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Fear of Missing Out: Here’s How to Cope

By Stacey Feintuch
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
December 21, 2022

This article is part of a series on how to cope with common feelings that can be tough to experience. Here, experts provide simple strategies for acknowledging and managing fear of missing out.

You see a friend post on social media about her elaborate holiday décor, and you immediately start stressing about how you can do something similar. You purchase lottery tickets just because you see others are doing the same, even though it’s not in your budget. Or maybe you feel panic because you weren’t invited to a neighbor’s barbecue. If this describes you, you might be experiencing FOMO.

What Is FOMO?

FOMO stands for “fear of missing out.” The term was introduced in 2004 to describe a phenomenon observed on social media: people feeling as if they were missing out on activities they saw others posting about, and then exhibiting compulsive behavior in an effort to belong.