The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that some people face when they feel like they’re missing out on a social occasion with others. For instance, this can include missing a group activity or outing in order to complete a personal or work task.

Some believe that this fear of missing out comes from the heightened use of social media sites. Many who experience FOMO find that they are often depressed, anxious, stressed, or find that they carry very negative thoughts. Real Research held a survey on fear of missing out (FOMO) to seek its users’ opinion on the matter. Here are the results.

Highlights

  • 56.20% are aware of FOMO and 49.42% say they are currently undergoing FOMO
  • 24.91% say advances in social media technology is the biggest cause for FOMO
  • 27.39% say they experience FOMO most from Facebook

56.20% Are Aware of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) Syndrome

Out of the total number of respondents on Real Research’s FOMO survey, almost half (49.42%) say that they are currently undergoing FOMO. To shift focus, the survey asks the respondents what they feel is the key cause of FOMO. Here, 24.91% say it is due to advances in social media technology.

Likewise, 8.63% say ‘fast sharing of information’. 4.21% say ‘internet access from early age’, and 3.92% say ‘dissatisfaction with monotonous lifestyles’. Lastly, 3.32% say ‘interpersonal anxiety’, 2.92% say ‘urge of doing multiple activities’, and 2.62% say ‘neuroticism’. The survey goes on to ask which FOMO symptom respondents think is the most serious. The majority (23.92%) say ‘worrying about other people’s opinions’, 8.02% say ‘taking pictures of everything’, and 7.79% say ‘a strong attachment to social media’. 

FOMOs-most-serious-symptoms
Figure 1: FOMO’s most serious symptoms

Likewise, 3.97% say yes to an unappealing activity just to not be left out. More so, 3.01% say ‘fear of being home alone on a Friday night’, 1.79% say ‘staying on the phone at all times’. Lastly, 1.14% say ‘low life satisfaction’, 1.06% say ‘feeling negative’, and 0.29% say ‘less committed in case something better comes up’.

Only 11.09% Spend More Than 5 Hours on Social Media Per Day

Meanwhile, 32.44% spend less than 1 hour per day on social media. Next, respondents chose which FOMO symptom they experience most from social media. The majority (23.14%) feel a greater sense of deprivation and apprehension. More so, 12.22% undergo social comparison, 5.29% feel low self-esteem, and 4.84% have negative thoughts.

Figure 2: Respondents time spent on social media platforms per day

Likewise, 2.60% sense low self-compassion, 1.65% feel a sense of envy, and 1.25% feel that others are having more fun without them. The next question asks which social media platforms trigger the most FOMO. Here, Facebook (27.39%), Instagram (10.68%), YouTube (6.51%), Twitter (3.75%), Snapchat (3.45%), Clubhouse (2.39%), TikTok (1.24%), LinkedIn (0.11%), and Others (19.20%).

Next, the survey asks which age group is most affected by FOMO. On this, respondents chose young children below 10 the most (19.83%). Following after is ‘Teenagers’ (15.39%), the 20s (14.02%), the 30s (4.57%), the 40s (3.32%), and more than 50s (3.89%).

Respondents Choose the Best Way to Prevent FOMO  

Finally, the survey asks respondents what they think is the most effective FOMO marketing technique. Here, 25.26% chose ‘showing items left in the stock’, 8.30% chose ‘countdown timers’, and 7.38% chose ‘reviews, ratings, and testimonials from customers’.

Meanwhile, 4.83% chose ‘showing social proof of visitors purchasing products’ while 1.65% equally chose ‘early discount’ and ‘missed opportunities.’ Lastly, 0.66% chose ‘gated content for visitors to register for access’.

Next, the survey asks how respondents feel when they tend to miss out on something. Most feel Nervous (23.62%), Lonely (8.02%), and Depressed (5.68%). Others feel Unhappy (4.75%), Regretful (3.41%), and Furious (2.38%).

Lastly, the survey asks respondents how to prevent FOMO. Here, the majority (26.93%) say to focus on what you have rather than what you lack. Then, 8.75% say start exercising or look for a new hobby to combat social media and smartphone addiction.

Respondents choose best ways to prevent FOMO
Figure 3: Respondents choose best ways to prevent FOMO

Furthermore, 5.26% say to seek out real connections, 5.23% say to be grateful every time, and 3.52% say to reduce spending time on the phone. 

Methodology

Survey TitleSurvey on Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) Syndrome
DurationNovember 12 – November 19, 2021
Number of Participants50,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.