Published on March 6, 2014
Fear of Missing Out (FoMO): The missing link in explaining Facebook addiction? Bosau C., Aelker, L. & Amaadachou, H. Theoretical Background: § While social networks clearly have positive effects on people’s live, they might also produce negative consequences (Turkle, 2011). § For instance, it is discussed whether – besides internet addiction - a type of Facebook addiction exists in todays online world (Masur, 2013). § Still, it is not totally clear, why normal Facebook usage could turn into addiction. § Lately, the term Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is discussed as a new and potentially important aspect in explaining people’s online behaviour especially in social networks (JWT, 2012; Przybylski, Murayama, DeHaan & Gladwell, 2013). § However, the specific causal relationships between Facebook behaviour, addiction and FoMO have not been clarified yet. Sample & Method: Regression analysis: Dataset: 85 Facebook-Users answered a questionnaire via Facebook, EmailLists, etc. Statistical analysis: regression & mediation analysis (Baron & Kenney, 1986). FB addiction total Measures: Facebook-Usage: measured by two different indicators (see Bosau, 2013): a) Input-behaviour (e.g. posting, uploading pictures, etc.) b) Output-behaviour (e.g. reading comments, looking at friend’s pictures, etc.) Facebook addiction: measuring classical addiction criteria: loss of control, withdrawal state, evidence of tolerance, harm to social relationships and harm to work and performance (Masur, 2013; based on the Internet addiction scale - ISS by Hahn & Jerusalem, 2010) Fear of Missing Out (FoMO): measuring the fear of missing out regarding important information about friends, their activities, loosing contact to friends, etc. (Przybylski, Murayama, DeHaan & Gladwell, 2013) FB FB FB addiction addiction addiction work & withdrawal loss of performance state control FB addiction social harm FB addiction tolerance Age -.12* -.24*** n.s. n.s. -.14* n.s. Gender n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. .27*** (m) n.s. FoMO .45*** .37*** .37*** n.s. .25* .52*** Output n.s. n.s. n.s. .35*** n.s. .20* Input .24** n.s. .48*** n.s. .53*** n.s. *** p < .01; ** p < .05; * p < .10; all coefficients are standardized beta-coefficients Mediation analysis (controlled for age & gender) – withdrawal state, loss of control, social harm & tolerance FoMO β = .68*** FoMO β = .62*** Output mediation: β = .15 total effect: β = .57*** withdrawal state β = .68*** β = .21 Output mediation: β = .33** total effect: β = .47*** FoMO β = .69*** FoMO loss of control β = .68*** withInput drawal mediation: β = .49*** state total effect: β = .75*** β = .69*** β = .52*** Output mediation: β = -.01 total effect: β = .34*** FoMO β = .38*** FoMO social harm β = .68*** Output tolerance mediation: β = .22** total effect: β = .59*** FoMO β = .41*** Input mediation: β = .02 total effect: β = .31*** loss of control β = .69*** β = .55*** FoMO β = .17 Input mediation: β = .48*** total effect: β = .60*** social harm β = .68*** β = .61*** Input tolerance mediation: β = .12 total effect: β = .54*** Results: § The results show that Facebook usage can potentially lead to addiction, since users that highly use Facebook score higher on all of the addiction aspects. § It is necessary to differentiate between Input-behaviour vs. Output-behaviour in Facebook usage, since both kinds of behaviour have dissimilar consequences. § FoMO plays an important role in explaining why Facebook usage can lead to addiction, since it seems to be an important mediator in this relationship. Even more, the mediation effect of FoMO differs systematically between the two different kinds of behaviour. § While Output-behaviour has a direct effect on loss of control and tolerance, its effect on work & performance, withdrawal state and social harm is mediated by FoMO. Oppositely, Input-behaviour has a direct effect on withdrawal state and social harm, while its effect on work & performance, loss of control and tolerance is mediated by FoMO. § Added Value: The study is a first step in clarifying how the usage of social networks can make people become addicted. Furthermore, the importance of the fairly new term FoMO is emphasized because of its high explanatory power. References: Baron, R.M. & Kenney, D.A. (1986). The Moderator-Mediator Variable Distinction in Social Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 51 (6). 1173-1182. Bosau, C. (2013). Privacy protection as a matter of trust – how trust in Facebook and trust in friends lead to different behaviour in social networks. 8th Conference of the Media Psychology Division (German Psychological Society) in Würzburg. Hahn, A. & Jerusalem, M. (2010). Die Internetsuchtskala (ISS): Psychometrische Eigenschaften und Validität. In: D. Mücken, A. Teske, F. Rehbein, & B.T. te Wildt, (Eds.). Prävention, Diagnostik und Therapie von Computerspielabhängigkeit (pp. 185-204). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers. JWT (2012). Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), March 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.jwtintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/F _JWT_FOMO- update_3.21.12.pdf [01.09.2012]. Masur, P. (2013). Addictive Behavior on Social Network Sites - The Role of Intrinsic Needs and Motives in Explaining Facebook Addiction. 8th Conference of the Media Psychology Division (German Psychological Society) in Würzburg. Przybylski, A.K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C.R. & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioural correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 29, pp. 1841-1848. Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books. contact details: contact details: Prof. Dr. C. Bosau Prof. Dr. C. Bosau Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln Schaevenstr. 1 Schaevenstr. 1 a/b a/b 50676 Köln 50676 Köln phone: +49 221 20302-692 phone: +49 221 20302-692 mail: email@example.com mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: http://www.rfh-koeln.de web: http://www.rfh-koeln.de GOR, March 2014, Cologne/Germany GOR, March 2014, Cologne/Germany
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