Life Health & Wellbeing

Sunday 19 August 2018

Fear of missing out (Fomo) one of greatest causes of social media addiction, study finds

The findings also showed 32pc of people used social media
The findings also showed 32pc of people used social media "a great deal"

Josh Payne

Fear of missing out (Fomo) is one of the greatest causes of social media addiction, a study has found.

Psychologists have suggested Fomo, irrational beliefs and poor mental health were the primary factors in the addictive behaviour.

Results also showed that those who use significantly more social media platforms are at a higher risk of addiction.

A study conducted by Nottingham Trent University found that around 5pc of participants could be classed as having a high risk of addiction.

The findings also showed 32pc of people used social media "a great deal" - with the same figure saying they suffered problems due to their social networking use.

Dr Halley Pontes, a psychologist at the university's School of Social Sciences, said: "When experiencing Fomo chronically, it could lead to addictive behaviour towards social media use.

"It is important to know that Fomo may be worsened by the fact that we are being constantly reminded about what we are missing out on via all the notifications we receive to our phones.

"One potential strategy to curb Fomo may be to manage which notifications we want to receive."

Dr Pontes continued: "Although the origin of Fomo may vary from one person to another, it is often a result of a deficit in psychological need, such as social connection.

"For this reason, living a socially fulfilling life where psychological needs towards social connections can be met may also help overcome anxiety associated with Fomo.

"Previous studies have tended to focus exclusively on Facebook addiction, but we have gone beyond this to examine a range of social networking sites. We hope the findings might also be of use to therapists in helping them to refine their treatment."

Press Association

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