What Does FOMO Mean in Texting & Social Media?

FOMO is a popular acronym on the internet in social media, and in text messages – FOMO means “fear of missing out”.

“Fear of missing out.” A slang term describing the feeling of jealousy or discomfort that comes from thinking you’ve missed a fun event or important milestone.

what does fomo mean

What does FOMO mean? FOMO is an acronym that stands for “fear of missing out.” It is commonly used in text messages and social media posts. FOMO is a feeling of anxiety or insecurity that someone experiences when they think they might miss out on something interesting or exciting.

FOMO can be a major problem for people who are constantly checking their phones or social media accounts. In this article, we will discuss the causes and effects of FOMO. We will also provide some tips on how to overcome FOMO.

Fear of Missing Out

FOMO is an acronym for “fear of not knowing.” It’s a phrase that refers to the dread associated with missing out on chances. Typically, feelings of FOMO are followed by the idea that someone else (friends, family, or coworkers) is participating in the opportunity that you’re passing up.

There’s no denying that FOMO is real. In fact, a study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that FOMO is associated with problematic social media use.

The researchers defined problematic social media use as “an impulse control disorder characterized by an inability to resist the urge to engage in online activities.”


We even know where the phrase FOMO comes from. Patrick McGinnis’ 2004 Harvard Business School student publication, The Harbus, appears to be the first to use the term.

McGinnis distinguishes between FOMO and FOBO in his text. In today’s society, FOMO is defined as the fear of missing out. When addressing commitment in relationships, McGinnis alludes to FOBO (fear of a better alternative).

But FOMO and FOBO share a common root: FEAR. Fear drives us to take risks. Inflationary fear of missing out (FOMO) drives us to check Twitter every five minutes, buy unnecessary items, and work FOMO can lead to unwise decisions.

The magazine’s writer Ben Schreckinger speculates that these abbreviations arose from events in the late 1990s/early 2000s (9/11, the dot-com bust, and the rise of cellphones). It wasn’t until the 2010s that it became widely used.

How Do You Use FOMO?

“How do you utilize FOMO?” isn’t a critical, existential question. It’s simply a question of nomenclature. When should you use FOMO in a sentence? Is it acceptable to call your boss FOMO, or will internet adolescents make fun of you for it?

Here are some linguistic examples of FOMO:

  • “I have a cold, but I had to go to this party.” “His FOMO led him 1,500 kilometers to attend the event.”
  • “FOMO had me go to this party with a cold.” “He drove all the way to this concert because of FOMO.”
  • “I had a cold, but I came to this party.” “Why did he drive so far? FOMO, dum!”


FOMO is when you fear missing out on something (like buying crypto or NFTs). FOMO can be experienced in many different ways, including by feeling anxiety and stress because of a fear that others may have more fun than them or they will miss opportunities to meet new people.

FOMO has also been associated with an intense desire for social media validation, as well as compulsive FOMO-related behaviors such as overspending and impulsive decision making.

If you suffer from FOMO, keep in mind that everyone’s experience is unique. You don’t have to compare yourself to others or accomplish all they do. Instead, concentrate on your own happiness.


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