JWT's outgoing ECD talks about fear - and the fear of missing out.
As a teenage true romantic I remember worrying about whether I was being invited to the best parties and hanging out with the cool kids. Were my white winklepickers pointy enough? Was my Flock of Seagulls hairdo long enough? And where could I buy an import of the latest New Order EP? However, after a few years of social awkwardness and throwing my own ‘cool’ parties I managed to put most of these fears and anxieties to rest. This was obviously in a time before Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (actually it was before mobile phones and CDs, back when Apple computers were boxy and beige).
Now, thanks to the above-mentioned social platforms we all have unprecedented awareness of how others are living their lives. The worrying thing is that we're turning back into anxious teenagers. And I don’t even want to imagine how these all-consuming social networks are affecting actual teens.
The latest report from JWTIntelligence has found that while these technologies are exceptional tools for facilitating connectedness, most of us would be able to recall a time when browsing social media has made us feel an overwhelming sense of jealousy, anxiety, or even feelings of inadequacy – as we become aware of the wedding we weren't invited to, the holiday we can't afford or the buzzword we don't understand.
This feeling of meagreness is attributed to the increasingly pronounced Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) phenomenon; defined as ‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out’. That could be what your peers are doing, what you’re in the know about or in possession of, or the feeling that someone is better than you.
This is an extract from a full opinion piece in the current FEAR Issue of Australian Creative - out now.
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