A new survey claims that 56 per cent of people using social media suffer from FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. (http://mashable.com/2013/07/09/fear-of-missing-out/ ) It is an interesting and quite scary statistic which shows how important updates on events, news and status changes are to users. I have an insatiable appetite for news and through my social networks I can find out what is happening anywhere at any time. I can get breaking news and I can know things before they hit the rolling news channels.
Why is it that people have suddenly got so interested in what is happening around them? Truth is I don’t think it is a new phenomenon it is the traditional gossip sharing over the garden wall only now it takes place through the new technology that is available. Many years ago people probably had FOMO but about whether they were given enough detail about events and news from their street and their local community.
What the development of social media and the possibility of FOMO have done is to make it even more critical for organisations, businesses and groups to share updates and information through social networks. Clearly, if people can be engaged with the information that is being provided they will want to learn more and share more about what they understand. This is the power of the social element of the networks. The worst thing for organisations to do is to raise expectations by venturing into social media only to get scared and beat a hasty retreat. The vacuum that creates will be filled by other things, other news, updates from competitors, and unsubstantiated rumours.
I don’t think FOMO is such a bad thing if you recognise its existence and harness the positive elements that it brings. For one I am more informed about events and news than ever before and it happens at an exceptional speed. I also feel liberated that my information does not have to come through ‘official’ sources it can come from anywhere and anyone. I also know that I can search for key words to get the latest information or review what is trending to find out why.
This all probably means that I am a social media addict but I am quite happy with my situation. Anyone else out there suffering from FOMO?