FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is an emotional response to the notion that others are living better or we are missing crucial opportunities. So, what makes Fomo a cognitive bias? It frequently triggers feelings of discomfort, dissatisfaction, despair, and stress.
The growth of social media has increased the incidence of FOMO, with studies indicating that it is most common among millennials.
Because social media users constantly compare their lives to the ideal lives they see online, FOMO has become more common.
The glamorous life displayed on Instagram Stories or Facebook walls distorts users’ perceptions, as they believe they are performing worse than their peers.
Therefore, instead of looking inward at their own beautiful experiences, they look outside at those of others.
Now, in this article, let us explore what causes FOMO and how cognitive biases influence it.
Causes behind what makes FOMO a cognitive bias
Some fear-of-missing-out marketing strategies include showing other people purchasing the products, creating competition, and promoting experiences by showing others enjoying the event or product.
The brain region known as the amygdala, which determines if something poses a threat to survival, is what causes Fomo.
It interprets the feeling of being left out as a danger, causing stress and anxiety.
But is all that what makes FOMO a cognitive bias?
Cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people process and interpret information, affecting their decisions and judgments.
This is because the human brain’s attempt to simplify information processing can be related to memory and attention problems.
The distortion of perception caused by mental shortcuts and crazy hyper-fixations causes cognitive bias.
Such biases can be beneficial in situations like conspiracy theories but can also lead to poor decision-making.
Adolescents frequently feel Fomo due to their extensive use of social networking platforms. This concern links to increased smartphone and social media use.
These behaviors can hurt mood and induce anxieties about both favorable and unfavorable judgments by others.
FOMO can also lead to anxiety, despair, low self-esteem, and dangerous actions among teenagers.
The idea of missing out alongside one’s mental biases in assuming something is more important than another makes for a cognitive bias.
It can also result in a lower sense of having one’s needs addressed and a lower level of life satisfaction.
Mostly, FOMO is associated with high social media involvement, and social media habits may contribute to a negative self-perpetuating loop.
tips to break the FOMO cycle
Cognitive training can help minimize cognitive biases by being aware of biases, considering factors influencing decisions, and challenging biases.
Reducing cognitive bias may also be beneficial in treating mental health conditions such as addictions, depression, and anxiety.
Fomo’s potential risks include increased feelings of dissatisfaction and sentiments of envy or unhappiness.
Fomo can be caused by loss aversion, regret, having too many options, feeling down, or feeling excluded from social situations.
Determine what could be stealing your happiness from the internet and try to reduce it.
If a complete digital detox isn’t an option, try restricting the use of social media apps that make you feel like you’re missing out.
Keep a personal record by journaling and self-reflecting to shift focus away from public approval and work towards private enjoyment.
While experiencing depression or anxiety, seek out genuine connections, as these emotions are a legitimate reaction to being alone or excluded.
Instead of trying to interact more on social media, plan a meeting with a close buddy or a group activity.
Lastly, if nothing helps, seek professional help from a professional therapist or a psychologist.