Experts explain this is a phenomenon where people experience anxiety when disconnecting from technology, being away from everyday responsibilities, routines
Around 49 per cent of UAE residents experience FOSO which is the fear of switching off during their travels.
More than half, which is 58 per cent of the population, admit to finding it hard to reduce the amount of time spent on their phone while away, which rises to 61 per cent for just millennials, according to new global research, from Priority Pass – an airport experiences programme, owned and operated by Collinson.
As part of the findings, 8,500 people were surveyed across 11 countries and it was revealed that one in three people globally, which is around 34 per cent, found it difficult to truly switch off from everyday life while on their travels.
Strategies that can help manage FOSO
Meanwhile, medical experts in the country explain FOSO is not only a phenomenon where individuals experience anxiety or discomfort when disconnecting from technology but it’s also about being away from their everyday responsibilities and routines.
Dr Nada Omer Mohamed Elbashir, Consultant Psychiatrist, Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said, “It is indeed a real condition that affects a significant portion of the UAE population. Handling FOSO requires a combination of self-awareness, mindfulness, and adopting healthy habits.”
Shedding light on some strategies that can help manage FOSO, she said, “Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Dedicate time for relaxation, hobbies, and personal relationships. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety associated with FOSO.”
Apart from that she advises digital detox where regular breaks from technology and social media are recommended.
Elbashir reiterates that communicating one’s availability to others, establishing these boundaries, and the need for downtime, are imperative.
“Engaging in offline activities, such as reading, exercising, or spending time in nature, can provide a sense of rejuvenation and promote mental well-being. Additionally, taking care of one’s physical and mental well-being can help alleviate the fear of missing out when one is not constantly connected,” she added.
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