Social media is now more than ever part of everyone’s daily lives but it seems that an increasing number of people are finding it hard to switch off from social medial leading to cases of FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out.
A survey from MyLife.com of over 2,000 adults in the US found that more and more people are scared of missing an update about a friend or an amusing Tweet on Twitter with this being known popularly as FOMO.
Half of the people interviewed for the survey (56 percent) said that they were afraid to miss out on status updates, news and events if they failed to log into their Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly.
The need to keep in touch and the FOMO was so strong with many people that of those surveyed a quarter said that they would rather give up smoking than stop looking at social media updates or would rather switch off their beloved reality television shows than stop looking at Facebook or Twitter.
Many people on the survey appear to recognise that looking at social media constantly was a bad habit that they felt they needed to break with about half saying that they would like to take a break from their use of social media but these people were also realistic with only a quarter saying that they would probably actually act on reducing the amount of time spent on social media networks.
British newspaper Metro, spoke to a lecturer at the University of Essex, Dr Andrew Przybylski about the FOMO problem facing many people.
Dr Andrew Przybylski said: “The fear of missing out is defined as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent. FOMO is characterised by the desire to stay connected with what others are doing.”
He added: “Our research indicated it can be thought of as a psychological state that arises from deprivation of basic psychological needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness, It also accounts for a significant amount of motivation for social media engagement.”
The group most effected by FOMO were found to be young men however the research found that this was a widespread problem with 61 percent of 18 to 34 year olds having multiple social media accounts, 37 percent checking their facebook and Twitter feeds as soon as they wake up 51 percent saying that they log into their social media networks more often than they did two years ago.