Bloop! Bloop! Bloop! On cue, every person in a five foot radius immediately checks their phone. They don’t want to be the one missing Sally Jean liking their Instagram photo. Or maybe it was Billy Joe commenting on their hilarious tweet from earlier. FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” is a plague that has stricken overly obsessed social media users.
“I have it to the extent that I’ll put stuff off I need to do in order to hang out with people, so they don’t do something without me. I’ll admit, when I’m alone I probably check social media every 10 minutes,” said Melissa Corn, a senior at Boise State.
Social media has driven users wild; Driven to constantly update phones and check and recheck all of the different apps. Someone could be having the worst day ever, but on Instagram they’re posting a selfie with a caption about how beautiful life is, so all of their followers think that their life is ideal. Social media users have started creating these fake personas that people know them by, which mostly aren’t true at all.
FOMO also applies to missing out on events. People can’t relax on Saturday night at home if they know they are missing a party without getting into an anxious frenzy. The perception is if their friends have fun without them, they’ll never live it down.
FOMO has become a real term that many people identify with, so much so that it was added to the dictionary in 2013. The problem is that people are so caught up on their Twitter timeline that they forget there is a real live person across the table from them with whom they can interact.
FOMO can create sleep deprivation. Users stay up late so they can do anything and everything. The cycle continues until everyone’s all zombies, never sleeping so it’s impossible to miss a thing. Some people experience FOMO differently.
Some will respond to text messages in their sleep. Apparently, it’s not uncommon either. Sleep texting has become a phenomena that closely relates to sleep walking. One’s conscious mind is asleep while motor skills are awake. That can lead to some embarrassing responses.
Breena Hohe, sophomore, has sleep texted before, leading to a little confusion in the morning.
“I didn’t even know a person could text in their sleep,” Hohe said. “I woke up one morning and my friend had texted me asking me if I was alright. Apparently I texted her that I couldn’t go to sushi because I had gone yesterday. That wasn’t even what we were talking about, though.”
Social media has its positives and negatives, but it’s prevalent in today’s world and it’s up to everyone to choose when and how often to use it.