The last few years have been all about FOMO, or “Fear of missing out.”
Remember the time your friend posted a Facebook selfie at that secret pop-up dinner? FOMO! How about watching that video of your crew losing their minds at Coachella—without you? FOMO. And what did you reply when your BFF tweeted from Amy Schumer’s stand-up special? “Ugh! #Fomo!”
The term was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary two years ago, defined as, “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
So when we recently asked over 1,000 event-goers which social media platform gave them the worst FOMO in 2015, we were surprised to hear more than half say, “None.”
Have we finally reached FOMO fatigue? After all, we’re so used to seeing friends post every detail of their lives on social media that nothing is really that surprising anymore.
But if FOMO is on its way out in 2016, what’s on its way in?
Introducing (to you and your news feed)…GOMO, or, “Going out more often.” This year, millennials spent an average of $803 on live experiences while their boomer parents threw down an average of $640 painting the town.
The shift towards GOMO
Looking back, 2015 was about moving away from materialism, and towards experientialism. Millennial shoppers say they put half of their holiday cash toward experiences this year, and a 2014 Eventbrite survey found that 60% of people had a resolution to spend more on experiences than material things over the next 12 months. Consider that mission accomplished; nearly 40% of 18-25 year olds said they went out more in 2015 than they did the previous year, and Eventbrite currently processes about two million tickets per week thanks to these doers.
So what were people going out more often to do, you ask?
- Experiential dining via pop-up restaurants: Pop-up dinners popped up all over the place this year, continuing the trend of massive growth (82%) we first saw in 2014.
- Fandom events and Cosplay: 2015 saw Fandom events move from nerd niche to geek peak. So you can welcome that strange fellow from your physics class into the mainstream now.
- Music festivals and concerts: 85% of music ticket buyers on Eventbrite went to at least one concert or festival per month this year. That’s a lot of flower crowns.
- Fun runs: Color runs, mud runs, zombie runs. Yep, races are still inventing ways to make running enjoyable—and people can’t get enough!
Okay, so FOMO is still a thing
Despite the increase in GOMO, more than forty percent of people we talked to copped to the fact that social media platforms do make them feel jealous of others’ social lives. The biggest FOMO offender? Facebook, called out by 60% of people. This is not totally surprising, given that three quarters also said they use the addictive social network at least once a month.
Photo-sharing app, Instagram, was also responsible for fueling its own share of FOMO for a quarter of those we talked to, followed by Snapchat, which 17% named as the top FOMO-inducing platform. Twitter registered low on the FOMO-meter at just under 5%, and new kid on the block, Periscope, was cited by about 2% of people.
Even with a banner year of getting out more often, it’s normal to feel a twinge of regret as we look back on the last 12 months and set our sights on the new year ahead. Nearly half of millennials (46%) and one third of boomers felt they missed out by not attending a music festival in 2015. And more than 60% of both generations want to attend more concerts in 2016. And the GOMO beat goes on…
If only we had a hot tub time machine
FOMO ultimately comes down to not being somewhere you really want to be. Looking back on the past twelve months, these are the top events people wish they’d checked off their bucket list:
- Super Bowl – One word: Tailgating.
- Sundance Film Festival – Is it the films or the stars that make this fest so appealing?
- Food & Wine Classic in Aspen – The food is good, the wine is great, and Aspen is simply gorgeous.
- Comic-Con – Like we said, fandoms have entered the mainstream in a big way. So if you want in on Comic-Con, get in line.
- World Series – The American pastime still ranks, and people wish they were there to witness the Royals spank the Mets.
- The Great American Beer Festival – Craft beer is so hot right now (and virtual beer doesn’t give you quite the same buzz).
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – This fest’s lineup just keeps getting bigger and better every year, serving up a little something for everyone—with a heaping side of fried catfish.
- Kentucky Derby – Because drinking a mint julep in a big hat alone on your couch just isn’t the same.
- Fleetwood Mac concert – Honestly, who can resist the witchy yet wonderful Stevie Nicks?
- The Pope’s Visit to the United States – It’s unclear whether this was driven by religious zeal or a burning desire to see the Pope eat a Philly cheesesteak.
Whether your 2015 was filled with FOMO, GOMO, or some combination of the two, a brand new year offers endless opportunity to go out and seek new experiences. We’ll cheers to that.
Happy New Year, go-getters!
Flickr photo credit: bobostudio