What does FOBO stand for?

Fear of being on

FOBO stands for "fear of being on." This acronym was coined during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many new WFHers first encountered the anxiety associated with needing to remember to turn off their webcams and mute their microphones, rather than unintentionally share something embarrassing over Zoom or another online "productivity" service.

The term FOBO first appeared in an October 2020 Slate article titled The FOBO Is Real, in which author Heather Schwedel explained FOBO's meaning. Seven months into the United States' roller coaster pandemic experience, Schwedel assumed most remote workers were feeling at least some amount of FOBO, until The New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin notably proved her wrong.


"I have a piece of masking tape I place over my webcam each morning, because my FOBO's so strong."
Is your Zoom still on? Are you sure?

Is your Zoom still on? Are you sure?

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Last Updated: October 28, 2020

FOBO definition

This page explains what the acronym "FOBO" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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