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Open AccessArticle

Fear of Missing Out as a Predictor of Problematic Social Media Use and Phubbing Behavior among Flemish Adolescents

1
Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy
2
Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Tilburg University, 5037AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
3
imec-mict-UGent, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
Department of Youth & Risky Behavior, Trimbos Institute, 3521 VS Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102319
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 September 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Mobile Phone Addiction: Health and Educational Effects)
Fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) refers to feelings of anxiety that arise from the realization that you may be missing out on rewarding experiences that others are having. FOMO can be identified as an intra-personal trait that drives people to stay up to date of what other people are doing, among others on social media platforms. Drawing from the findings of a large-scale survey study among 2663 Flemish teenagers, this study explores the relationships between FOMO, social media use, problematic social media use (PSMU) and phubbing behavior. In line with our expectations, FOMO was a positive predictor of both how frequently teenagers use several social media platforms and of how many platforms they actively use. FOMO was a stronger predictor of the use of social media platforms that are more private (e.g., Facebook, Snapchat) than platforms that are more public in nature (e.g., Twitter, Youtube). FOMO predicted phubbing behavior both directly and indirectly via its relationship with PSMU. These findings support extant research that points towards FOMO as a factor explaining teenagers’ social media use. View Full-Text
Keywords: fear of missing out (FOMO); social media; problematic social media use (PSMU); phubbing; teenagers; adolescents; addiction fear of missing out (FOMO); social media; problematic social media use (PSMU); phubbing; teenagers; adolescents; addiction
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Franchina, V.; Vanden Abeele, M.; Van Rooij, A.J.; Lo Coco, G.; De Marez, L. Fear of Missing Out as a Predictor of Problematic Social Media Use and Phubbing Behavior among Flemish Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2319.

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