Have you ever heard of FOMO? That is the Fear-of-Missing-Out, and it is on the rise. Many neuroscientists and psychologists have seen the recent uptick coincide with the expansion of technology, specifically social technology. Whereas previous generations had choices such as “what job will I do?” taken out of their hands, in today’s world factors such as geographical location have less bearing on employment.
While many find this freedom to telecommute a good thing, you would be surprised that a large percent of the population finds it overwhelming.
For instance, say you were a recent graduate, or recently laid-off and there were no openings in your local area for your field of practice, you may take to the Internet to find some factoid about ‘the need being down’ or some other skill is in demand… Maybe that other skill is something you have a vague interest in. You start spending time pursuing education in that field or even an entry level role at an organization that seems promising.
All the while your heart is still truly for the field of practice you went to school for. Many people find themselves in this loop because they are anxious and afraid of missing out on ‘the best avenue’ for their life. Again, so much of this is because we now live in a world where choices abound.
Pieter Kruger, a London-based psychologist, says research indicates that people who feel they don’t have a choice are actually more resilient — mainly because they can blame life or others if they make a wrong decision. However, if you have a range of choices, you have no one to blame but yourself. “We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time,” he says.
Fear of missing out extends well beyond just vocational worries, into things like: relationships, diet, figure, beauty, wealth, etc.
Check out our post about the song developed by neuroscientists and sound therapists that has proven results in relaxing individual’s overall anxiety.