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Jessica Gerow
Sherrin Frances/ENGL 111*08
1 March 2016
MRP Outline
The evolution of social media trends and their effects on human behavior
I. Rising Social Media Trends
A. Fear of missing out
B. Social Anxiety and Behaviors
C. Research questions w/Thesis
1. The research will explain how the evolution of social media brought about the
origin of FOMO, how it is harmful and what one can do about it, and the rising concern
that social media plays too prominent of a role in society.
II. The American Dialect Society brought FOMO to a new level of linguistic significance, and
with FOMO came its four counterparts.
A. Members of the American Dialect Society are chosen by their specialty in language
and the study of how words are used.
1. Their role in the literary world plays an important part in getting the publics
attention on certain matters.
B. Mystery of missing out
C. Fear of joining in
D. Bros missing out
E. Slowly missing out
F. Joy of missing out

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III. Barters thought the interpretation of a text makes much difference of the impact it creates,
which gives the reader a lot of power along with the author,
A. This relationship is very similar to that of social media quirks.
IV. FOMO is becoming more harmful due to the constant access of technology, false intentions
of social media, and neglect to manage it.
A. Social media is a growing source of communication, but the ease of access to it via
phones and internet causes a dependency resulting in FOMO.
B. The problems that occur from the obsession over events that are going on, with or
without a person, causes false emotions.
C. When a person is struggling with FOMO, there are ways to reduce the anxiety by
withdrawing from the actions that initiate it
V. While social media may be a place to share stories and laughs, too much of it can impact selfesteem, influence ones behavior, and become a compulsive time-eating activity; society should
cut back on social media usage.
A. Self-esteem is what one uses to judge their own self worth, and it is not something
that can easily be built back up once it is broken down.
B. From the way people communicate to the strong influence it takes on the decisions
they make, social media plays a part in ones behavior.
C.Technology is becoming such a social norm that it takes up majority of peoples time
whether for work or entertainment and in many cases it is a compulsion.

MRP Rough Draft


The evolution of social media trends and their effects on human behavior

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The use of online networking has taken over the internet by storm, and with it is coming a
wave of trends that change the face of how society is interacting. The fear of missing out has
recently become a new concern in social media, yet in its path it has been said to cause a long list
of social anxieties and even behavioral influences. Roland Barthes in his text The Death of the
Author had stated language knows a subject, not a person (145). When people make
assumptions about a post on social media, it is their own interpretation of those words. There is
no definite meaning attached to those words, yet it has so much power over the current
generation. The research will explain how the evolution of social media brought about the origin
of FOMO, how it is harmful and what one can do about it, and the rising concern that social
media plays too prominent of a role in society.
It all began with FOMO: The fear of missing out. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as
Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often
aroused by posts seen on a social media website. The American Dialect Society chose FOMO as
the word of the year in 2011, bringing it into the limelight. This brought on a sudden onslaught of
memes. There are five main acronyms used in relation to social events and the emotions they
may arouse. The American Dialect Society brought FOMO to a new level of linguistic
significance, and with FOMO came its five counterparts.
Members of the American Dialect Society are chosen by their specialty in language and
the study of how words are used. Each year they choose a word by voting on nominations
selected from tweets, emails, and words posted on to their facebook page. Aside from the word
of the year, there are subcategories like most creative, most outrageous, and FOMO was listed
under most useful, The American Dialect Society offers publications like their quarterly journal,

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an annual conference, and the infamous word of the year. Their role in the literary world plays an
important part in getting the publics attention on certain matters.
The first phrase to offspring from FOMO was MOMO:the mystery of missing out. The
term derives from the absence of events on social media, and because there are no posts or
pictures, one suspects there are great things going on without them and people are too busy to
post anything ("After FOMO: 5 Trending Acronyms for 2016"). Morwenna Ferrier from The
Guardian stated When Bowie died, the coolest response was to grieve silently, then maybe post
something a few days later. What is said in a post can be just as trivial as the time frame it is
posted in.
On the flipside of FOMO is FOJI, That fear of no-one
following you or not knowing what to post ("After FOMO: 5
Trending Acronyms for 2016"). A common example of this
would be when a person first joins a social media site like
Twitter. The format of the posts and the etiquette of the
language such as hashtags can be very intimidating. There are
many blogs and even graphics such as the one presented on
Google that can help.
Photo by blog.bleacherreport.com

The acronym BROMO when referring to social media describes the thoughtful act of
one's bros not posting pictures and statuses of an event they missed to avoid rubbing things
in (Ferrier). Not to be confused with a bromance, it is to prevent the feeling of missing out.
Ferrier also stated that it can come off at patronizing, it may insinuate that the event and
people the friend missed out on was more superior.

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Logging off of social media can still result in one of these new memes. Ferrier describes
this as SLOMO, the absence of social media usage causes a flood of posts when one finally
checks backs in. Seeing all of the things that were going on, that one had missed out on, can
result in negative or positive response, the large amount of information of someones feed can be
depressing as well as engaging.
JOMO is the the joy of missing out. Yahoo Health described it as
relishing alone time, letting go of needing to be in the know, and
unplugging from emails, text, social networks, and events in an effort to
embrace solitude and cultivate ones relationship to ones own self. It is
often confused with FOMO, as the fear of missing out is a negative social
anxiety, but the joy of missing out is a positive independent experience.
Photo by artifb.com

The fear of missing out has brought on a whole new perspective of social media usage.
The American Dialect Society recognized the acronym for this reason. From MOMO to JOMO
there is an obvious trend between all the phrases and the memes that accompany them. With the
ability to identify what type of social anxiety social media is causing, there are more possibilities
in preventing the harmful attributes it may have on a person ("8 Ways to Embrace JOMO: The
Joy of Missing Out"). FOMO being one of the words of the year in 2011 took a stab at social
anxiety, its popularity only helping bring awareness. The five counterparts; MOMO, FOJI,
BROMO, SLOMO, and JOMO, serve as important functions in a world ruled by social media.
The phrases are useful, thats why the American Dialect Society voted FOMO into such a
category, and into the books.

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Roland Barthes emphasizes the reader in his essay, challenging the original idea of an
author. This is an important idea to consider when everything that is online is so controversial in
its motives. It is up to the viewer to decipher how it is to be understood. One can take a photo as
an offensive and obscene image, or think the complete opposite and laugh at it. Barthes had also
said to give a text an author is to impose a limit on that text (147). A post may not be so
personal unless one find out it was written by a specific person. The interpretation of a post does
make a lot of difference, which gives the reader a lot of power along with the author, Barthes saw
this relationship and it is very similar to that of social media quirks.
When walking into a public place, there is no doubt of the presence of technology and the
familiar sight of heads being buried into their phones. According to an IDC Research report,
eighteen to forty four year olds who own smartphones spend more than two hours a day
communicating with people via messaging or social media on their phones. With this growth in
social media, a new social anxiety called FOMO is becoming more apparent. The fear of missing
out itself, though, is not a good thing. The phrase may be useful in decreasing social media usage
or diagnosing certain behaviors. FOMO is becoming more harmful due to the constant access of
technology, false intentions of social media, and neglect to manage it.
Social media is a growing source of communication, but the ease of access to it via
phones and internet causes a dependency resulting in FOMO. Fifty percent of respondents in the
2015 National Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey said they felt the fear of missing out on
their friends' inside jokes and events, as well as the chance to show they're having fun on social
media (Navarro). It is happening all over the world, and in large numbers. Those who
constantly look to their smartphones for stimulation and connectedness may eventually lose their
skills in face-to-face interactions ("A Culture of Smartphone Dependence"). Constantly

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communicating through technology is causing a gap between that physical communication
which can cause social anxiety when people are put in those situations and they are used to the
safety of being behind their phone. Social media is everywhere: phones, tablets, computers,
anything that can access the internet and most of it is mobile. This can make it harder for
someone struggling with FOMO to avoid seeing things they may not want to, the temptation is
everywhere when boredom strikes. In "A Culture of Smartphone Dependence South University
compared the addiction to phones similar to substance abuse in the sense that people will go to
extreme lengths to have it.
The problems that occur from the obsession over events that are going on, with or
without a person, causes false emotions. What we see of others online isnt a full representation
of their lives. Instead, its personal social-media marketing (Luman). Often one will compare
themselves with who they see on social media by their appearance or what they may be doing,
this can cause people to feel bad about themselves. A 2014 study done by the Journal of
Behavioral Addictions found a correlation between depression and anxiety with higher social
media usage. This can also play a part in peer pressure when others take part in a movement or
an event on facebook to fit a certain standard. The fear and stress that is being caused by not only
FOMO but by what is actually presented on the internet, it needs to be dealt with.
When a person is struggling with FOMO, there are ways to reduce the anxiety by
withdrawing from the actions that initiate it. One step is to take a break from social media all
together; whether it be a few days or a few weeks, the time spent away from a phone or computer
can open a person up to activities they have been missing (Luman). Luman had also suggested
software apps such as Moment for iOS or Breakfree for Android, these are designed to track the
amount of time spent on social media and one can set limits for themselves. Will Welch in Do

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you suffer from #FOMO states that one of the key factors in overcoming the anxiety associated
with FOMO is to identify that it is present, and to accept that one must work to manage it. In his
article he concluded that when one has the balance they need for their social life, they will have a
sense of JOMO: the joy of missing out.
The fear of missing out has manifested over many years, before social media it was
aroused by the thought of other social events, such as parties or sporting games. The presence of
social media has taken it to a whole new level, causing an addiction of what is being viewed by
other people, and the mystery of what is not. The constant use of technology has caused a
reliance on it and what results from it. FOMO is inevitable, everyone in some sense cares about
what other people are doing and what they think of them, it is human. When the simple curiosity
turns into a constant anxiety, there are steps that should be taken to limit the unnecessary stress it
may put on a person. The American Dialect Society chose this phrase because of its current
importance and to bring attention to it, helping people to recognize and understand it.
Society is conforming to technology standards at an alarming rate, ones whole identity
can be defined by the information in their phone. Kathryn Gregory in the McClatchy-Tribune
Business News pointed out how it is becoming harder for people to differentiate between their
virtual life and social life. While humans are social creatures, there are problems that arise when
they become too dependent on what others may think of them. FOMO touches on the mental
strain of social media dependencies, but physical behavior changes can result from these feelings
of ostracism as well, leading to an uproar of internal conflicts (Abel, Buff, and Burr 33-34).
While social media may be a place to share stories and laughs, too much of it can impact selfesteem, influence ones behavior, and become a compulsive time-eating activity; society should
cut back on social media usage.

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Self-esteem is what one uses to judge their own self worth, and it is not something that
can easily be built back up once it is broken down. Authors Abel, Buff, and Burr of Social
Media and the Fear of Missing Out: Scale Development and Assessmentcreated a case study in
the Journal of Business & Economics Research to measure the levels of FOMO that are created
by different types of social media. In the journal, the literature evaluates the effects social media
has on a person, particularly different traits of self-esteem. Posts on social media that arouse
FOMO are often of events or parties, maybe pictures, that cause a person to compare himself.
This can cause feelings of inadequacy, inadequacy can lead to feelings of inferiority, and further
down the list of insecurities. When people are less satisfied with what theyre seeing, they begin
to browse for more. This can cause social anxiety, and actually form into risk factors for
depression (33-35) This isnt just with feelings of FOMO, any usage of online networking can
cause pressures and anxiety that may not have been there otherwise. It is a large influence in
many peoples life, and all the time spent on it is not healthy for ones lifestyle decisions.
It is becoming a new channel for communication, knowledge, entertainment, and even
self expression (Abel, Buff, and Burr 36). Abdul Basit, the author of Social Media influences
Consumers, compared social networking to a double edged sword in reference to retail
marketing. Conversations on social media about brands, products, and their features play a
strong role in influencing purchase decisions (Basit). A person might see a group of people they
look up to using a certain product, which in return would make them more apt to buy it because
that person associates their peers with it. This y be considered a problem because in some cases it
becomes peer pressure, or in another sense self-expression can be taken out of control and
victimize people from a global standpoint. With the internet comes power, and one has to make
the decision on how they should use that.

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Technology is becoming such a social norm that it takes up majority of peoples time
whether for work or entertainment, and in many cases it is a compulsion. Lulu Chang wrote in
her article Americans Spend an Alarming Amount of Time Checking Social Media On Their
Phones that the average consumer in the U.S. spends 4.7 hours on social media, and thats not
even the highest compared with other countries. Kathryn Gregory said the need to be connected
to emails and phones 24/7 has caused this type of FOMO; in an upcoming society it seems there
is always something going on online. In Social Media and the Fear of Missing Out: Scale
Development and Assessment it was described as a habitual and addictive behavior (Abel, Buff,
and Burr 36).
Online networking is inescapable, in the generation of today it is instilled in the
professional field as well as for personal communication between friends and family. When the
Social media aspect becomes such an important part of ones day that they start prioritizing it and
making judgements based on influences it has caused, that is when it is time to take a step back.
It should only be a factor in ones day to day life, independent moments and being able to
communicate face to face are all human traits that technology can not provide. Humans were not
made to run 24/7 and share all their thoughts, every event, sad times. Space away from a lit up
screen will do a person good for not only their mental health, but as they learn to make better
decisions, one can find himself having more free time as well.

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Works Cited
"8 Ways to Embrace JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out". Yahoo Health. n.p. 19 Sept. 2014. Web.
03 Feb.2016. https://www.yahoo.com/health/8-ways-to-embrace-jomo-the-joy-ofmissing-out-97585805333.html
Abel, Jessica P., Cheryl L. Buff, and Sarah A. Burr. "Social Media and the Fear of Missing Out:
Scale Development and Assessment." Journal of Business & Economics Research
(Online) 14.1 2016): 33. ProQuest. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. http://0search.proquest.com.library.svsu.edu/docview/1757523519/EABCF8327DA34FEPQ/1?
accountid=960

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"A Culture of Smartphone Dependence". South University. n.p. 18 July 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
https://www.southuniversity.edu/WhoWeAre/Newsroom/Blog/A-Culture-of-SmartphoneObsession>
"After FOMO: 5 Trending Acronyms for 2016". The School of English. n.p. 22 Jan. 2016. Web.
01 Feb. 2016. http://www.londonschool.se/afterfomo5trendingacronymsfor2016?lang=sv
American Dialect Society. n.p. n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2016. <http://www.americandialect.org/>
Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author." Image, Music, Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New
York: Hill and Wang, 1978. 142-48. Print.
Basit, Abdul. "Social Media Influences Consumers." McClatchy - Tribune Business News 31
Dec 2015. ProQuest. Web. 17 Feb. 2016 <http://0search.proquest.com.library.svsu.edu/docview/1752513883?accountid=960>.
Chang, Lulu. "Americans Spend an Alarming Amount of Time Checking Social Media on Their
Phones." Digital Trends. n.p. 13 June 2015. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/informate-report-social-media-smartphone-use/.
Ferrier, Morwenna. "After Fomo: Five More Feelings of Angst in the Social Media Age." The
Guardian. n.p. 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.
http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2016/jan/18/fomo-five-more-feelingsangst-social-media-acronyms
Gregory, Kathryn. "Social Media can Create 'Fear of Missing Out'." McClatchy - Tribune
Business News 05 Feb. 2012. ProQuest. Web. 21 Feb. 2016. http://0search.proquest.com.library.svsu.edu/docview/919979761/26F240EA8B6C42E7PQ/1?
accountid=960

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Luman, Stuart. "Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out". Nir and Far. Ed. Nir. n.p. n.d. Web. 20
Jan. 2016. <http://www.nirandfar.com/2015/01/fomo.html>
Navarro, Alyssa. "#FOMO Leads To Depression And Anxiety In Teen Social Media Users." Tech
Times. n.p. 09 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
<http://www.techtimes.com/articles/104417/20151109/fomo-leads-to-depression-andanxiety-in-teen-social-media-users.htm>
Welch, Will. "The GQ Guide to Getting Over #FOMO." GQ. Cond Nast. 23 July 2013. Web. 23
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