The article by Przybylski et al. (2013) investigates the concept of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and aims to understand this phenomenon in detail. The authors introduce the article topic by clarifying that social media provides numerous opportunities for engaging in social activities, but a range of factors limit it, which can lead to the FoMO. A psychological needs perspective and self-determination theory were applied as the background to support the hypotheses. Namely, the authors suggested that those individuals, whose needs in autonomy, relatedness, and competence are satisfied, have a lower risk of developing the FoMo. Another hypothesis was that people with overall well-being and life satisfaction would also have lower risks. In addition, social media was assumed to be closely linked to the concept of the fear of missing out. The previous research was briefly noted to identify the need for more detailed studies.
To examine the above hypotheses, the authors conducted three studies within one article. The first study aimed to develop a self-report instrument to measure FoMO in participants, who were recruited based on a data-driven approach. The sample size included 1013 persons, which can be considered appropriate in terms of this correlational study. The variables included the attitudes of participants to a list of the offered statements to assess their level of FoMO. To investigate the collected data, the authors referred to a principal components analysis.
The second study focused on exploring FoMO in society based on such variables as demographics, social media engagement, and individual differences. The 150,000-person panel of Great Britain’s Harris Poll was used to provide online interviews with 2079 participants, which is sufficient to represent the nation. The 10-item FoMO scale developed in the first study was given to the participants to measure the target concept, the Emmons Mood Indicator was applied for evaluating their general mood, and the 9-item individual difference version of the Need Satisfaction Scale – was for identifying their psychological need satisfaction. The hierarchical regression model was the tool for analyzing all the gathered information.
The third study paid attention to behavioral and affective correlates of FoMO through young persons’ emotional experiences from using social media. 87 undergraduate students were recruited, while the variables were Facebook engagement, distracted learning, and ambivalent emotional experiences. The statistical regression analysis allowed the authors to receive credible results and calculate the correlation between the mentioned variable.
The findings are clearly described by the authors, who developed the first tool for measuring FoMO, which demonstrated optimal internal consistency. It was discovered that young people, especially males, are more likely to have FoMO being engaged in social media. The connections between poor overall well-being, life satisfaction, and FoMO, namely, in people who have unmet psychological needs in autonomy, connectedness to others, and meaningful choice presence. In students engaged in Facebook, FoMO development was also related to distracted learning.
The researchers use the statistical analysis results and critical thinking to claim that their hypotheses were confirmed. To support their findings, they also refer to the previous literature but did not offer an alternative explanation. The limitations of this study include data collected from the survey only and a lack of a focus on the contexts of the participants. While the notes about the validity and reliability of the study are not provided by the authors explicitly, it is still possible to conclude that it is of high quality. The authors clearly defined the key terms, explained the research procedures, and presented data obtained and analyzed. They understand that the phenomenon of FoMO is new and unexplored, which opens new opportunities for a better understanding of the behaviors and attitudes of social media users.
Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1841-1848.