By Christine Goncalves
I have never experienced life without social media. In the mid-2000s, the first iPhone was released and social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were launched. Today, everything has a social component and we have the ability to be always-on broadcasters sharing where we are, what we’re doing, and who we’re with. Social media is an integral part of our everyday lives— and a huge emotional driver for our moods, and not always in the most positive way.
FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is some- thing Gen Zers experience digitally. It seems that with every new social platform that pops up, there are new ways to feel left out by friends.
Focus on Inclusivity
Often, members of Gen Z do not even know that
they are making others feel bad about not being
included; It can happen at any time in unexpected ways. In fact, according to the New York Post,
Venmo, a peer-to-peer payment application, can
cause members of Generation Z to be more anxiety-ridden than ever before. When you make
a payment on Venmo, it is shared publicly.
Essentially, you can see what your friends are
doing and who they are with on the Venmo feed.
I have seen the unintentional social effects of
Venmo. A few months ago I had plans with some
friends—but one friend was unintentionally left
out. That night, we agreed not to post anything
so she wouldn’t be upset that we were all
together. However, she saw us all Venmo each
other for pizza. The captions gave us away:
“Thanks for the 🍕” and “🍕 Party.”
No one posted any photos or videos—but she was
clearly able to see that she wasn’t invited.
Generation Z is sensitive when it comes to feeling
self-conscious about missing out. It is important
for brands to recognize the emotional impact
that social media can have on their audiences
and try to prevent FOMO when it comes to the
content that they produce.