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Updated Nov 05, 2019 at 01:13PM EST by 13acab12.

Added Oct 19, 2014 at 04:03PM EDT by Don.

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FOMO is an acronym for "fear of missing out," a type of social anxiety in which a person feels as if they are missing an important experience or opportunity.


"FOMO" was coined by marketing strategist Dan Herman in a paper titled "FOMO, the ailment of our cultural movement" published in the Journal of Brand Management in 2000.[5]


On May 10th, 2004, the Harvard news website Harbus Online[6] published an article titled "Social Theory at HBS: McHinnis' Two FOs," which compared FOMO to FOBO (fear of a better option). On October 2nd, 2006, Urban Dictionary[2] user Beaqon submitted an entry for "Fomo." On November 18th, 2008, the CitysearchAustralia YouTube channel uploaded an ad which promoted a search engine as a cure for FOMO (shown below).

On April 9th, 2011, the New York Times[4] published an article about social anxiety caused by social media platforms. On May 16th, 2013, The Telegraph[3] published an article about FOMO, which cited a psychological study that found those who experienced the anxiety the most didn't have their "basic psychological needs" met. On May 20th, CollegeHumor released a parody trailer for a horror movie about FOMO (shown below). In the first year, the video gained over 1.1 million views and 1,800 comments.

On October 16th, 2014, CNN aired a segment on teens who experience FOMO through excessive social media use (shown below).

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External References

[1] Boston Magazine – Fomo History

[2] Urban Dictionary – fomo

[3] The Telegraph – FOMO

[4] New York Times – Feel like a wallflower?&

[5] Fear of Missing Out – FOMO

[6] Harbus – Social Theory at HBS

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