” in which he describes key lessons he learned from the people he treated as a hospice hospice professional.
In the notice most people out of their lives regret not doing what they really wanted to do instead of what others expected of them, it’s also common to regret that you didn’t have the courage to express your feelings or that you didn’t spend time with old friends.
In short, it seems that we regret more than we did. So it’s important to ask ourselves often if we are using our time in a way that makes us truly happy – always within our means.
Avoiding discomfort can lead us to coercion through networks
Research on motivations for using social media indicates that avoiding unpleasant feelings like loneliness or boredom requires using Facebook.
Likewise, dissatisfaction with our relationships would lead us to use networks. We can conclude that social media is a way out for emotional and social frustration. Compulsively running away from discomfort is a tendency that is at the root of most addictive behavior (not to mention the fact that it is in most emotional disorders).
A vicious circle is generated: discomfort leads to compulsive behavior, Which temporarily frees us from discomfort but makes this compulsion addictive thanks to a learning mechanism – often unconscious – called negative reinforcement. Repeating this over and over again generates less tolerance for discomfort and a greater need for the compulsive habit.
Beyond the psychological dangers – and while it may seem obvious – it’s worth remembering that an overwhelming desire to be permanently connected is potentially dangerous when it leads people to check networks even while driving.
To choose is to give up
Humans have an intellect that allows them to make decisions with a wider range of options than any other known species. This is a big evolutionary advantage but it is also a source of headaches because for the moment I choose between A and B, if I opt for the AI I give up B. This means that if we have no that time and money to study a career will have to give up other possible options.
In the same way, if we are not connected to the networks because we are doing something else, we may be missing something and, besides, if we spend a lot of time on the networks, we risk losing our lives because (let’s not forget), we will not live forever.
- Schaarschmidt, T. (2018, December). FOMO or the fear of losing something. Mind and Brain, 93, 78-81.
- Andrew K.