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Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of Missing Out



Fear of missing out, (hereafter referred to as FoMO), is increasingly becoming an issue of concern in relation to the use of Social Network Sites (SNSs). Despite its importance, the effects of FoMO continue to receive limited attention, while guidance on how SNSs design is responsible for developing should and, also, combatting it, remains inadequate. In this position paper, we argue that dual responsibility of SNSs design. We report on initial results of a multiphase empirical study which was undertaken to examine the features of social networks that may contribute to triggering FoMO, and to explore how future SNSs can be designed to aid people manage their FoMO. The study involved three focus group sessions and a diary study. We argue that future SNSs shall support interaction styles and protocols and their agreement and adherence processes to enable people prevent and combat FoMO and present styles for doing that. Fear of missing out, Social Networks Design, FoMO Countermeasures, Social interaction protocols
© Alutaybi, A., McAlaney, J., Stefanidis, A., Phalp, K., Ali, R
Proceedings of British HCI’18
Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of
Missing Out
Aarif Alutaybi, John McAlaney, Angelos Stefanidis, Keith Phalp, Raian Ali
Bournemouth University, UK
{aalutaybi, jmcalaney, astefanidis, kphalp, rali}
Abstract. Fear of missing out, (hereafter referred to as FoMO), is increasingly becoming an issue of
concern in relation to the use of Social Network Sites (SNSs). Despite its importance, the effects of FoMO
continue to receive limited attention, while guidance on how SNSs design is responsible for developing
should and, also, combatting it, remains inadequate. In this position paper, we argue that dual
responsibility of SNSs design. We report on initial results of a multiphase empirical study which was
undertaken to examine the features of social networks that may contribute to triggering FoMO, and to
explore how future SNSs can be designed to aid people manage their FoMO. The study involved three
focus group sessions and a diary study. We argue that future SNSs shall support interaction styles and
protocols and their agreement and adherence processes to enable people prevent and combat FoMO and
present styles for doing that.
Fear of missing out, Social Networks Design, FoMO Countermeasures, Social interaction protocols
As demonstrated extensively in social psychology
individuals are driven to attempt to explain the
actions of those around them, known as attributions
(Hewstone and Jaspars, 1982). This has brought
about a fundamental change in the locus of control
in how people interact with their social group. In the
past people may have attributed the frequency, or
lack thereof, or interactions with their social group
to the constraints of not being physically together.
With the emergence of digital communication
technologies and social media it is now almost
always possible for individuals to communicate with
their social group. As such the locus of control for
social communication has changed from being
partly externally determined to largely internally
determined. However, the increased social
interaction opportunities come at the cost of FoMO,
which broadly expressed as a preoccupation with
what is occuring online and how others are
reacting, either positively or negatively, to
someone’s online presence and interactions
(Beyen et al., 2016).
FoMO is defined as a “pervasive apprehension that
others might be having rewarding experiences from
which one is absent.” It is characterised by the
desire to stay continually connected with what
others are doing (Przybylski et al., 2013). Social
networks provide diverse information in real time
about events, conversations and activities. While
real time information allows people to remain
abreast with new developments, it often facilitates
FoMO behaviour by compelling people to check
their social network activities frequently or stay
online continuously to avoid missing out. FoMO
demonstrates the desire of people who experience
chronic deficits of psychological need satisfaction,
to constantly engage with social networks, even
when this occurs in unsuitable or dangerous
situations such as while driving (Przybylski et al.,
2013), or attending lectures (Alt, 2015; Turkle,
2011). It is important to note that as with many
psychological disorders the core behaviour is not
inherently problematic. Humans are a social
species, and have evolved to exist within social
groups that reinforce their group identity through
the sharing of social information (Dunbar, 1996). As
such there is a natural inclination to seek out social
information, and to be concerned that your social
group may exclude you if they perceive that you
are not actively engaging with that group. Instead is
with if the behaviour and associated cognitions
become excesssive to the point of impacting on the
individual’s well-being.
Cheever et al. (2014) found evidence of negative
influences, such as anxiety, when people could not
access cyberspace. Anxiety constitutes a
significant part of FoMO which is operationally
defined as ‘‘the fears, worries and anxiety people
may have in relation to being in (or out of) touch
with events, experiences and conversations
happening across their extended social circles’’
(Przybylski et al., 2013). In addition, Fox and
Moreland (2015) suggested that FoMO is a reason
why people feel pressured to continue using
In this paper we argue and provide empirical
evidence through a set of user studies that
functional design of SNSs is partially responsibe for
Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of Missing Out
Aarif Alutaybi ● John McAlaney ● Angelos Stefanidis ● Keith Phalp ● Raian Ali
the manifestation of FoMO in users. We also
sktech features and processes for designing SNSs
in a way that aid individuals in managing their
FoMO behaviour. Doing so would be consistent
with the type of corporate social responsibility
demonstrated within other industry that offer
services to the public that have the potential to
facilitate problematic behaviour, such as the
alcohol and gambling industries.
The paper is structured as follows: Section 2
describes an exploratory study to get evidence
regarding the association between the features of
SNSs and FoMO. Section 3 shows initial results of
the study. Section 4 describes the social interaction
protocol governing FoMO. Section 5 presents the
conclusions of the study and future work.
This study aims to obtain evidence regarding the
association between the features of SNSs and
FoMO, and how SNSs can be designed to aid
users to manage their FoMO behaviour. To achieve
this, several qualitative studies were conducted.
The first study consisted of three gender balanced
focus group sessions featuring twenty participants.
Focus group sessions were used to give
participants an opportunity to immerse themselves
in the issue, discuss their opinions, and provide
suggestions that may contribute to managing their
FoMO. Each session included five to eight
participants, aged between twenty and thirty years.
Recruitment of the participants was done by
placing an open call to a student forum, where
individuals could self-nominate themselves to
participate. Each group was given six scenarios
with a set of prompts and a notepad to write their
ideas on what actions might be appropriate, for
each scenario, in order to manage FoMO.
The second study consisted of a diary study with
twenty of the participants who participated in the
focus group sessions. As part of this study,
participants were asked to record their thoughts
and feeling at least three times a day (morning,
afternoon and evening) as they experienced FoMO.
The justification for making multiple diary entries
throughout the day stems from the fact that
different SNSs are often used during the day and in
different contexts, each of which may lead to FoMO
occurring in different manners and to different
degrees. Diary studies are also motivated by
avoiding recall bias and ability to provide in-play
data which are more expressive and
contextualized. Participants were being given a link
to diary form via the Evernote app and they were
reminded to record in their diary by text messages.
All participants in both studies self-declared to
suffer FoMO in their usage of SNSs.
The initial analysis of the data focused on the
features of social networks that could facilitate
FoMO in users. The analysis was carried out
using the Honeycomb classification of social
networks features proposed (Kietzmann et al.,
2011) as a template. Conversely, a number of
features that may alleviate FoMO were also
3.1. SNSs Features and FoMO
In this section, families of SNSs features and
their relation to inciting FoMO will be discussed.
A group is defined as two or more individuals who
are connected to each other through social
relationships (Forsyth, 2006). Individuals participate
in the group to satisfy their need to belong and,
hence maintain their popularity. However, the
group setting may facilitate FoMO by driving people
to continually engage with the group’s activities in
order to maintain their presence and popularity in
the group. For instance, participants mentioned that
if they do not participate in the group their need to
feel popular within the group cannot be satisfied, a
clear example of fear of missing something. Within
the group dynamic, there is a motivation to conform
to the norms of the group (normative behaviour) in
order to retain a sense of belonging to the group,
and to maintain the desired level of perceived
popularity and connectedness. For instance, one
participant commented “I got so stressed because
my friends wrote dozens of messages on
WhatsApp group, but they did not say anything
important. I do not have time to engage and I’m
also not in the mood to interact but I have to read
everything and reply in order not to lose my
popularity among them’.
Temporal events
Temporal events are defined as events or
opportunities which occur at a specific time and
then expire or are removed. They may facilitate the
triggering of fear of missing temporarily available
information, as evidenced by participants who
mentioned that temporal events trigger their FoMO
and motivate them to interact with their social
networks continually. A participant stated that “as
Snapchat erases stories after sometime, I felt like
I’d miss out on some celebrity advice or product
review, so I keep checking every few minutes.”
Share is defined as the extent to which people
exchange, distribute, receive, and share
information including text, photos, audio and video.
In this study, sharing appeared to trigger FoMO in
which shared content may trigger either the fear of
Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of Missing Out
Aarif Alutaybi ● John McAlaney ● Angelos Stefanidis ● Keith Phalp ● Raian Ali
missing an opportunity or the fear of missing the
ability of being popular. For example, one
participant commented that: My friend shared our
trip pictures on Facebook that do not include me so
I fear that I missed some interaction with him
recently which led to him ignoring me.
Conversation represents the extent to which people
communicate with others on social networks by
exchanging messages, comments or chatting. This
feature could facilitate FoMO by someone’s inability
to reply or being able to terminate a conversation.
Thus, fear manifests itself as fear of missing
empathy, fear of not leaving with a good
impression, or fear of missing important messages
which are part of a long conversation. For example:
My friend was talking to me about a personal
matter and I couldn't stop using WhatsApp till 4:00
am as I feared my friend would think I do not want
to listen to him. This reflects the social
psychological concept of the norm of reciprocity, in
which we feel obligated to return the effort that
others have put into helping us (Cialdini, 2001).
Impression is the feature that informs people how
many individuals react to their social media shares,
such as the number of ‘Likes or ‘Retweets.
Participants highlighted the importance of this
feature in measuring their popularity among peers
when either receiving or not receiving a reaction.
This type of feature relates to the fear of missing
the ability to be popular or the ability to be seen as
interesting when the number of reactions is
unexpected. For example: “I did not receive likes
and comments on pictures from number of friends
as I expected. This made me anxious as I feared
that I missed some interaction with them recently
which led to them ignoring me. These concerns
relate strongly to impression management, in which
we are driven to manage how we are perceived by
others and to monitor our success in achieving our
desired social image (Goffman, 1959).
Trending is the feature that identifies online content
as having a high reputation. When people see
content of high reputation, they become drawn to it
and try to avoid missing it. As a result, time spent
engaging with trending information may increase.
For instance, one participant said that: “popular
hash-tags make me feel I need to check every hour
what is going on as I fear missing any updates.”
Presence allows individuals to become aware of
the existence of other individuals from their profile
or status. However, the presence feature
contributes in triggering FoMO and, particularly, the
fear of missing the ability to be popular. For
example: I have sent a WhatsApp message to a
friend but she hasn't replied. However, I have seen
that she was online. This made me anxious as I
feared that I missed an earlier reply to her recently,
which led to her ignoring me.
3.2. FoMO Countermeasures
This analysis has provided some initial suggestions
of how SNSs can embed features to allow
individuals to manage their feelings of FoMO.
These suggestions or countermeasures to combat
FoMo can be applied by individuals or social
groups. The following section explains the initial
FoMO countermeasures.
Filter: is a technique that only shows the
information that people are interested in.
This technique can be applied when people
fear missing out on information due to the
existence of large volumes of it, as they are
unable to connect or interact as they wish,
for example “I am unable to use my phone
as I am at work. Therefore when I’m on my
break, I have 15 mins to read everything
that has happened on all my social media
during the time I have been at work. This
can be hard as I have to prioritise, so that I
have the most interactions with my friends
but also find out what is going on as well.
One suggested that “a useful way of
getting over this situation is to filter and
eliminate the spam on my timeline and
news feed so that there is less to look at.
Priority list/ Importance Level: is a
technique to allow people to specify the
level of importance and priority of the
various online activities they may be
engaging in. While FoMO in general
motivates people to stay online in order not
to miss out on the interaction with others.
This particular technique can alleviate
some of the feelings of FOMO namely the
fear of missing the opportunity to know
someone else’s impression. For example,
one Psychology student said, “I uploaded
some pictures on Instagram, so I was
eagerly waiting for my friends to comment
on them. I feared that if I did not check
continuously I might miss my friends
comment on my post. I hope to cope better
if I could get notifications in different tones,
so that I can only check when they are
about my post.
Event recording: is a technique that
records events while a person is offline to
be viewed when they are online again. This
technique can be helpful when people are
unable to connect to SNSs and fear
missing temporarily available information,
Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of Missing Out
Aarif Alutaybi ● John McAlaney ● Angelos Stefanidis ● Keith Phalp ● Raian Ali
such as stories on Instagram or Snapchat.
For example: “I had an important task to do
and couldn’t check Instagram, so I worried
about missing my friends stories because
postings are deleted after a while. Perhaps
I can cope better if I can record the event.”
Set status and time: is a technique that
allows people to set their current status
and calendar availability. People usually
encounter number of FoMOs when social
groups do not interact with them as
expected, for example the fear of not being
popular or the fear of not being thought of
to be interesting. However, setting a status
and time may alleviate the level of this kind
of FoMO. For instance, one Computing
student said “It has been more than 5-6
hours since I upload my last post but until
now, my friends haven’t liked it or
commented on it. I cannot figure out if they
are ignoring me or they are busy. To
minimise my FoMO, it would help if my
friends could set their status accordingly to
let me know that they are busy.
Alternative notification: is a technique
that allows people to receive notifications
without having to use a social network,
e.g., SMS or a vibration on their
smartwatch. This technique may be useful
for reducing compulsive behaviour of
checking the notification on smartphone
and then start checking other things. For
example: I usually check my phone
continuously to see if I have any sort of
message as I have in the habit of replying
immediately. If there was a technique by
which I could receive alternative
notifications in different tones, I would be
able to reduce my worry of missing out”.
As a part of our research, we argue that online
social interactions among individuals can lead to
experiencing FoMO. This results in increase the
time of checking and thinking regarding the
interactions that occur on SNSs. However, if
individuals who are involved in these interactions
have information regarding the situation of others
this may raise the awareness and minimise FoMO.
In this way the group members themselves can use
this information to create a system that
communicates their own ability and intention to
interact with the group at any given moment. This
could be achieved through a variety of techniques,
including goal setting. This paper will give a brief
explanation regarding the different modalities as
Unilateral interaction protocol: it means that
the protocol is set up by individuals
themselves in order to alleviate their
FoMO. This could include a self-set goal to
only check social media a limited number
of times a day. This goal could be made
visible to other group members.
Bilateral / reciprocal interaction protocol: it
means that two or more individuals agree
to set up their interaction protocol among
them in a reciprocal manner, in order to
alleviate mutual FoMO effects. Similar to
the above this could be a mutual goal set
by two individuals to limit their interactions.
By doing so each individual is assured that
the other is aware they will not respond
immediately to any message or post.
Collective interaction protocol: it means
that the interaction protocol could be the
responsibility of individuals who are
involved in social interactions by setting up
their own protocol. In this instance a group
may collectively agree a protocol in which
they all agree to disengage from their
social media for a specific time period,
such for example a group of students who
need to focus their attention on studying for
an exam.
However, the elements of the social interaction
protocol in relation to alleviate FoMO such as the
time availability for interaction or the situation of the
individual have not been determined. In future, it is
expected that the types of FoMO exhibited by users
can be detected by SNSs. Based on the type of
FoMO that individuals have, they may be given an
awareness raising induction regarding FoMO and
how this can be managed. This could build
individuals’ digital resilience in order to cope with
FoMO when it is triggered. However, the
specifications of the delivered resources are not yet
known and individuals who are involved in creating
those resources have not yet been defined.
FoMO is as a growing and important societal issue
In this paper, the potential of SNSs features in
triggering FoMO was identified and also a number
of features that appear to be wanted by users in
order to alleviate FoMO were discussed. The future
work of this research is to obtain more evidence
regarding the association between the features of
SNSs and FoMO, and to obtain evidence regarding
the effectiveness or the need for countermeasures.
In addition, the research will investigate a different
modalities and processes of designing and
applying countermeasures.
Designing Social Networks to Combat Fear of Missing Out
Aarif Alutaybi ● John McAlaney ● Angelos Stefanidis ● Keith Phalp ● Raian Ali
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... These studies developed five primary contexts of use in which FoMO occurs and the specific fears in each context [2]. The same authors explored features of social media that could facilitate FoMO and, in addition, the existing and future social media features that alleviate FoMO [18,19]. ...
... It is hoped that this might build the users' digital resilience and help them to prevent and deal with certain kinds of FoMO. We used the results of previous research in [2,18,19] to devise the main components of FoMO-R and added to them, particularly at the level of social countermeasures. We evaluate the potential of the method empirically through focus groups and a diary study involving 30 participants. ...
... Previous research [2,18,19] has identified five primary contexts of use where FoMO occurs, the fears associated with them and the potential technical countermeasures. The findings are summarised in Table 1. ...
Full-text available
Background: The fear of missing out (FoMO) on social media refers to the apprehension that online content and interactions from others are unseen and reacted to in a timely fashion. FoMO can become problematic, leading to anxiety, interrupted sleep, lack of concentration and dependence on social media to generate gratification. The literature has mainly focused on understanding the FoMO experience, factors contributing to it and its consequences. Method: In this paper, we build on previous research and develop a FoMO Reduction (FoMO-R) approach that embraces technical elements such as autoreply, filtering, status, education on how FoMO occurs and skills on how to deal with it; e.g., self-talk and checklists. We evaluate the method through focus groups and a diary study involving 30 participants who self-declared to experience FoMO regularly. Results: The results show that the method was accepted by the participants and helped them to manage their FoMO. They also show that a set of extra functionalities in social media design is needed so that users can manage FoMO more effectively. Conclusion: FoMO can be reduced through socio-technical approaches, joining both social and technical skills, and literacy on how social media are designed and how social interactions should happen on them.
... Online marketers, who have already paved the way to surveillance capitalism and begun finding creative ways of exploiting emotional vulnerabilities (Stjernfelt & Lauritzen, 2020), have also come up with product or service designs the consumption of which rely upon the "fear of boredom and the fear of missing out on something" (Kurtgözü, 2003). And it is indeed no coincidence that today; consumers of digital goods and services, such as social networks, are manipulated by such designs (Alutaybi et al., 2018;Carabantes, 2021) that eventually lead to problematic habits in users. ...
... The research of Alutaybi and colleagues (2020) also recommend certain technical and socio-technical countermeasures for combating this kind of FoMO and preoccupations that are manifested by it. It is also noteworthy that previous work by Alutaybi et al. (2018) has tried to come up with social network application design considerations (such as; filters, priority lists, event recording, status and time setting, alternative notifications) but none of the recommended techniques seem to address FoMO behavior that is related to that could potentially alleviate FoMO, but none of these seem to specifically target behavior caused by a desire for self-promotion (due to fear of missing the ability to be popular). ...
Full-text available
The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between teacher candidates' fear of missing out and their behavior on social networking sites. The study was designed with general and relational screening method, one of the quantitative research methods. The study group consists of 218 teacher candidates studying at the School of Education in Trakya University during the spring term of 2020-2021. Mann-Whitney U and Spearman Rank-Order correlational tests were used in the analysis of the data, alongside descriptive statistics. Findings indicate that the overall FoMO levels of the teacher candidates were below average. No difference was found in terms of FoMO according to gender. Finally, a low-level positive and significant relationship was found between the variable of FoMO and monthly frequency of user actions such as photo sharing and story posting. However, no significant relationship was found between FoMO levels and frequency of live broadcasts or status updates. In the light of the findings, it can be said at least in the specific context of teacher candidates that FoMO is related to particular types of behavior on social networking sites.
... The content of the notification can also affect the user's emotions, e.g., increasing the temptation to check, which might then lead to a negative emotion when checked, e.g., regret, and thus increase procrastination (Alutaybi et al., 2019;Wortman & Brehm, 1975). Therefore, to reduce the possibility of procrastination, it has been suggested that notifications should be scheduled at breakpoints because this would have a significant effect on the users' ability to concentrate on their tasks (Alutaybi, McAlaney, Stefanidis, Phalp, & Ali, 2018). ...
... Despite the benefits, it can introduce the risk of preoccupation where users might fear being excluded from participating in an important event or communication during the time when they are unavailable. It has been argued that certain design features of social networks can trigger such a fear of missing out (FoMO) and one of them is that people may interpret unavailability online as lack of interest (Alutaybi et al., 2019;Alutaybi et al., 2018). This introduces the need to consider more holistic solutions than our proposed countermeasures; solutions which require digital literacy and the utilization of social norms and situational awareness. ...
Full-text available
Procrastination on social networking sites (SNS) can impact academic performance and user's well-being. SNSs embed features that encourage users to be always connected and updated, e.g. the notification features. Such persuasive features can exploit peer pressure as well and lead users to believe they are expected to interact immediately, especially for those who may have less impulse control and seek for relatedness and popularity. We argue that SNS can be built to host countermeasures for such procrastination and help people regulate their usage and preoccupation about it better. In this paper, we presented a mixed-method study including a qualitative (i.e., focus groups, diary, interviews, and co-design) and a quantitative phase (i.e., a survey) with 334 participants. Through the qualitative phase, we identified (i) features of an SNS that seen by participants as facilitators for procrastination, e.g. notification, immersive design and surveillance of presence, and (ii) countermeasures, such as reminders, chat timer, and goal setting, can be facilitated via SNS design to combat procrastination, , and (iii) a mapping between the features and the countermeasures. We then (iv) confirmed these results and the mapping through the survey phase. Our study showed that countermeasures could be implemented to be universal across all SNS on one or even more device.
... More research is needed in software design practices such as UX, requirements engineering and HCI, in order to develop intervention systems that specifically target FoMO. Alutaybi et al. [11] proposed that countermeasures should be embedded into social media. However, in order to design such countermeasures, a greater understanding of FoMO and the situations in which it occurs is needed. ...
... In this paper, we build on the work conducted in [11] to explore the real-time experience of FoMO through a series of studies, including interviews, diary study and three focus group sessions, to develop a conceptual model by which FoMO can be represented. Our classification of FoMO could aid future information system design in relation to social media to combat FoMO, enable people to be more informed about how FoMO happens, and in turn to identify FoMO in their own social media usage. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social media provides a platform for information sharing and dissemination and has speedily become a popular method for individuals to relate to others regardless of the time and geographical distance. However, this wealth of connectivity and availability of information may lead to the experience of the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) that typically refers to a preoccupation of the users of social media about lost opportunities when they are offline or unable to connect and communicate as wished. Despite the recognition of the concept, studies around FoMO have used offline data collection techniques such as interviews, focus groups and surveys. This has led to a limited understanding of the lived FoMO experience and a rather simplified and coarse-grained view of the concept. In this paper, we delve into the specifics and nuances of FoMO through multi-stage qualitative research, including interviews, diary study and three focus group sessions and elaborate upon the concept and determine its various manifestations and classification. The lived experience is mainly gathered through a diary study. We present five main classifications characterising FoMO and develop an ecology for it.
... Clearly, FOMO is related to negative affectivity; though, there is debate on whether FOMO is the cause or effect. Finally, we should also note that a growing body of research proposes that social media platforms are designed to elicit FOMO-related processes, likely prolonging online time on platforms, such as Facebook (Alutaybi, McAlaney, Stefanidis, Phalp, & Ali, 2018;Montag et al., 2019). Thus, not only are predispositional characteristics responsible for greater levels of FOMO and excessive Internet use, but multiple SNS platforms ) that we use may contribute to the problem. ...
The fear of missing out on rewarding social experiences (FOMO) is an increasingly studied psychological construct, related to negative affectivity and increased online social engagement. Yet the heterogeneity of FOMO across individuals is not known. We conducted a latent profile analysis (LPA) of FOMO self‐report ratings to determine sample heterogeneity and uncover underlying subgroups (profiles) of participants. We recruited 920 undergraduate participants through a Chinese university for an online survey, administering the FOMO Scale and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale‐21. Results demonstrated support for a four‐profile LPA model based on FOMO ratings. Using multinomial logistic regression, more severe latent profiles (i.e., those with the greatest amount of FOMO endorsed) were associated with female sex, and higher stress and anxiety severity. Results suggest four distinct latent profiles based on FOMO ratings; findings are discussed in the context of self‐determination theory.
... Although not all use of social networking apps is passive, researchers have argued that most of the features that make up their design, such as content personalization, notifications and alerts, as well as content that expires after a set amount of time (e.g., Instagram stories displayed only for 24 h), do encourage compulsive checking that triggers and sustains feelings of FOMO (Alutaybi et al., 2018(Alutaybi et al., , 2020. One explanation for these relations is that social network use exacerbates FOMO because social media users can modify the way other people see their profiles, and social media users strive to present a perfect image of who they are for self-presentation and impression management (Crabtree and Pillow, 2018). ...
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The current COVID-19 pandemic has had obvious, well-documented devastating effects on people's physical health. In this research, we investigate its potential effects on people's mental health. Many people have experienced social isolation, as countries attempt to stem the spread of the disease through confinement and other forms of social distancing. Intuitively, such social isolation may increase feelings of loneliness, and people may take logical steps to reduce their feelings of social isolation and loneliness. One route is through the use of social networking apps (e.g., Facebook, Instagram) and messaging and VoIP apps (e.g., WhatsApp, iMessage). In this research, we investigate the effects of pandemic-induced social isolation on social networking and messaging apps, and potential related effects on loneliness. We surveyed young adults ( N = 334) who are part of the Centennial cohort (born after 1995) from three different countries (Italy, Argentina, UK) and obtained their screen time usage data over a 4-week period starting from mid-March 2020. This sampling procedure allowed us to obtain data from respondents who were experiencing different degrees of mandated social isolation (lockdowns), which enabled us to determine whether social network and messaging app usage increased as a function of social isolation, and to test potential effects on levels of loneliness. Results showed that only social network usage increased in the initial stage of confinement as a function of lockdown initiation. Additionally, social network app usage was associated with increased feelings of loneliness, and this relation was mediated by fear of missing out (FOMO). In contrast, messaging app usage was associated with decreased feelings of loneliness, and was unrelated to FOMO. These results suggest that technology may be useful for mitigating the impact of loneliness during social isolation but that it is necessary to promote usage of messaging and VoIP apps, rather than social networking apps, because they are directly associated with decreases in loneliness without increasing FOMO.
... 15 Thus, FOMO can drive excessive checking for and responding to SNS notifications, making it difficult to remain productive in daily life. 16 In this context, we also mention growing discussion on the need to regulate the number of elements built in to social media apps that elicit FOMO 17,18 in an attempt to prolong usage time to harvest more personal data in the age of surveillance capitalism. 19,20 Several self-report scales have been developed to measure FOMO, of which the most widely used is the 10-item Likert-type FOMO Scale developed by Przybylski et al. 1 This scale includes items such as ''I fear others have more rewarding experiences than me,'' and ''When I miss out on a planned get-together it bothers me.'' ...
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This article discusses the fear of missing out (FOMO) on rewarding experiences, an important psychological construct in contemporary times. We present an overview of the FOMO construct and its operational definition and measurement. Then, we review recent empirical research on FOMO’s relationship with levels of online social engagement, problematic technology and internet communication use, negative affectivity, and sociodemographic variables. Additionally, we discuss theoretical conceptualizations regarding possible causes of FOMO and how FOMO may drive problematic internet technology use. Finally, we discuss future directions for the empirical study of FOMO.
... FoMO became an issue of concern in relation to the use of Social Network Sites (Alutaybi et al., 2018). FoMO has experienced an extraordinary growth in recent years with the explosion of virtual sharing in real time through social networks. ...
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This paper tries to determine the Facebook addiction as a reality that is gaining momentum around the world and as a result of technology development, which is linked to the smartphone use, through Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and the problematic use of smartphone. The results of this study showed that these two variables are antecedents of Facebook addiction.
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Procrastination refers to the voluntary delay of urgent tasks and can have several negative consequences such as stress, health issues and academic under-achievement. Several factors including personality, culture and gender have been identified as predictors of procrastination, although there are some conflicting findings within the literature. Social networking sites have been identified as a possible facilitator of procrastination, in part due to their design features that encourage immersion and continual interaction. However, social networking sites also provide the opportunity for intelligent, real-time prevention and intervention strategies to be delivered that can reduce the experience of procrastination. In this paper, we build upon our research in which we used a mixed-method approach to explore the types, triggers and acceptance of countermeasures for procrastination on social media. Following a survey of 288 participants from the UK ( n = 165) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( n = 123), we conducted a series of multiple regression and binary logistic regression models to determine predictors of these factors. Several predictors such as self-control and conscientiousness were found to be significant predictors, but overall, the amount of variance explained by the regression models was relatively low. The results demonstrate that participants are receptive to countermeasures for procrastination being delivered through social networking sites but suggest that the predictors of procrastination related phenomena experienced in social networking sites are different than in offline settings.
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This survey study among adolescents (N = 402) investigates an integrative model that examines (1) the mediating role of adolescents’ fear of missing out (FoMO) in the relationships of adolescents’ need to belong and need for popularity with adolescents’ Facebook use and (2) the relationships of adolescents’ FoMO with adolescents’ perceived stress related to the use of Facebook. Structural equation modeling results indicated that an increased need to belong and an increased need for popularity were associated with an increased use of Facebook. These relationships were mediated by FoMO. Increased FoMO was associated with increased stress related to Facebook use. These results emphasize the important role that FoMO plays in adolescents’ media use and well-being.
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Traditionally, consumers used the Internet to simply expend content: they read it, they watched it, and they used it to buy products and services. Increasingly, however, consumers are utilizing platforms--such as content sharing sites, blogs, social networking, and wikis--to create, modify, share, and discuss Internet content. This represents the social media phenomenon, which can now significantly impact a firm's reputation, sales, and even survival. Yet, many executives eschew or ignore this form of media because they don't understand what it is, the various forms it can take, and how to engage with it and learn. In response, we present a framework that defines social media by using seven functional building blocks: identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups. As different social media activities are defined by the extent to which they focus on some or all of these blocks, we explain the implications that each block can have for how firms should engage with social media. To conclude, we present a number of recommendations regarding how firms should develop strategies for monitoring, understanding, and responding to different social media activities.
The concerns about the consequences of mental problems related to use of social media among university students have recently raised consciousness about a relatively new phenomenon termed Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). Drawing on the self-determination theory and on the assumption that low levels of basic need satisfaction may relate to FoMO and social media engagement, the aim of the present research was to examine for the first time possible links between FoMO, social media engagement, and three motivational constructs: Intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation for learning. Data were gathered from 296 undergraduate students by using the following scales: Social Media Engagement (SME), Fear of Missing Out (FoMOs) and Academic Motivation. The SME is a new scale, specifically designed for this study to measure the extent to which students used social media in the classroom. This scale includes three categories: Social engagement, news information engagement and commercial information engagement. Path analysis results indicated that the positive links between social media engagement and two motivational factors: Extrinsic and amotivation for learning are more likely to be mediated by FoMO. Interpretation of these results, their congruence within the context of the theoretical frameworks and practical implications are discussed.
Overuse of wireless mobile devices (WMDs) may be associated with a form of psychological dependency, of which a prominent feature may be anxiety arising from separation from these devices. College students, who are among the most avid consumers of WMDs, might be susceptible to the negative effects of WMD overuse. The present study examined anxiety in American college students when their WMDs were unexpectedly not available. Upon arrival, approximately one half of the 163 participants were randomly assigned to have their WMDs removed from their possession; the other half was allowed to keep their WMDs but were required to turn them off and place them out of sight. Participants were forced to sit quietly with no distractions during the study. The state portion of the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered three times, 20 min apart, beginning 10 min after the participants entered the room. The results showed that participants felt significantly more anxious over time. However, this pattern was evident only with heavy WMD users and with moderate WMD users whose devices were taken away. Dependency upon WMDs, mediated by an unhealthy connection to their constant use, may lead to increased anxiety when the device is absent.