The Fear Of Missing Out And Of Going Out During A Pandemic

The current mandate of self-isolation and social distancing resulting from the coronavirus outbreak is influencing our perceptions of Fear of Missing Out and Fear of Going Out.

Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO affects both teenagers and adults, as they constantly check their smartphones, Instagram updates, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages. Before the pandemic, there was a constant fear of not being part of something more exciting or interesting than what we were doing. This led to the creation of “fake” personas that we wanted to present to the world, so others would “like” our posts and want to “follow” us on social media. In addition, the need for instant gratification has become an expected and accepted form of communication. The anticipation of receiving a new phone message or notification fulfills our desire for immediate rewards and makes us feel as if we are important to others. FOMO is a powerful emotion that affects our social relationships and changes our behavior. Social media has taken on even greater importance in our attempt to stay connected to friends, family, and the rest of the world as we shelter-in-place. It is also a means to stave off boredom and occupy our time as we remain isolated from others. On the plus side, there are essentially no outside activities to be missing out on! There are no parties, social gatherings, concerts, dance performances, or other forms of culture and entertainment to attend.