Fear of Missing Out, online social networking and mobile phone addiction: A latent profile approach

Héctor Fuster, Ander Chamarro, Ursula Oberst


Background and aims: Fear of missing out (FoMO) is described as a pervasive unpleasant sensation that others might be having rewarding experiences of which one is not part, as well as the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. It has shown to play an important mediating role in predicting negative outcomes of heavy use of these networks. The aim of the present study was to analyze the different profiles found among users. Methods: 5,280 Spanish speaking social media users from Latin America replied in an online survey to the Spanish version of the FoMO scale, to a short set of questionnaires on online social network use (frequency, intensity and type of access) and indicators of mobile phone addiction. Results: FoMO correlated with the number of different networks used and with all indicators of social network use and mobile phone addiction. Using a Latent Profile Analysis, four classes of users were identified: low-engagement light users, high-engagement heavy users, high-engagement low-risk users, and high-engagement high-risk users; individuals from the fourth class can be considered at risk for developing addiction to online social networks (7.6 % of the sample). Discussion: Accessing the social networks via the mobile phone and presenting addictive behavior seem to be important correlates of FoMO. 

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Copyright (c) 2018 Héctor Fuster, Ander Chamarro, Ursula Oberst

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