Published: 07th January 2019
Tame your FOMO : Here are a few words that you must definitely know today
Have you come across these expressions: echo chamber, clickbait, binge-watch, youthquake, and FOMO (Fear of missing out)?
In the year 2018, many new words were added to various dictionaries. In one of my December columns, I discussed the words of the year — nomophobia, single-use, toxic, justice — announced by major dictionaries. Like other languages, the English language too evolves and new words are added to dictionaries on a regular basis. Let me introduce you to some of my favourite words that were added to various dictionaries. Have you come across these expressions: echo chamber, clickbait, binge-watch, youthquake, and FOMO (Fear of missing out)?
It is easy to guess the literal meaning of the term 'echo chamber' which is a combination of the words 'echo' and 'chamber'. It is an enclosed place or room where sounds echo or are reverberated.
Metaphorically, the term describes a situation where certain ideas and beliefs are reinforced and there is no room for alternative ideas and beliefs. In simpler terms, only opinions of one type are encouraged or welcome.
• In many educational institutions, those who are close to the heads of institutions behave like echo chambers. They agree on everything their bosses say.
• We are in a dangerous situation and we need to come out of this echo chamber and express our views freely.
• The opposition accused the ruling party of turning the Parliament into an echo chamber for its ideas of bigotry.
The term 'clickbait' is made up of the words 'click' and 'bait'. The common meaning of the word 'bait' is the food which is attached to a hook when fishing. 'Clickbait' refers to the act of clicking on a sensationalised or attention-grabbing headline and reading the news story online. When someone clickbaits, they become a fish getting caught. The purpose of making headlines sensational is to entice users to follow links and read the news stories. Look at these examples:
• Most of us are too dumb to resist clickbait.
• We need to teach our students about clickbait.
• As a media education trainer, I need to form a movement to fight clickbait.
The term 'binge-watch' refers to viewing several episodes of a television series one after another in rapid succession. Many due to their busy schedule are unable to watch certain television programmes (serials and matches) when they are telecast live. When they get free time, they download all the programs and view them in succession.
• I missed some of the football matches. On a Sunday, I binge-watched seven matches from 8 o’clock in the morning.
• Here is a list of shows you can binge-watch to make up for the loss of drama in your lives.
• Binge-watching TV is disastrous to health. This medical condition can be called Netflixitis.
We are familiar with the word 'earthquake'. It gives us a sense of destruction and change. Similarly, 'youthquake' refers to a significant change (cultural, political, or social) arising from the influence of young people. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2017 was ‘youthquake’.
• Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu two years ago can be called a real 'youthquake'.
• Will there be any youthquake in India in 2019?
'FOMO' is the short form of the term 'Fear of missing out'. It is defined as 'a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent'. According to a study published by Dr Andrew Przybylski in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, 'FOMO is characterised by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing'. Some people have the tendency to compare themselves with others and they don’t want to miss anything which others experience. This leads to a compulsive concern and make them not to miss anything. Such people attend certain programmes even if they are unable to attend and, at times, which are not worth attending.
• It is because of his FOMO, he is active on social media.
• He does certain things not out of conviction but because he suffers from FOMO.
On the New Year, I met a young man named Hansel. When I asked him whether he knew the meaning of his name, he replied, “It is a Hebrew word and it means Gift from God." What a coincidence! My friend too used the word in his New Year wishes. What does it mean? A hansel is a gift given at the beginning of the new year and it is believed that the gift will bring good luck.
Happy New Year!