Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO
Fear of missing out, known colloquially as FOMO, appears to be a common experience, and has recently become part of the vernacular, receiving frequent mentions in the popular media. The present paper provides a multi-method empirical examination of FOMO. In a first study, experience sampling was used to assess FOMO experiences among college freshmen. Nightly diaries and end-of-semester measures provided data on the short and long-term consequences of experiencing FOMO. Results showed that students experience FOMO frequently, particularly later in the day and later in the week, and while doing a required task like studying or working. More frequent experiences of FOMO were associated with negative outcomes both daily and over the course of the semester, including increasing negative affect, fatigue, stress, physical symptoms, and decreased sleep. A second experimental study investigated FOMO on a conceptual level, distinguishing FOMO from general self-regulation and exploring its links with social media.
KeywordsFear of missing out Experience sampling method Well-being Self-regulation
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for behavioral sciences (3rd edn.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Crocker, L. (2012, November 9). Are 20-somethings too afraid of missing out. The Daily Beast. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/09/are-twentysomethings-too-afraid-of-missing-out.html.
- Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1992). Validity and reliability of the experience sampling method. In M. W. deVries (Ed.), The experience of psychopathology: Investigating mental disorders in their natural settings (pp. 43–57). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- John, O. P., Naumann, L. P., & Soto, C. J. (2008). Paradigm shift to the integrative big-five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and conceptual issues. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 114–158). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., Schmeichel, B. J., Twenge, J. M., Nelson, N. M., & Tice, D. M. (2008). Making choices impairs subsequent self-control: A limited-resource account of decision making, self-regulation, and active initiative. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 883.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Von Neumann, J., & Morgenstern, O. (1944). Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Wortham, J. (2011, April 9). Feel like a wallflower? Maybe it’s your Facebook Wall. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/business/10ping.html?src=recg&_r=1&