By Mitch Cohen
FOMO is short for fear of missing out, which can be particularly an issue on Valentine’s Day.
When people think of Valentine’s Day, often they think of couples spending time together. However, this holiday has a downside as it’s challenging for single people who have to deal with FOMO otherwise known as fear of missing out. This means feeling left out when others are having fun, celebrating being couples with gifts and public displays of affection.
Of course, the candy and roses holiday isn’t the only time of year people experience FOMO. Miracle Duffin, a junior nursing major at Adelphi, believes FOMO is bad all year because people want to be involved instead of being alone. “It’s not just Valentine's Day, people have the constant fear of missing out. That’s just how society is,” said Duffin.
According to website Appsthatdeliver.com, FOMO is mainly experienced by the millennial generation, 69 percent of them. Making matters worse is that some people cause FOMO in their own friend group. This point relates to me because I've been in friend groups where I felt left out. While many people desire a relationship, others focus on themselves. Anthony Bitalvo, a sophomore economics major, feels no different about FOMO because he prioritizes himself and his studies. “When you focus on yourself, you have nothing to miss out on,” said Bitalvo.
Maybe that’s why there are people who use this holiday to celebrate self-love. According to fee.org, 35 percent of Gen-Z use Valentine's Day to purchase a gift for themselves. I think this is a good alternative for single people because despite not being in love, they can feel validation without the need to be in a relationship.
With how common FOMO is, does social standing make it easier to fall in love? Brian Combari, a freshman exercise science major, believes that social class makes it easier for people to find relationships. “[Body] language and how people respond to what you say impacts your social standing,” said Combari. Social standing dictates opportunities you have because by acting kind, it’s more likely you won’t experience FOMO. If you are rude, you won’t have many social opportunities.
While being social is easy for many, it’s much harder for others. Beth Ceriello, a sophomore history major, believes that there are people who have a hard time finding friends. “Sometimes they need a push to put themselves out there,” she said.
According to Psychologytoday.com, leaving your comfort zone allows you to deal with change in a much better way. For me, using dating sites such as Bumble helped me develop conversation skills with women. The question is FOMO caused by engaging too much or not engaging enough?
It’s easy to feel lonely when people are too shy to engage. Darius Jones, a freshman music major, believes that people are afraid because they don’t want to be offensive. “People are afraid of getting judged,” he said.
This is true when someone joins a new friend group. According to senior communications sciences and disorders major Anjana Menghrajani, FOMO is caused by not feeling included. “If something draws you in with its exclusiveness and you want it, you feel left out if you can’t have it,” said Menghrajani. This happens in places like clubs, as noise makes it difficult to engage with others.
FOMO is a challenging part of Valentine’s Day because it makes single people feel excluded. But you don’t have to accept that. What’s most important this Valentine’s Day is spending time with friends, family and those who care about you.