If you haven’t heard the time FOMO by now, it’s basically a fun little acronym for “fear of missing out.” and this may come as no real shock to you, but according to New York Magazine, social media (gasp!) is the leading cause of FOMO.
In a 2013 survey published in Computers In Human Behavior, scientists found that social media and depression are part of a destructive cycle. The more time you spend on social media, the more likely you’ll feel like you’re missing out.
Being dissatisfied with your own life makes it appear as though everyone else is having a better time on Earth than you are, which leads to higher levels of FOMO. The higher the level, the greater the risk of depression. Scientists also found that young men have the highest levels of FOMO out of all other demographics.
“For people who feel very secure in their relationships, their relationships are important to them, but they don’t feel compelled to always be connected,” study researcher Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex in England, told LiveScience. “Sometimes, it’s good to insulate yourself from the world of possibilities.”
So the next time you’re home binge watching Being Mary Jane season 3 on Netflix and scrolling past people having the time of their lives on a Saturday night, it might be best to put the phone down.