We’ve all had that feeling, the Fear Of Missing Out, when we see our friends party posts on Facebook or champagne swilling photos on Instagram. FOMO might at first seem a harmless enough state of mind, but it can cost you money. Ask yourself these questions. Have you ever gone out to party, even though you can’t really afford it, because of what you see your friends doing on social media? Have you ever made an impulse purchase because of what you’ve seen somebody within your network recommend or buy? If yes, then FOMO is probably costing you more money than you think.
Millennials Worst Affected
A new study carried out by Citizen relations Canada revealed that over 2/3 of Canadians aged between 18 to 30 made a reactive purchase within 24 hours of an emotional experience because of FOMO. The fact that social media provides an instant visual context for millennials to see what their friends are doing, eating, drinking and buying is influencing this fear of missing out and consequential spending.
Over half of all the 18 to 30 year olds surveyed said that by seeing what is happening on their social networks they are influenced to ‘live large’ and often beyond their means. The main thing that caused the fear of missing out was seeing friends on trips. Other significant triggers are parties and dining.
Getting Over FOMO
If FOMO is getting a grip on your life and finances take a step back from your social networks. If you’ve had a bad day or are at home by yourself don’t immediately turn to social media. FOMO is waiting for you if you do. Try to do something different if you can, focus on your own life and not what other people are doing. If you do end up getting the FOMO pang, don’t react, just plan to do something similar when you can. Phone your friends the next day and find out how that awesome night really went. Chances are it wasn’t quite as good as your news feed made out.