We, humans, are curious. And that is good. It is in our nature to keep learning and discovering. Human beings would prefer to know everything and experience everything.  A perfect and happy life, that’s what we are striving for. Sometimes, however, we can go too far in this and we feel uncomfortable if we are not at a specific place.Feelings of sadness, fear and regret may arise if you have made a choice and are therefore not present at that one party. This phenomenon is also known as FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, and is associated with fatigue, stress, sleeping problems and psychosomatic complaints.


The fear of missing things has become a well-known concept since the rise of smartphones. Because we are online 24/7 and have access to an infinite amount of information, many people are chronically busy with being up to date. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and reading news messages day in day out is nothing new to many people. We are in direct contact with each other every day and this probably also contributes to the existence of FOMO. Posts on social media often revolve around the best parties, the best outfits, the best vacation destinations and having the best time. When you constantly see this, you may experience the urge to experience it all. You feel pressured to also live your best life. Everything must be a fantastic experience!

Cause of FOMO

The cause of FOMO is probably the experience of regret. Regret is a negative feeling and is sometimes referred to as the most annoying negative emotion. It can be confronting that you have made a wrong choice and you can endlessly worry about what would have happened if you had made a different choice. What can contribute to the negative feelings is social media. Suppose you were not aware of a certain party and you suddenly feel bad that you are not there. You go on Instagram and you see posts of how fantastic the party is. This is going to make to feel worse and sad and now you want to keep track of everything that is happening at the party. Because of this you end up in a vicious circle, because you see even more “perfect” posts and you get the feeling that there is even more that you have missed out.

What can you do when you experience FOMO?

Think about what makes you happy. Partying 24/7 may seem appealing, but there are more things that can make you happy! A relaxing evening on the couch can contribute to your well-being as much as a fun party. Also remember that social media paints a distorted picture of the reality. All posts are snapshots, don’t forget that. Someone’s life is not perfect solely because they have a nice looking Instagram account with interesting pictures. Such a glamorous, perfect and happy life is not realistic and it is therefore not necessary to strive for it. Find happiness within yourself!


Do you notice that you sometimes experience negative feelings when you have missed something? Fill in a G-scheme in the NiceDay app to investigate what an event like this does to you!

Tags: anxiety
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Wouter Schippers

Hey, I am Wouter. I'm a NiceDay coach and psychologist. I like to play football and to make electronic music.

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