FoMo, MoMo and JoMo or how social media impacts on users

In the class we have discussed the impact of social media on different areas of peoples activities such as journalism, business, advertising, public relations and so on and talked about what changes are connected with the advent of social media, but we have not talked about how social media impacts on their users as persons. Thereby the intensive integration of social media in our everyday life has a great impact on our perception of the world and our behaviour and today we cannot imagine our life without social media. As we got used to our smartphones and feel very uncomfortable forgetting it at home just as well as we feel uncomfortable when we do not have access to social media. And this is not surprising, because the technology enables us to have a very quick and easy way of communication. As people are social creatures, they need to communicate with other people sharing their experiences, thoughts, opinions etc. Social media have been part of our life for a quite long time already and people got used to it and take it for granted now. So if one is away from social network sites it could sometimes cause really big problems. The phenomena I’m talking about is called Fomo, Fear of missing out, and it is considered as the first social media disease. Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-21 um 19.32.25 As reported by mashable.com 56% of Social Media Users suffer from FOMO, being afraid of missing out on events, news and important status messages, if they do not have access to social networks. According to a German newspaper spiegel.de the abbreviation „FOMO“ has already become so present, that it was taken into the English Oxford Dictionary last year. Regarding these facts we can see the extent of the phenomenon. Probably each of us has already had this uncomfortable feeling discovering through social media that we have missed an event which certainly would like to go to, for example, an event in the university, a concert, a festival and so on. Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-21 um 19.32.48 Per se the fear of missing something out is not new. Spiegel.de gives following examples how FOMO appeared? Before the invention of social media and smartphones: “we stayed until the end of the not so exciting party”. Another example could be that some people have watched a particular TV series or program just to be able to talk about it in their community. But as the world was not so connected and the sources of information were limited in comparison to nowadays, FOMO could not develop to that extend that it would be a mass phenomenon. Postcards from vacation and a small talk with the colleges about our weekend gave us probably just a hundredth part of the information about what is happening around us. With the invention of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social media platforms the amount of information exploded dramatically, as well as the amount of perceived information about things that we miss everyday. Spiegel.de also provides the explanation of the phenomena by experts: “The unpleasant feeling that steals over us, if we scroll through pictures and status messages, is, according to Dan Ariely, professor of psychology at Duke University in North Carolina, the fear of having made ​​the wrong decision about how to spend our time. Unable to enjoy the moment, we are in a permanent “standby expectant excitement,” as it is called Bernhard Pörksen, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tübingen.” FoMo is not the only phenomena of this kind. It seems that to know that you are missing out some events is not as worth as not to know at all what is happening, because in the last case you could be hit by MoMo or Mystery of missing out. In the article about this social media phenomenon telegraph.co.uk defines MoMo in one of the articles as „the paranoia that stems from your friends not posting anything at all.” But as creative as social media users are, they have found an antidote for the social media disease: Jomo (Joy of missing out). You can watch what is happening, but here enjoy the miss conscious. Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-21 um 12.17.06 In conclusion, social media is a relatively new aspect of people’s life and it is definitively influencing a lot of aspects of it. Social media gives rise to the appearance of new phenomena, new terminology and redefines our perception of the world.

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