Mr. Valderama looks across his classroom to see nothing but glowing screens and heads angled down. He shakes his head and takes a deep breath, with fear for future generations. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the newest, and trendiest, epidemic. This hashtag is now a full-blown 21st century disorder.
“I saw FOMO written on one of my brothers fraternity shirts,” Junior Hannah Witte said, “When I asked him about it he just said that it was the new YOLO.”
This paralyzing fear is sticking to the halls of Johnson High School as well as the college scene.
“I’m happy with my life right now,” senior Reid Graber said, “But I’m sure that there are some people…they stay at home and watch Netflix as they eat ice cream…with their cats.”
This fear is growing in prominence with the digital age of today, where social lives exist over the world wide web.
“Everyone knows what everyone is doing at all times,” junior Taylor Cantu said, “So many feel like they are left out.”
With FOMO running rampant, so do the insecurities among young adults.
“Everyone is insecure,” Cantu said, “And all of these social media sites-though I really do love them-bring out the worst in people. There are constant posts and fights and there isn’t any privacy…Everyone, in their own way, suffers from the fear of missing out.”
While what is so ordinary in the life of an average teenager, stupefies those of an older generation.
“…Students care too much,” teacher Mark Valderama said, “They’re children, I mean children care too much about nonsensical things…Kids get anxious when they don’t have access to their social media, or whatever.”
Those who have known life without technology such as cell phones, computers, and the internet, cannot-for the most part-even fathom the strength of that hand, which grasps today’s youth.
“I don’t even know what a hashtag is,” Valderama said, “…And I don’t care what people think.”
To them, FOMO is nothing more than a fad, fuel for an eye roll.
“FOMO,” Valderama said, “Is just another condition for psychiatrists to prescribe another chemical for children…”