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What does FOMO Mean? Tips to get over FOMO for Teens

What does FOMO Mean?

FOMO is the acronym for fear of missing out. The Oxford dictionary refers to it as that anxious or nervous feeling that a person has when they notice they are not participating in a social event either because they did not feel like attending or they were not invited.

FOMO makes people feel they have a low social rank which in turn creates inferiority feelings or anxiety. FOMO is common amongst people ages 18-33. According to a study, around two-thirds of people in this age group admitted to experiencing FOMO once in a while.

The causes of FOMO

It is a historical behavior for people to know where they stand socially. Since the advent of social media, the fear of missing out (FOMO) has become increasingly evident among young people who want to be online checking out the status and posts of their friends. So if they missed out on a party they feel less cool than those who attended. FOMO is caused by the following:

  • Activities of friends both online and offline

Cause of FOMO - Online and Offline Friend Activites

FOMO is caused by our friend’s activities that we often feel are left out since we are not part of them or were not invited. It lowers our self-worth and makes us feel not loved or appreciated. As a result, it lowers our self-esteem.

  • Having many options

Cause of FOMO - Having Many Options

Our fear of missing out can occur without our friends in the picture. It can be caused by the possibilities of our free time. We might have regretted being in a particular place at a time when we would be having more fun at another place. For example, you might have gone for a family vacation but you preferred to be home alone enjoying all the privacy by yourself.

  • Staying in the loop

Cause of FOMO - Stay in the loop

This means staying on our smartphones every time to get news updates. It is not possible to be up to date with every news and everything else. People that suffer from FOMO feel there is every need to get informed on almost everything.

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Tips to Get Over FOMO for Teens

One major way for teenagers to stop feeling FOMO is by practicing a psychological trick called reframing. This is a mental practice that helps them look at situations differently. It really helps in changing negative thoughts about themselves. The following are ways that your kid can start reframing their minds.

  • Control negative thoughts.

Tips to Get Over FOMO - Control Negative Thoughts

A teen can track their negative thoughts in a journal. This helps them keep track of how often they feel negative about their lives. They should also note what they were doing when those thoughts occurred. Later you can help your teenagers go through the journal and find out a pattern to the negativity and what to do to feel good about themselves and their lives.

  • Replace toxic thoughts with rational ones

Tips to Get Over FOMO - Replce Toxic Thoughts

When a teenager tracks negative thoughts it helps them realize the negative words they might be saying to themselves and replace them with positive words. This helps them redirect their thinking from negative thinking to positive thinking.

  • Get a break from your phone and do a different activity.

Tips to Get Over FOMO - Get a break from your phone

This might seem to be a natural cure but just switching the phone cannot erase the feelings of FOMO. It can still give a feeling of missing out even if they are not on social media at all. The most important part is switching off the phone and engaging in different activities like going for a walk or engaging in volunteering programs.

Another great way might be to set up specific times of the day to check updates on social media. This way, a teenager is not glued to their screens but are flexible in engaging with other important activities in their lives like schoolwork or house chores.

  • Make your availability realistic

Tips to Get Over FOMO - Make Your Availability Realistic

It is important for your kids to understand that they cannot be everywhere and do everything at the same time. The photos that their friends might post having fun might make them feel like they are missing out. They should however not be deceived by this since it might imply something else altogether.

They should never let the fact that they missed out on some events impact their view about themselves. Advice them not to feel that they live a boring life or do not engage in fun activities.

  • Practice the art of mindfulness

Tips to Get Over FOMO - Practice the art of mindfulness

This is an exercise of intensifying focus on what you are doing at the moment. It can be walking in a park or listening to music. One can also focus on the sense of smell in the surroundings. You can also feel your heart beating. This practice keeps your mind away from distractions that can cause feelings of FOMO. This practice does not bring the room in your mind for feelings of anxiety or worry.

FamiSafe A Tool to get a better understanding of your kids

FamiSafe is an application that ensures that your teenage kids are safe on the internet. It enables you to monitor their online behavior and even alert you on inappropriate content that your kid might be accessing. With FamiSafe you should rest assured of noticing early the signs of FOMO and how to deal with this problem early before it causes irreversible damage.

There are several features in this application that guarantees the security of your child while online. You can also use these features to prevent the tendency of FOMO from setting in your child. In the modern world, it is very hard to restrict your kids from accessing the internet when every other kid has a smartphone. It is, however, important to monitor their online behavior to protect them from the dangers that lurk on the World Wide Web. FamiSafe has the following features that help monitor your child’s behavior online:

  • Activity report

This feature enables you to monitor the installed and uninstalled applications on your kid’s phone. You get to have a picture of how your kid’s time is spent.

  • Website filter

This feature allows you to filter websites and view browsing history. It enables you to create a safe online environment for kids by blocking inappropriate websites. You can also check incognito internet history remotely.

  • Detect suspicious photo

This feature can detect suspicious photos like nudes or porn photos in your kid’s gallery and send instant alerts. This helps the parent notice signs of porn addiction at an early stage.

  • Detect suspicious text

This feature monitors text messages in social media applications. You get to create offensive words and get real-time alerts when they are detected on your child’s phone. This can be made possible by creating focus keywords from website search history and texts from social media apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and others.

  • Web Filtering
  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker & App Activity Report
  • Screen Time Limit & Schedule
  • Explicit Content & Suspicious Photos Detection

In conclusion, FOMO is a behavior that not only affects kids but also adults as well. It is a normal behavior that has been accelerated by the social media age. The world is now more connected and we can view the activities of other people in real-time and as a result has led to uncontrollable cases of FOMO feelings which have now become addictive and affect our various aspects of social life. With FamiSafe and other Cognitive Behavioral Therapies discussed in this article, it is possible to manage FOMO to healthy standards. Therefore, download and install your FamiSafe app today!

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Joanne Croft

staff Editor