By now, marketers who aren’t embracing the power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for the uninitiated) are truly behind the times. It’s more than just a funny term, or some temporal millennial phrase like “on fleek” that will fade with the season. FOMO captures one of the primary anxieties of the digital age, the fear that your friends are having more fun than you, buying better products than you and generally living a better life than you.

Posts from others on social media can trigger this fear, driving us to act, purchase or post something ourselves. In fact, a study found that 68% of millennials said they’ve made a spur-of-the-moment purchase due to FOMO within hours of seeing someone else’s post about the product.

Despite FOMO’s far reaching impact in our lives, we love to joke about the seemingly universal experience of sitting around worrying we’re missing out on the fun. Here are seven funny memes about FOMO to demonstrate the power it has over our emotions and with additional hard facts to show it’s potential for marketers.

This meme makes us laugh because it touches on the fact that you can often feel your FOMO overcoming you, but feel powerless to stop it. Much like The Dark Side, when FOMO rears it’s ugly head, we’re helpless to stop! That’s probably why 50% of millennials report that they spread themselves too thin attempting to keep up with their peers.

A play on the famous F.D.R quote, this meme rings true because the only thing we have to fear is the fear of missing out. FOMO’s ability to trigger our anxieties only proves F.D.R’s original point. The fear can be so draining that 52% of us social media users have considered taking a “vacation” from our networking sites.

Ah, the art of internet procrastination. Anyone who has ever had a deadline for anything knows the trap of falling down a rabbit hole on the internet only to emerge hours later without your work done. The average person spends 28% of their time on the internet browsing social media… imagine all the stuff they could’ve been doing with that time spent FOMOing!

JR Tolkien fans unite, this meme is referencing a famous line from The Hobbit! Just like one can’t simply walk into Mordor, overcoming FOMO isn’t a task for the weak hearted. That’s probably why 3 out of 5 of us wish there was a tool to help monitor the amount of time we spend on social media.

This meme featuring rapper Xhibit makes us laugh because it shows just how pervasive the power of FOMO can be. Everyone can relate to a time where they promised themselves a relaxing night in but ended up out with friends instead. How often is FOMO the motivating factor? Probably pretty often, given the fact that 47% of millennials report feeling anxiety when they learn through social media that their friends are doing something they’re not.

If you watch The Office, you know that Dwight Schrute is a high strung character. Could his never-ending overzealous energy just be FOMO-induced anxiety in disguise? In a survey conducted by Indeed.com, 45% of respondents claimed to miss work or their team members while out of the office. This proves that FOMO isn’t simply an issue of millennials or social media.

A play on the Game of Thrones staple quote, “Winter is Coming,” this meme has a true message. In our digital advancing world, where things are becoming exponentially more connected FOMO has taken hold. As the popularity of social media and interconnected communication continues to rise, FOMO has proven its spot as a driving force in motivating our actions and purchases. That’s why more than half of all social media users report experiencing FOMO. So truly, FOMO is coming! Are you prepared?


FOMO has created funny memes and sobering statistics alike. It has proven its reach extends far beyond simply Snapchat and millennial culture. FOMO is present at work, at home, on social media and in our shopping habits. It inspires us to laugh at ourselves with funny memes and drives us to make purchases like our own modern version of “Keeping up with the Joneses.”

Effective marketing leverages FOMO to build excitement and brand loyalty. Just like we get FOMO with our friends and coworkers, customers also experience FOMO with their favorite brands.