Social Media And The Art Of FOMO

When we disconstruct the acronym FOMO, we have Fear and Missing Out. Missing Out implies regret in the future while Fear could mean making a mistake in the present.

When the marketplace is crowded with buyers, sellers will sell all their products and then some. Buyers will have to part ways with their money even if it might not be the right time to make a purchase. A transaction happens when the perceived value that is received is seen to be greater than the actual value that is given out. During times of FOMO, we subconsciously judge that the transaction is right and we make the purchase.

In investing, the same thing happens more or less. But with a twist. Unlike a purchase of a product or service in which the benefits can be instantaneous. The benefits with investing in a certain investment are not immediate, they only come later or not.


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Perception Vs Reality

FOMO as in fear of missing out is a term that refers to the feeling of anxiety or unease that pops up from the belief that others might be experiencing something exciting or important while one is not present or involved.

The art is basically in the tactics deployed to create a sense of urgency in people that influences 1them to partake in a particular event or experience. FOMO can be seen as a tactic that plays on human psychology. The human mind hardly acts logically, emotions always overrule judgement.

On social media, FOMO is always present. It is what drives engagement and sales for businesses. Social proof through celebrity endorsements, live updates, exclusive or limited time offers, etc. This is all well and good for the business because they're in the job of making money.

But, on an individual level, it can get overloaded and shape our perception into believing that we're constantly missing out and compared to those involved, our life sucks.

My first taste of it was when I had the impression that I need to be part of every experience otherwise I'll miss out on something that's important. I was chasing this elusive goal that never seems to materialise. Perhaps, it didn't aligned with my reality or it wasn't clearly defined.

The reality was that I don't need to be part of every experience. It was quite impossible in the first place. And I figured that it was more than okay to miss out on many of them because they weren't for me. So I changed my focus into picking a few experiences that we're of genuine interest to me and focus on them.

A Short Analogy

There's a super big table with all kinds of food delicacies that you can imagine placed on it. The catch is that your eyes can feast on all the plates and consume all the food in your mind but when you come to the table you can only pick two plates, one on each hand.

Social media is the table and FOMO is all the food delicacies that you frankly can't really eat all even though you may want to eat them all.


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