What Does FOMO Mean in a Text?

FOMO means a "Fear Of Missing Out."

FOMO or "Fear of Missing Out" is a term that describes the anxiety or sense of regret one might feel over potentially missing out on exciting or interesting events that others are experiencing. It's a feeling that's often exacerbated by social media, where people frequently share the best parts of their lives, leading others to feel like they're missing out on these experiences.

Is FOMO a Medical Condition?

FOMO is not a recognized medical condition, but it's a real psychological phenomenon that can have an impact on people's mental health. FOMO can contribute to feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction.

People with FOMO might constantly feel the need to stay connected and updated to avoid missing out on something, which can lead to compulsive checking of social media and sometimes to social isolation.

FOMO in Marketing

FOMO is often leveraged by marketers to encourage consumers to take immediate action. The idea is to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity around a product, service, or event, making potential customers feel like they could miss out on a great opportunity if they don't act quickly. For example:
  • Limited Time Offers: Sales or discounts that are only available for a short period of time can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a purchase before the deal ends.
  • Exclusive Products or Services: Offering products or services that are only available to a select group of people can create a sense of exclusivity, making these products or services seem more desirable.
  • Social Proof: By showing that other people are purchasing or enjoying a product or service, marketers can create a fear of missing out on a popular trend. This is why you often see testimonials, reviews, or user-generated content in marketing materials.
  • Wait Lists or Pre-orders: For new products, marketers might allow customers to pre-order or join a wait list, creating a sense of anticipation and exclusivity.
  • Real-Time Availability or Stock Levels: Showing that a product is in high demand but low in stock can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a purchase before the product sells out.
FOMO can often lead consumers to make impulsive buying decisions.

Image for FOMO

When I write FOMO, I mean this:

meaning of FOMO

FOMO: Everyone's Facebook is no one's reality.

Summary of Key Points

"Fear of Missing Out" is the most common definition for FOMO on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Fear of Missing Out
Guessability:guessability level 4
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at FOMO

FOMO is an acronym, because it is formed by taking the initial letters of the words "Fear of Missing Out" and pronouncing them together as a single word, "fomo."

Other examples of acronyms are:
  • NASA - "National Aeronautics and Space Administration."
  • UNICEF - "United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund."
Acronyms are often used as shorthand in many professional fields, such as technology, business, medicine, and government, as well as in general chat. They can help save time and space when communicating, especially when talking about complex or technical information.

Acronyms differ from initialism abbreviations, which are pronounced using their individual letters. For example:
  • BYO - "Bring Your Own."
  • GV - "Good Vibe."
FOMO typically plays the role of a noun, but it is occasionally seen as an adjective. For example:
  • My FOMO makes me attend every session.
  • (Here, FOMO is a noun.)
  • It is my FOMO complex.
  • (Here, FOMO is an adjective.)

Example of FOMO Used in a Text

author logo

This page is maintained by the Cyber Definitions Editorial Team.

Help Us Improve Cyber Definitions

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
  • Do you know a slang term that we've missed?
Please tell us using this form.


Try our fun quiz to test your knowledge of slang and texting abbreviations.
gold cup

gold cup

gold cup

  • This test has questions.
  • A correct answer is worth 5 points.
  • You can get up to 5 bonus points for a speedy answer.
  • Some questions demand more than one answer. You must get every part right.
  • Beware! Wrong answers score 0 points.
  • 🏆 If you beat one of the top 3 scores, you will be invited to apply for the Hall of Fame.
Scoring System

Cyber Guru (+)
Cyber Hero (+)
Cyber Captain (+)
Cyber Sergeant (+)
Cyber Recruit (+)