Monday, December 7, 2015

FoMo and the Brain

No doubt you’ve heard of a new phobia known as FoMo – the fear of missing out. And as some of you are laughing, remember that this is a real problem. What does it have to do with the brain? Everything. Because it starts in the brain as does everything else. Claire Cohen has described FoMo as the fear that everyone else is having more fun, more excitement and more rewarding or anecdote-worthy experiences than you. Whether on the school bus or at the far end of the dining table, it’s something we’ve all experienced. But things do seem to be getting out of hand both in personal as well as professional lives, what with descriptions of addictive behaviors related to checking social medial sites almost constantly and sleeping with one’s mobile phone under the pillow just in case someone might call—even a telemarketer. FoMo may be the 21st century equivalent of trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses or Smiths or Whites or Browns or ‘you-fill-in-the-name.’ An interesting FoMo study was done in Australia. More about that in my next blog.

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