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Definition of FOMO

It is an expression that has become popular with young people on social networks. It is the acronym for the original English expression “Fear of missing out”, whose translation into Spanish is “miedo a perderse algo”.

However, it is defined in dictionaries as the feeling of worry about missing out on exciting events or actions that other people are doing, especially due to the use of social networks.


  1. Fear
  2. Fear of missing out on something
  3. Missing time on social networks


This term was created by Dr. Dan Herman in the late 1990s and since that time he has studied it as a sociocultural, motivational and personality trait phenomenon, considering it extremely significant in the development of consumer psychology.

Dr. Herman concluded that “the FOMO experience is based on the fear of: ‘what am I going to miss because I don’t have the time or the money, or because I have another barrier of some other kind.’ It’s an experience that feels a bit like being a kid in a beautiful colorful candy store, with only four in your pocket.”

FOMO is also known as a psychological pathology described as “a generalized apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.” This type of social anxiety is characterized by a desire to be continually connected to what others are doing.


It should be noted that FOMO has not appeared with social networks, but has been popularized by them.

This is a very old pathology that has been magnified with social networks, since these help us to manage great information and in turn, to compare our life with that of many people we see there and this generates envy, depression and a fear that our time is running out and we have not taken advantage of life’s opportunities.