FoMO leads to higher risk of alcohol abuse

By Drum Digital
02 December 2015

FoMO victims listen up, because experts are warning that those prone to feeling like this have a higher risk of abusing alcohol.

Are you a classic FoMO sufferer? Do you get the dreaded Fear of Missing Out when you hear your friends are planning a big night out and you can't attend? Maybe you even change your plans to make sure you're there. Well

Defined as the desire to remain socially connected, which can manifest itself as a form of social anxiety, scientists from University of Otago have delved deeper into the problem. They found that university students with FoMO are more likely to feel bad after a boozy night out, think they said embarrassing things, or acted impulsively and later regretted their actions.

The research, thought to be one of the first in the area, used two separate experiments involving 432 students. They took psychometric tests to measure the participant's FoMO levels, and each had to answer questions on alcohol consequences

In the first test, students were asked about their alcohol intake over the last 30 days. The second saw them answer questions on their alcohol consumption on a daily basis over 14 days.

They were also asked to comment on statements including 'when I miss out on a planned get-together it bothers me', and 'I fear others have more rewarding experiences than me'.

PhD student Jayde Flett, the study's co-author, found that those who scored highly on the 10-item FoMO scale had twice as many alcohol-related negative experiences over the past three months when compared to those who were at the lower end of the scale.

"In both studies, participants higher in FoMO were more likely to have reported 'feeling badly about myself', having 'said embarrassing things', or 'done impulsive things that (they) later regretted' when drinking,' she noted.

"Additionally, they were more likely to have had 'less energy', 'had a hangover', or have 'not remembered stretches of the night'." © Cover Media

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