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Open AccessArticle

Combating Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) on Social Media: The FoMO-R Method

Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
College of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha PO Box 34110, Qatar
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6128;
Received: 23 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 17 August 2020 / Published: 23 August 2020
Background: The fear of missing out (FoMO) on social media refers to the apprehension that online content and interactions from others are unseen and reacted to in a timely fashion. FoMO can become problematic, leading to anxiety, interrupted sleep, lack of concentration and dependence on social media to generate gratification. The literature has mainly focused on understanding the FoMO experience, factors contributing to it and its consequences. Method: In this paper, we build on previous research and develop a FoMO Reduction (FoMO-R) approach that embraces technical elements such as autoreply, filtering, status, education on how FoMO occurs and skills on how to deal with it; e.g., self-talk and checklists. We evaluate the method through focus groups and a diary study involving 30 participants who self-declared to experience FoMO regularly. Results: The results show that the method was accepted by the participants and helped them to manage their FoMO. They also show that a set of extra functionalities in social media design is needed so that users can manage FoMO more effectively. Conclusion: FoMO can be reduced through socio-technical approaches, joining both social and technical skills, and literacy on how social media are designed and how social interactions should happen on them. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital addiction; digital wellbeing; fear of missing out; FoMO digital addiction; digital wellbeing; fear of missing out; FoMO
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Alutaybi, A.; Al-Thani, D.; McAlaney, J.; Ali, R. Combating Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) on Social Media: The FoMO-R Method. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6128.

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