Engineering social media to combat the fear of missing out (FoMO).
Authors: Alutaybi, A.
Conference: Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and TechnologyAbstract:
The fear of missing out (FoMO) in relation to social media is an emerging issue that is expected to become more widespread with the increasing availability of online facilities for social interaction. Researchers have recently begun to explore the negative consequences of FoMO that are faced by social media users. Investigations suggest that those experiencing what could be called digital addiction may also display a range of psychological disorders ranging from depression and negative feelings to lack of sleep and insomnia, eating disorders, reduced life competency, emotional tension, negative effects on physical well-being, anxiety, and a lack of emotional control. Despite clear indicators of the effect of FoMO on users’ well-being, engineering principles and tools that allow them or their carers to manage their FoMO are still unavailable.
This thesis argues that software itself can be used as an effective solution to the management of social media related FoMO, and develops a method for managing digital usage that utilises existing features of social media and proposes others that could be added in the future. The method also includes an educational element that raises awareness of how social media related FoMO occurs and how it can be dealt with. It is hoped that this might build the user’s digital resilience and help them to cope with certain kinds of FoMO as they are triggered. The method is intended to enable people to regulate their use of social media, and in particular to manage their FoMO.