Wise Tips to Manage FOMO During the Pandemic

Is FOMO (fear of missing out) causing you to take more risks—financial and otherwise—during the pandemic? Laura interviews Patrick McGinnis, who coined the term, about its root causes and wise ways to manage FOMO.

Laura Adams, MBA
2-minute read
Episode #643

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the number of COVID-19 cases is surging in many states. More than two million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus and the death toll exceeds 120,000.

The desire to get back to normal and see your friends and family is understandable. And there’s no denying that wearing a mask is critical, but can be unpleasant, especially during the hot, humid summer months. The combination of fewer restrictions, mask fatigue, and the desire to get out of your home can be deadly if you’re not extremely careful.

Another underlying issue contributing to the spread of COVID-19 is FOMO—the fear of missing out. When we get invited to a party or see other people going out for drinks or to a restaurant, we don’t want to be left out. The pressure may cause you to take risks you shouldn’t.

I interviewed Patrick McGinnis, author of Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice. He’s an international venture capitalist who coined the term FOMO when he was a student at Harvard Business School.

FOMO has since become a part of our cultural lexicon. It has even been added to the dictionary. Patrick has been featured in The New York Times, Politico, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and Inc, and gave a popular 2019 TED Talk.

In order to have FOMO, you have to be getting information about potential opportunities—so, the use of technology has made FOMO so pervasive. 

Patrick J. McGinnis

On the Money Girl podcast, Patrick and I discuss the upsides and downsides of experiencing FOMO in light of the pandemic. We cover a variety of topics, including:

  • How the word FOMO originated
  • Using creative ways to connect during the pandemic 
  • Making decisions with more confidence 
  • Who tends to have the most FOMO 
  • The relationship of technology to FOMO
  • Ways to overcome or better manage FOMO

Listen to the interview using the embedded audio player or on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudStitcher, and Spotify.

About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.