Do You Experience FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)

FOMO-Fear of Missing Out

By Dr. David Greenfield, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction


The fear of missing out (FOMO) as it implies is that we are so connected or “plugged in” to our digital devices that we actually experience fear or anxiety when we lose that electronic tether to the our Internet world. Whether that connection occurs via our smartphone, Ipad, laptop, or some other Internet–enabled digital device the result is essentially the same. We experience a withdrawal-like feeling when we either loose access or are afraid we might lose access. The whole premise of FOMO is that there is something going on in cyberspace that is better than what we are doing right now.  We might feel we will miss something important, or that we might see, via face book, twitter, or other social media, that people are living a better, more exciting life than we are living and we are somehow “missing out”.

We can be actively engaged in our daily life and enjoying ourselves but still feel an almost compulsive need to check our Smartphone, email, texts, tweets, or face book to see if there is something we […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog, FOMO, Internet Addiction, Personal, Stress, Unplug, V-A|Comments Off on Do You Experience FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)

Why do we love to text and email so much?

The lines that define Internet use and abuse have begun to blur in that many media and entertainment technologies utilize Internet or web-based access and therefore share many of the addictive elements. The basic psychological factors that account for the addictive nature of the Internet apply to all Internet-enabled technologies, as well many other digital media technologies.  Smartphone’s, PDA’s, Iphones, Ipads, tablet computers, and game systems all rely on Internet Technology and therefore subject to the same potential for abuse and addiction. There are many factors associated with Internet abuse and addiction, including overuse, misuse, and tolerance, and withdrawal, ease-of-access, instant gratification, boundaries, dissociation, disinhibition, and perceived anonymity. Perhaps the most potent contributor is the variable ratio reinforcement schedule that appears to create a slot-machine effect for the Internet and other digital media technologies. The Internet and by extension, all devices accessing it, have become miniature slot machines where we are responding to unconscious reinforcement patterns and expressions of Dopamine.   Texting, email, Facebook—even web surfing all respond to the same principles  We are seeing tremendous changes in how the world stores and accesses information and entertainment; the web has become the World’s hard drive and we are all tethered to […]

By |March 20th, 2012|Dr. Dave's Blog|Comments Off on Why do we love to text and email so much?