Are you suffering from FOMO – that is, Fear Of Missing Out? Research shows that a growing number of young people are, with worrying consequences for their sleep and schoolwork. Read the blog post to find out more.


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posted 2 hours ago by Mr Braddock, Sixth Form teacher

Everybody knows how important it is for students to get a good night’s sleep every night. You aren’t able to do your best and keep up with all of your responsibilities unless you sleep well. I’m sure you already know that you should go to bed at a reasonable hour. Most experts agree that the optimum number of hours is eight, and this has been accepted as common sense for as long as I can remember. However, I was young once and I know that most of you get much less sleep than that – and in some cases it will be affecting your schoolwork.

I read an interesting article in a teachers’ magazine recently. They did a study of 848 students in Wales. Worryingly, the results showed that teenagers are facing a new problem. They may go to bed and get up at appropriate times but a growing number are waking up in the middle of the night, not to use the bathroom or have a snack but because of a new phenomenon: FOMO – fear of missing out!

According to the article, schoolchildren are suffering because of a growing trend to wake up during the night to check social media. Afraid of missing a comment or opportunity to take part in a chat, teenagers are waking at all times of the night, going online and getting involved. All this when they should be sound asleep.

Experts are worried about this growing trend and the report reveals some worrying statistics that I’d like to share with you:

  • 23% of 12 to 15-year-olds wake up nearly every night to use social media. Another 15% wake up at night once a week for the same reason.
  • One in three students are constantly tired and unable to function to their full capacity.
  • Students who use social media during the night are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

So, I’d like to ask you to be responsible when it comes to social media. Be brave! Switch off your devices at night. The world won’t end and your social media will be waiting to greet you in the morning! I give you my word that you won't have missed anything important.


Do you think FOMO is common where you are?

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Submitted by Lio Messi on Sat, 04/13/2024 - 10:11

t.She slept at my home last month during summer school break.I always hear some noise while I was sleeping .Because of the noice,I woke up immediately.And I saw my friend is using internet in the middle of the night.I asked her what are you looking for that time.She said she is surfing internet and looking her idols’ social media accounts.I was so surprised to see her.That May be the reason she always doze off during school time and always miss school bus.She is definitely the victim of FOMO.How scare it is.

Submitted by moldymax on Mon, 06/26/2023 - 05:32

This is an interesting article and describes an important problem of the dependency of social media. However, this is NOT what FOMO is. I think someone who is not a young person is misunderstanding the meaning of FOMO.

FOMO, as it is commonly used, describes the feeling of sadness that your life is not very good. It is connected to social media because when you use social media you see how everyone's life is so good. The "fear of missing out" is not a fear of missing out on social media posts but a fear of missing out on very exciting real world activities.

For example, you may see a social media post about someone you know who went to an amusement park with their friends and think about how your last weekend was very boring. You have a FOMO because you feel that their life is so fun and your life is not and you wonder why your life isn't very fun. However, FOMO is caused by the illusion of social media because we only share the happy times on social media. People are likely to overestimate how exciting other people's lives are due to the kind of content we share on social media.

In conclusion, this was a very interesting article but there is a big error here. The author does not understand the word "FOMO" and should do some more research before writing an article with false information next time.
The ideas described in the article are better described as "social media dependency" or "social media addiction."

Submitted by Joséphine on Wed, 05/03/2023 - 14:29

I live in France and I have never heard about FOMO.

Submitted by babicamap666 on Sun, 04/30/2023 - 11:04

Do you think FOMO is common where you are?

Yes, I think FOMO is common in my place. Especially in Sweden, children are given a phone by their parent at such a young age and they learned how to use it themselve very fast. We can see many teenagers always have phone on their hand checking their social media or chatting. Schoolwork is not very a problem for student to worrying about here so many of them tend to stay up late and do not get enough sleep. Besides, the teachers are not too strict on those student who are sleeping during the lesson.

Submitted by disneyFAN13 on Fri, 05/12/2023 - 20:05

That sounds such a serious problem. Well, I live in Greece and even though I am seeing many children getting a smartphone from a very young age, I have never heard about FOMO. Every day I see many teenagers who are addicted to their phones. I’m not sure if they wake up in the middle of the night to check on their social media. However, they all have TikTok and Instagram accounts (these are the most popular social media in my country). I’ve heard about students who go to bed extremely late as because they are scrolling through social media every single night, as you are saying, and most of them aren’t getting enough sleep and unfortunately, are not doing well with their schoolwork or can’t concentrate in the lessons. I’m not sure if this is FOMO but it’s a mobile phone addiction which affects sleeping. I never thought that this could be a common problem in Sweden as it’s in Greece.

In reply to by babicamap666

Submitted by pomelo on Fri, 04/07/2023 - 14:47

I am not sure

Submitted by Amanda_Nay Chi on Wed, 11/16/2022 - 06:00

It also occurred to me too back in my school days. It's mainly because I had been with many people online who are from different countries. We all have different time zones and sometimes had to stay up late or wake up for a person. And speaking frankly, I wanted to experience a night when I could use my phone (social media) really really late. I had done it many times before and I liked it to be honest but times went by and I realized I would become dizzy or doze off in the middle of the class and sleep in the morning. I knew it was wrong so I stopped doing that and completely didn't touch my social media for months and it kinda calms me down. Although I missed some fun and other activities with my friends, I honestly didn't care about that anymore and focused on my real-life routine.

Submitted by strawberry123_ on Tue, 07/12/2022 - 08:43

Yes, I think that in my city FOMO is common among young people. People, with which I communicate, can even not sleep at night because of it and spend all night chatting and watching social medias. For me, it`s so strange and just impossible not to sleep all night or get up in the middle of the night to check my social media, I need at least 6-7 hours of sleep and I just can`t understand these people, who they can do sth next day after not sleeping or getting up every night.

Submitted by nora503 on Mon, 11/08/2021 - 13:10

I believe that in Greece FOMO is a really common fenomenon. Most of the students are really tired at the classes and some of them are even asleep. That is because at night they constantly wake up to check the social media. They are actually worried that they will miss something that they open their phones in the class to check if something new is posted!

Submitted by disneyFAN13 on Fri, 05/12/2023 - 20:28

I live in Greece too and unfortunately I’ve noticed the same… I experience the same at school everyday as most of my classmates are addicted to social media. The worst thing is that even when teachers see that students have their mobile phones turned on during the lesson they don’t say anything and they just continue the lesson as nothing happens!

In reply to by nora503

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Submitted by Kostantinus on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 08:18

I am not sure exactly about it, but I think, there is FOMO in some ways. A lot of boys like playing computer games, even it's late and they should go to bed, they still look at their devices all the night long. The result is they are sleepy during day time and, of course, don't pay attention during the classes at school. That phenomenon affects their future a lot. I think pupils' parents should take away all devices from own children when it's time to go to bed. Only in this way poor kids can sleep peacefully and have a vital energy for a new day. We should remember that children are just children. Not all of them are behave conscious enough and know what is good or bad.
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Submitted by COOLIONELA on Mon, 02/15/2021 - 10:28

NOPE most certainly NnOoTt!! does anyone do?

Submitted by hermione123 on Tue, 02/16/2021 - 11:03

Well, answering your question. No, I never feel FOMO. But, it's common in my country. Most of my classmates feel FOMO, I guess.

In reply to by COOLIONELA

Submitted by Jenny201 on Sat, 11/28/2020 - 03:29

Yes, I think FOMO is common in my country. You can particularly see the problem is widespread during the pandemic time of COVID 19. The government won't let people out, they have to stay at home all the time. That literally gets boring. As a result, the thing everyone uses to connect with their friends and society is the phone. Social media help them forget about boring things. Just watching online or chatting with friends makes you not notice how many hours you spent. Especially young people, they always do not have good sleep because they wake up in the middle of the night to check social media. Therefore, I think this trouble needs to get rid of the daily routine. Everyone must know the harmful effects of that and fix this habit

Submitted by TheGreatApple on Sun, 10/25/2020 - 15:58

In my country, FOMO is an overlooked problem, that has to be dealt with. It massively reduces student effectivness and the ability to compete efficiently. Personally, I have never found that sleeping would be an issue for me, but that can be regarded to the lack of social media usage in my online life. I would advise everyone to get off from these sites for a week or so, and see the impact. Don't worry in the middle of the night, hence sleep well!

Submitted by Lui14 on Sat, 07/25/2020 - 11:48

Yes, I think FOMO is common in my country, especially in quarantine. Unfortunately, this is a reality that will grow in the future, because every day social media addiction affects all people. And it seems to me that I am addicted in a small part. Sometimes I get up at 6 o'clock in the morning, check if someone wrote to me or not, what happened in the world, and then I fall asleep. In addition, I can just start watching Tik Tok and not notice how the hours of my video watching will fly by, but this is an ordinary video ... But, of course, I think that it is good that the Internet exists, but it is bad that people become addicted and get on the internet.
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Submitted by IGYOON on Tue, 07/21/2020 - 10:44

In my country , I think there is too much effect of FOMO. especially in this quarantined season it is increasing more and more. As we all want to increase our skills more and more in this quarantined season. Also we are wanting to participate more and more in the online competitions. Not only this our want is to become more developed in our extra curricular activities .But this type of activities is only found in the Social media there is a Fear of missing Out. whereas some of us do not have the permission to use social media like facebook before18. So most of us do not get this kindd of opportunities.

Submitted by Ga3553E31 on Tue, 05/12/2020 - 20:26

In my country, most people are affected by FOMO, but I personally don't think I am included. Most often, during school I go to bed at 11-1 p.m. because I don't finish my homework, I'm the type of person who likes to know that everything I have for the next day I did correctly. Even if I use my phone until I fall asleep, I don't wake up at midnight just to check my phone, most of the time I leave my phone on the table and also turn off my notifications. I think FOMO is only made by people, I mean, if you don't want to check your phone, you wouldn't do it, even if you suffer from depression or anxiety, you can do other things. It's really dangerous to interrupt your sleep just for checking, I think that all people should take a break from using a phone and then we will really see the word.
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Submitted by Giovannichoi on Wed, 04/08/2020 - 10:22

Yes, but not me. Most of my friends are doing SNS such as Instargram and Facebook. Even though they don't doing any SNS, they chat with their friends by Cacao Talk and text messages. But I don't have smart phones, so I am not afraid of this. I think FOMO is really spreading around my classmates. One of my friend is staying up late and send text messages to sleeping friends in 2 a.m! Also, many friends are seem to be addicted to mobile games and YouTube. I realise that they were seem to be real tired and depression. Also they check out their SNS and Cacao talk immediately after school. I think it is very, very bad situations.

Submitted by hermione123 on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 06:18

hi, Giovannichoi! I also didn't have my own smart phone till i really really need it for online learning during pandemic. but i don't use it except for my homework, i don't even use online social media like Instagram or Facebook. i prefer reading and drawing, actually :)

In reply to by Giovannichoi

Submitted by NewZealand2016 on Sun, 04/05/2020 - 09:55

I think it is common in my country

Submitted by Elife on Thu, 02/13/2020 - 23:40

Yes, I think FOMO is common in my country, this is a reality that will increase more in the future because every day addiction to social networking sites is affecting all people.

Submitted by Scarlet on Wed, 11/27/2019 - 21:33

I agree that students can't live without phones and social media. I think their parents should take teens' phones at night. Oh, sorry, I must check my Instagram account...

Submitted by Hleb on Wed, 11/27/2019 - 17:06

I have the same problem only with videos on YouTube. as soon as the video comes out, I immediately wake up and watch. Whether it's a video joke or another nonsense.

Submitted by May1 on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 10:38

I think it's a common phenomenon among the teenagers of our country. Once I was also addicted to social media and always thought about it even when I should sleep. Once I realized and had to repent for it when I got poor marks in exams. From my perspective, when we will admit our addiction to ourselves and try to give up it realizing the value of time, then after a certain time we can minimize this habit. If we are unable to give up this habit, one day we have to repent for our valuable times.

Submitted by disneyFAN13 on Fri, 05/12/2023 - 20:22

I totally agree with you! This sounds such a great opinion. But can you tell me any advice for what to do to minimise the time I spend on my phone? I’ve already admitted that I need to break this bad habit but as I see it, it won’t be easy… I would be very happy if you could tell what did you do to minimise that time. I’ve noticed that my school performance is getting worse. My exams come soon and maybe this addiction will affect my grades too…

In reply to by May1

Submitted by Ariyan on Tue, 04/09/2019 - 02:05

Yes ,I think FOMO is common in my country "BANGLADESH".In my country,Almost all the teenegrs who use social media like Facebook spend 1-2 hours at night to check their notification and chat list.However,I am not one of these people because I have no interest in social media. Those people who use internet late at night I call them "Night Owls".

Submitted by Dome on Wed, 03/13/2019 - 20:03

Fomo is a new phenomenon that is affecting young people. Recent studies carried out on young people have demostrated that teenagers between 12-15 years old wake up in the night to connect on the social media. In my opinion this is a reality that will increase more in the future because every day additiction to social networkings sites are afecting the young people. When we are young, we think that we are very strong and we can control everything including fatigue. But this net true since our body needs to rest as well as our mind in order to recover the strength we need work, to study to live.

Submitted by Dreamyoverflow on Wed, 08/01/2018 - 16:57

Yes i think it is common where I live because everyone I have met is obssessed with checking their social media wether you are sitting in a resturant or in a amusement park they will always have their phones in their hand to check social media. I recently removed social media from my phone it was quite hard because I checked social media everyday I almost felt like a addict but now when i removed it I feel much more free and I have much more free time which I apreciate really much.

Submitted by brett on Thu, 06/07/2018 - 01:51

can not see the multiple choice???
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Submitted by Jo - Coordinator on Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:32

Hi brett, Thanks for letting us know and sorry about that. The problem should be fixed now. Can you see it now? Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

In reply to by brett

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Submitted by SLMT on Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:35

These days,Fomo is the common case in my country too. One of my friends also suffer from it.She slept at my home last month during summer school break.I always hear some noise while I was sleeping .Because of the noice,I woke up immediately.And I saw my friend is using internet in the middle of the night.I asked her what are you looking for that time.She said she is surfing internet and looking her idols’ social media accounts.I was so surprised to see her.That May be the reason she always doze off during school time and always miss school bus.She is definitely the victim of FOMO.How scare it is.
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