Do you suffer from FOMO?

GP, Dr Darren Green, spoke to Charlotte Kilbane (standing in for Pippa Hudson), about FOMO, the acronym for Fear of Missing Out. It's linked to feelings of fear and anxiety.

We all need to have a sense of belonging, says Dr green, and the explosion of social media has made this a difficult area to navigate. One of the behaviours on the rise, is people's constant need to engage with social media devices like cell phones and tablets.

A Harvard research study on 500 students showed they used their cell phones an average of 200 minutes a day - which means each person checked their phone 15 times per hour.

Dr green says fear of missing out, which is linked to a sense of belonging, is not just a psychological phenomenon. It has a clear neuro-scientific basis as well.

The addictive part of FOMO or social media, is the pleasure you get when you see a light flash on your phone that you just cannot ignore, or a sound that you hear.

Dr Darren Green, GP

Thee neurotransmitters in the brain result in a surge of chemicals like dopamine, and you get a pleasure response.

It's visual, it's auditory, it's sensory, and there is recognition.

Dr Darren Green, GP

And it is not just cell phones and social media, he says. it is that fear of missing out on The Party or The Outfit, The Song, or the arrival of The Guest...

So what are the affects of this behaviour?

Dr green says it often means you hang around longer, so eventually you will suffer from sleep deprivation. This in turn can lead to abusing substances like central nervous stimulants to keep you awake.

All of this puts your physical and emotional and psychological health at risk

Dr green says no one willfully chooses to become addicted to anything.

It occurs when the handbrake of your frontal lobes - the clever parts of your brain - are overridden by the pleasure you are receiving from whatever you are doing.

Dr Darren Green, GP

The more you engage in these behaviours, the more you need.

The stronger your exposure and the more multi sensory inputs you have, the stronger your addiction becomes.

Dr Darren Green, GP

So how do you put the brakes on...?

Dr Green says the first step is awareness that you haev a problem. Once you are aware that you have an obsession and it is intrusive, you can begin to work on reigning it in.

  1. Have dedicated times to use your devices, designated times to check email and log in.

  2. Prioritise the times you want to be present and mindful and actively engage with people around you.

  3. Come to an agreement to all turn phones on silent and face down for a period of time.

  4. Bright lights are detrimental to sleep, especially the lights on technological devices, so change your settings on phones when you go to bed.phone
Read More
WC deadline for 2018 school enrolment hits

WC deadline for 2018 school enrolment hits

March 24, is the deadline for applications to enroll kids in Western Cape schools for 2018 and the department says so far so good.

Poor TB infection controls at SA healthcare facilities - TAC report

Poor TB infection controls at SA healthcare facilities - TAC report

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) found that clinics across South Africa are not doing enough to curb the rate of new TB cases.

Local foundation helps mental health patients get back on their feet

Local foundation helps mental health patients get back on their feet

The Spring Foundation is working to break down divisions between Cape communities and recovering mental health patients.

GreenCape gets businesses on board with water-saving

GreenCape gets businesses on board with water-saving

NPO GreenCape helps local businesses realise how becoming water wise stands to benefit their bottom line using creative solutions.

DG Murray Trust fighting inequality and youth jobs challenge

DG Murray Trust fighting inequality and youth jobs challenge

The DG Murray Trust hopes to break the cycle of inequality among South Africa's youth through their Create Change project.

IJR urges South Africans to reflect on Human Rights Day

IJR urges South Africans to reflect on Human Rights Day

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation says Human Rights Day serves as a moment of reflection on South Africa's past.

Popular articles
Cape's blusterous winds too risky for the Mercedez Benz fashion week

Cape's blusterous winds too risky for the Mercedez Benz fashion week

Several shows of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017 had to be postponed due to the gusting winds.

Fake numbers, addresses for Chief Justice break-in suspects exposed

Fake numbers, addresses for Chief Justice break-in suspects exposed

Fifteen computers were stolen containing info about the Chief Justice, Judges and courts.

Naked Scientist reveals the real cure for a hangover (and its not hot wings!)

Naked Scientist reveals the real cure for a hangover (and its not hot wings!)

Dr Chris Smith gives insights on what peaks your interest.

10-year-old girl provides shoes and socks for those who don't have any

10-year-old girl provides shoes and socks for those who don't have any

Rubi Nates wants to help the less fortunate with shoes and socks in her drive and is encouraging others to do the same.

The rand is on a rampage

The rand is on a rampage

The rand is going from strength to strength. The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Treasury One’s Andre Cilliers.

[CARTOON] Poephol With a Taste For Strife

[CARTOON] Poephol With a Taste For Strife

EWN's Dr Jack & Curtis take a look at the Spur confrontation that has taken the country by a storm.

Spur tightens its belt as 'two for the price of one' Monday burger special ends

Spur tightens its belt as 'two for the price of one' Monday burger special ends

The CEO of Spur says food inflation has played a big role in making this difficult decision.