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Media’s Influence on FOMO During Adolescence

Medias+Influence+on+FOMO+During+Adolescence
Jesper Sehested

High school. The best four years of your life, right? Most high schoolers want to experience the cliche teenage dream that includes staying out late, partying, and going on adventures. But why do we really want to participate in these activities? Is it because we want to have fun memories to look back at in the future, or is it because we’re afraid that if we don’t participate we could miss out? 

Film media and social media are the main contributors to FOMO or “the fear of missing out” because they romanticize and set unrealistic expectations of what making memories looks like. The bottom line is, if participating in extroverted activities doesn’t appeal to you, don’t participate in them. By allowing your FOMO to control your adolescence, you are preventing yourself from actually having enjoyable experiences. 

The cliche teenage dream includes partying, falling in love, staying out late, and going on adventures. This narrative that we have to be outgoing to make memories is a myth. The reason we feel peer pressure to be outgoing while we’re young is because of social media and film media. 

TV shows like Euphoria, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and Gossip Girl are all entertaining, but can give us a false sense of what our adolescence should look like. Social media is also a major contributor to FOMO because you can see what everybody is doing at the touch of your fingertips. Seeing what your friends are doing at any given moment can be toxic because there is a chance that you’ll feel left out, or create the habit of comparing your life to somebody else’s life. 

When asked if  my previous statement is relatable, a CHS sophomore states, “Yes it is! There are movie characters that have adventures, perfect summers, and fun teenage years, and it’s not realistic to think that’s what goes on in the real world… It’s not healthy.”

The definition of “making memories” is different for everyone. For some people, making memories means staying out late and partying. For others it may mean staying inside with a few friends or reading a good book. If you know you’re more of an introverted person, there is no reason you should go to a party if you don’t want to. There is nothing wrong with trying new things, but doing something you’re uncomfortable with just because you don’t want to miss out is an unhealthy habit. 

Your teenage years can be the best years of your life if you participate in the activities that you want to partake in. You don’t need to party, fall in love, stay out late, or go on adventures to have a memorable adolescence. FOMO doesn’t have to control your teenage years if you don’t let it. By simply focusing on yourself and doing what you think will make your adolescent years memorable, you are maximizing your high school experience.

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About the Contributor
Corinne Pollard
Corinne Pollard, Staff Writer
Corinne Pollard is a staff writer for Castaic High School's Student newspaper, The Daily Howl. She is a freshman, and passionate about reporting real news around campus. She is an active bookworm and is excited to be working towards her dream of becoming a writer. She loves writing creative pieces that relate to other students at CHS. She hopes to meet and connect with new people who share the same dream as hers. When she isn’t researching for a new article or getting lost in a good book, she is shopping, baking, or jamming out to Taylor Swift. She is also the captain of the frosh volleyball team at CHS. 
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