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  • Fear of Missing Out
  • nahyun | 2020.06.15 10:45

  • Fear of Missing Out

    When are you worried you could miss out on some event with friends?

    Do you feel sometimes that must buy something because next time it will be sold out?

    FOMO, is the "fear of missing out.”  These words became popular in recent years. You could feel like you've been ostracized if you can't go to an event with friends. You will see them posting about the fun they're having without you on social media later. You might feel anxious if you missed an event over the weekend that looked fun. This is FOMO

    Advertisers have been exploiting your fears of missing out to sell you their products for many years. If you buy X right now, you'll be so much happier. If you don't buy X right now, you'll never be happy. This feeling is even stronger when used with influencers on social media.

    Most ads make a sense of urgency and a feeling of exclusivity to attract you. You might see an ad with a discount and with a ticking clock.  You only have 24 hours to take advantage of this offer!


    Advertisers want to make their product scarce. Scarcity means you have something that other people can't have.  Experiencing or having the thing that other people want makes that thing more valuable. The possibility that you may miss out makes something more valuable.

    In addition, companies often use FOMO with influencer marketing.  Companies show a "real person" testing a product and giving a quick review. Research shows audiences consider influencers make brands more believable.  

    So next time you experience FOMO think about whether you will really miss out or not.

    Try to guess the meaning of the words in bold and match them with their closest meaning from the choices in the right. Some of the answers are very close and have similar meaning. The meaning of these words is how they are used in the reading. Some of these words have different meanings in the dictionary depending on how they are used.

     The answers are below the table.




    To use something/someone like a tool to get what you want




    Other people make you feel like you are not welcome, alone for example saying bad things about you




    A feeling that you must do this thing or action quickly 




    To have something that other people can’t have

    sense of urgency



    Rare, unusual, not common




    To get the most use or value out of something/a person/an opportunity/a situation 

    take advantage



    Those people who have an effect on our thinking and behaviors 




    To worry about things that will happen in the future

    A=2, B=8, C=1, D=7, E=3, F=4, G=6, H=5

    Some example sentences using the new words or phrases from the meaning of how they are used in the reading to help you understand better.

    1. He was ostracized by his classmates. So he felt very alone.
    2. We are all anxious before our exam day.
    3. That company is exploiting cheap workers by paying them very little.
    4. One of the greatest influencers in my life was the basketball legend Michael Jordan.
    5. I feel a sense of urgency because the university entrance exam is next month.
    6. People want brands like Rolex and Gucci because they feel exclusive to rich people.
    7. Take advantage of your scholarship and study hard.
    8. We are told that diamonds are scarce. That is why they are so expensive.


    Some questions using the new words/phrases. Try to use the words/phrases in your answer.

    1. Do you worry about being ostracized by other people? Why or why not?
    2. Tell about a time you felt anxious about missing out.
    3. What are some examples of how advertisers exploit our feelings, or FOMO?
    4. Who are some famous influencers in advertisements? Why are they chosen to be influencers?
    5. How is a sense of urgency a good thing/a bad thing?
    6. What are some products that people buy because they are exclusive? What is exclusive about these products?
    7. How do you feel about advertisers taking advantage of our FOMO?
    8. What is something scarce that you would love to have? 

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