Fear of Missing Out: Just an affliction of young adults?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series FoMO
Dilbert Fear of Missing Out FOMO

Scott Adams frequently lampoons workers who lose the ability to separate work anxiety from the rest of their lives.

Fear of Missing Out—FOMO for short—plagues many young adults who constantly feel they’re missing something great. Social media exacerbates the condition because it enables instant communication and updates about all the fantastic events you’re missing.

But, you don’t need to be a social media fanatic to suffer FOMO.

And you don’t need to be a young adult. In today’s world of work, many feel they’re missing out—missing the perfect job opening, a critical update, or the freshest gossip.

Is this your experience at work?

In the past, there seemed to be a clearer separation between work life and personal life. Today’s always-on 24/7 world of work is much different. The line between personal life and work life are blurring, and it’s often one’s personal life that suffers.

How pervasive is FOMO? Indeed.com, a major job site, conducted a survey to find out. They found that “an average of 45% of respondents missed co-workers or aspects of their job in some capacity while out of the office,” according to a report on the BusinessWire.

Missing your co-workers or aspects of you job may not sound like a bad thing per se. But it illuminates a larger issue. Detachment from work is healthy. Research on engagement at work shows that detachment replenishes the emotional batteries. Failing to disconnect or distance results in burnout. FoMo makes it harder than ever to detach from work.

Do you suffer FOMO in your work life?

Are you able to detach from work? If so, what works for you?

Start a conversation …

That’s the purpose of the OurValues project. We encourage civil discussion on important topics of the day. You are free to print out, repost and share these columns with friends. You can use them in your small group or class. Enjoy this week’s series!

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