New Research Says Social Media ‘FOMO’ Can Lead To Anxiety, Depression

Essena O’Neill’s public takedown of the Instagram’s false standards has received some hefty scientific backing, with a new study showing the ‘fear of missing out’ to be a very real problem in Australian teens.
Aussies are under higher levels of anxiety and depression than previously reported, according to the latest results of the National Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey. Half of respondents also said they have FOMO in regards to “the seemingly perfect lives that others portray through social media.”

Although it’s easy for some to laugh off FOMO, researchers believe these feelings can lead some some individuals to deeper issues.
Flinders University’s Dr Mubarak Rahamathulla said “there is a very strong positive correlation between the hours spent on digital technology and higher stress and depression,” and that more needs to be done to distinguish the divide between the ‘the real world’ and reality presented on social media. 
O’Neill, the Instagram model who recently nuked her account after becoming disillusioned with the platform, said “it’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers.”

“It’s perfectly orchestrated self absorbed judgement. Social media allowed me to profit off deluding people.”

Psychologist Adam Ferrier shared the same sentiments, saying social media “makes it harder for people to feel happy and have gratitude for their own lives and that’s quite a debilitating and serious thing.”

“We’ve got an omnipresent force here that’s making people feel less satisfied and less happy with their own lives.”

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Story via ABC.
Image: Lewis Mulatero via Getty.