FOMO: The downsides of social media


GH Falcon Staff

The effects of FOMO due to social media addiction starts at an early age, effecting the mentality of teens.

Aditi Bhadauria, Sports Editor

Clicking, scrolling, swiping and surfing on the internet has led teens to be overly immersed in the world of media. Using platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat has allowed the world to be more interconnected, however, the constant look into people’s lives has made it so an unhealthy amount of social media feeds our constant need to be doing something significant or entertaining. 

Feelings of inferiority come up on a Friday night when teenagers see their friends going out while they stay at home. Due to this, a highschooler’s schedule being centered around wanting to be involved in everything, resulting in the feeling that they aren’t doing “enough.” Still, the fear of being left out of the so-called “high school experience” is still ever present. 

With the constant talk about enjoying one’s teenage years, kids almost have a set standard for what an average teenager does all in one week. This includes homework, going to practice, going to work, and still going out with friends every weekend. Although this is sometimes doable, it can be overwhelming as a weekly routine. This thought process is a result of teenagers getting absorbed into the world of social media. With all of these new platforms it feels like you always see people do “more” than you in social aspects of life.

The subconscious need of having social media for the fear of missing out on something is a common problem. People fail to realize their constant habit of picking up a phone and clicking the same addictive apps over and over again. Looking at and engaging with snapshots of people’s lives can elicit unwarranted jealousy, even though rarely knows the reality of who they follow.

A user can post anything at any time and it doesn’t even have to be in the moment of the event. Clicking a story, looking at a post and watching TikToks can make what you seem to be doing at the time insignificant rather than an important aspect of your personal day-to-day life. 

Apps like BeReal: a platform in which users share one photo per day to let their followers peer into what they are doing at the moment, has made even summer break seem unfulfilling. BeReal became popular over summer of 2022, however, many users mentioned feelings of FOMO when they see friends, family, and followers do something more amusing than them in the present moment. Many BeReal users claimed that they compared themselves to others on the app whilst doing “boring” things such as sitting at home watching tv, and getting work done. A lot of them felt that their tasks were meaningless in comparison to the posts of others going out. 

With a younger demographic growing up with social media as an integral part of everyday life- it opens the possibility of feeling effects of FOMO even earlier than teenagerhood. Effects such as anxiety, depression, and increased amount of negativity reaches a more detrimental level when kids are exposed to this overly interconnected world.

As FOMO becomes a more frequent human phenomenon, the addictive environment around social media leads to an over usage of different platforms. Being connected in the world of media, having strangers look into one’s personal lives and making constant assumptions about moments that aren’t what they seem leaves teenagers doubting their current lifestyle. Although social platforms provide opportunities, and awareness to the world around us, overconsumption of this pseudo-fictional world brings adverse effects on personal mentality and lifestyle.