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How FOMO Impacts Teens And Tweens?

How FOMO is impacting children

Do you know what is FOMO? 

You cannot be everywhere at once. Sounds simple! Right? Maybe to you but not to everyone. Often people, especially teens and tweens get anxious at the thought of their friends having more fun without them. They see a picture of someone chilling on the beach and that’s it. They start feeling less about themselves and their lifestyle. As a result, the downward spiral of emotions starts taking a toll on them and affects them in unexpected ways.

Wondering, how the tender mind of your little one gets affected when they experience FOMO?

For this, first of all, you need to know the FOMO meaning.

What Is FOMO?

Wondering what does FOMO stands for? FOMO translates to Fear of Missing Out. Also called digital peer pressure, FOMO meaning is an innate desire to be somewhere else. The word “FOMO” was first used by Author Patrick J. McGinnis in 2004 in the context of Business and Marketing. Later, in 2013 Oxford dictionary recognized it as a legit word and gave FOMO a place in its urban dictionary. It was only after the rise in digital culture that people got to know about this word. 

What’s more? | Statistics Say It All

You know what does FOMO means, but do you know that more than two-thirds of young children and teenagers have experienced this feeling once in their lifetime? Seeing people living a carefree life and flaunting on social media makes teens think that they have a low social position. As a result, they feel anxious and inferior to everyone else. 

You must be thinking about why I particularly targeted social media? No no, I am not here to criticize it. Or maybe I am, after all, it is the biggest factor in elevating the missed out feelings in the young generation.

The Mighty Contribution Of Social Media In Fear Of Missing Out

I agree, social media alone is not the sole culprit for FOMO in individuals but I would not hesitate to say that it is a major contributor. It is hard to believe that more than 56% of social media users feel fear of missing out often.

Akin to social anxiety, FOMO can elevate uneasy and depressed feelings in tender minds. They think that they are less cool than random strangers who are partying or simply enjoying long drives. 

Here, the catch is, FOMO and Social Media are involved in a chicken and egg situation. It is well known that excessive social media use can lead to FOMO but what you do not know is that FOMO can also lead to heavy social media use. Thus, FOMO can also contribute to social media addiction.

Not only this, excessive FOMO can affect your precious ones in unexpected ways. Read on to know more. 

Adverse Consequences of FOMO in Teens And Young Children

A series of enigmatic problems are associated with FOMO meaning. Here is our guide which describes a few of them.

Feeling of Inadequacy

Some teenagers after finding out that their friends are getting more likes than themselves, start feeling insecure and unworthy. They compare their lives with others and feel like they don’t belong to society.

Depression, Fud, and Anxiety

The urge to get approval from everyone on social media makes them feel depressed and anxious. They lose their sense of identity and start feeling less of themselves. The feeling of fud (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) makes a place in their lives. It leads to depression and anxious behavior in them.

Apathetic Behaviour

People suffering from FOMO start considering likes, comments, and appraisals from random strangers more important than real-life interactions. They start behaving self-centered and restrain from being considerate about the feelings of people around them.

Irrational Choices and Indecisiveness

Teens with FOMO completely transform themselves to merge into a popular social group. Some teenagers start doing dangerous and inappropriate acts just for being the center of attraction. This behavior can make them prone to cyberbullying and online harassment or even make them do criminal acts.

The feeling of despair for their lives

Teens and Tweens suffering from FOMO become delusional and constantly feel unsatisfied with their lives. They see other people’s lives as a fairyland and theirs as a broken castle. They forget that what others post is just a 30 seconds snippet from 24 hours of a person’s day.

Technology Addiction

Children suffering from FOMO can become technology and social media addicted. Every notification triggers them to check the status of their likes and comments. For most of the time, they keep ogling onto their screens, scrolling, or stalking random strangers.

These are the potential dangers teens and young children face when they experience FOMO. Now, let us see how you can help your teen overcome the fear of missing out.

How To Help Your Children Combat FOMO?

More than physical dangers, FOMO is attached to mental threats for teens and tweens. The best way to overcome the feeling of missing out is by training your mind in the right direction. Here are some ways to do it. 

Gratitude for Everything

Teach your teens to feel blessed for whatever they have. Motivate them to recall things they are grateful for every day. I know, it is hard, they will probably mock you at first. But, with time and with your support they will understand how important it is to acknowledge.

Mindfulness and Inner peace

Make a calm environment at home and motivate your kids to maintain their mental health. Yoga and meditation are very beneficial in getting inner peace. Get involved if you want your kids to not see you as a hypocrite.

Manage Screen Time

Try to limit the screen time of your teens and tweens to get them out of this rabbit hole. Best parental control apps like Bit Guardian Parental Control can help you incredibly in your concern. It can even block any unhealthy websites and apps that are affecting the tender minds of your children. 

Replace it with JOMO

JOMO is the opposite of FOMO and it means “Joy of Missing Out”. Teach your kids to spend time polishing their skills rather than indulging in never-ending comparison. Teach them the value of spending time on self-improvement and how it is ok to get bored. After all, boredom is the first step of moving towards creativity. 

Concluding Thoughts On FOMO

It is completely normal for your children to sometimes feel the urge to be accepted and connect to people. But, excess of anything including fear of missing out is not at all normal. The best way to get them out of the rabbit hole of FOMO is by helping them concentrate on what is in front of them rather than wondering what else is going on out there. If the steps above aren’t helping your child, do not hesitate once to take help from a professional.

About author

Somya Shrimal is a content writer by profession and by heart. She loves to write about technology, lifestyle, fashion and books. Being an electrical engineer , she has a passion to learn and try new things. Somya likes reading, writing, travelling and of course food.
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