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Internet Addiction and FoMO

November 23, 2011 by  
Filed under November 1st

Dr. Hamid of Columbia University, gave a talk today on Mental Disorders & Related Medications at the Good Shepherd Services (NYC). Within his fascinating presentation came the obvious topic (for mental health practitioners) of the DSM-V. The DSM, for those of you not in practice, is the clinician’s handbook to operationally defining mental health disorders, and it’s just on the cusp of its latest revision.

Each time that the DSM is revised, various groups will “lobby” for new diagnosis to be acknowledged. For example, there are some lobbying for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Hoarding, Parental Alienation Syndrome, and Internet Addiction to be included. Within topic of “Internet Addiction” there has been talk about “FoMO”.

FoMO is the “Fear of Missing Out”, and the theory states that, along with modern technology’s instant gratification, a “fear of missing out” can emerge. For example, one might chat while driving, text while at dinner, or facebook while in class….People are SO connected that they are DISCONNECTING. To do so, after all, could mean “missing out”… and missing out on what? Without checking who’s to say! But, perhaps (one with FoMO might think)… “something just a little more important/interesting than that which I am currently engaged with!”

Here in America there is one telephone company that has completely marketed the “FoMO mentality.” It shows people responding quickly and efficiently to social media information streamed on their phone, compared to a delay of a few seconds from another person’s phone. They quickly respond to the other “Oh, we knew (about someone’s break-up… for example). That’s SO 8 seconds ago!”

To some extent most people’s lives have been affected by the rapidly evolving world of technology. Most feel bad when someone says, “Didn’t you get that email that I sent you?” (… written 24 hours ago). As the immediacy of communication increases, we will need to work on ensuring that our personal boundaries and priorities remain intact. Personally I have tried to subscribe to the phrase “e-mail” does not stand for “emergency-mail”….

For more about FoMO:


One Comment on "Internet Addiction and FoMO"

  1. dessa chavez on Wed, 7th Dec 2011 4:50 pm 

    What a fascinating article! Thank you very much!