How does FOMO Affect Mental Health?


L. Willis

How does FOMO affect mental health?

FOMO; the fear of missing out, is the feeling that others are experiencing better things than you. FOMO is experienced by 56% of social media users. How does FOMO affect mental health?

FOMO affects mental health in several ways. First, FOMO increases anxiety and loneliness. Most people experiencing FOMO surf the internet and compare themselves to others. According to, “greater use of the Internet decreases communication within the family, diminishes the size of the subjects’ local social networks, and increases feelings of loneliness and depression”. FOMO can drastically increase anxiety. 

According to, FOMO can lead to mood swings, loneliness, feelings of inferiority, reduced self-esteem, and depression. Social media has a huge impact on FOMO and can lead to all of these things. 

How can you overcome FOMO?

FOMO has been proven to go down as social media use has gone down; this can be proven by a case study at the University of Pennsylvania where participants were assigned to limit either facebook, instagram or snap chat for a limited period of time. Studies have shown that FOMO had gone down over the 3 week period. This proves decreased social media helps with FOMO.

Another way to overcome FOMO is to establish routines and processes. Having a routine will keep your mind distracted. If you are busy you don’t think about what you are missing out on and you will be more productive with your time. 

Overall FOMO is something that should be talked about more as it affects many people.