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Online Social Media Fatigue and Psychological Wellbeing


With the increasing popularity of social networks in the 21st century, social media addiction is a problem that can seriously harm an individual’s mental and physical health. Often, it develops over an extended period of time and can involve a number of unhealthy symptoms, such as the feeling of distress, sleep deprivation, insomnia, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, and other signs. Therefore, it is essential to recognize addictive behaviors prevent them, and avoid adverse consequences. According to Rozgonjuk et al. (2020), Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a tendency associated with social network use disorder. It refers to the person’s anxiety over failing to have a rewarding experience and often reveals itself through routine disruptions, such as those during driving. Social anxiety is another term related to social media addiction. As Baltaci (2019) claims, this condition causes an individual to feel worried and scared when an interaction with others is involved. These two conditions present the two opposites of social interactions and can both be signals of social media addiction. The purpose of this project is to investigate the association between social media use and FOMO.

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Literature Review

Social Media Use

Social media use is the independent variable identified for this study. It refers to an online activity whose popularity proliferates in the modern world and is likely to increase due to the improved internet access worldwide and the opportunity to exchange data and stay connected. As Dhir et al. (2018) argue in the recent study, a significant number of social media users restrain from the use of social media as a result of social media fatigue. The authors aim to fill the gap in the literature by applying the stressor-strain-outcome framework (SSO) for studying how compulsive social media utilization and fatigue are connected. The repeated cross-sectional methodology allowed for collecting two waves of data among adolescent users of social media located in India through surveys (Dhir et al., 2018). The findings of this research suggest that compulsive use of social networks can trigger fatigue and, in turn, depression and anxiety. FOMO is another sign that can occur in people who are at risk of social media fatigue. The focal group is adolescents who frequently use social media, thus, finding themselves in danger of addiction.

(Fear of Missing Out) FOMO

Fear of Missing Out is the dependent variable determined for this study. As Rozgonjuk et al. (2020) state, FOMO is one of the frequent forecasters of a smartphone, internet, and other types of use disorders. The research participants included the general population from the German-speaking environment and involved conducting an online survey study. Therefore, the study’s findings allowed for examining the link between work productivity and well-being and FOMO. Rozgonjuk et al. (2020) chose WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat Use Disorders for the mediation analysis. The research findings contributed to one’s understanding of the social networks use disorder (SNUD) and the position of FOMO in digital technology use-related issues. The analysis identified all but one platform (Snapchat) as contributing to the anxiety in users and compromising their work productivity and daily life activities.

The identified findings are relevant for this study since they provide a better understanding of critical concepts. Przybylski et al. (2013) present research on motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of FOMO. The researchers emphasize the positive implications of social media availability, such as improved connection and simplified data exchange among users. However, they discuss the downside of online activities, which involve the Fear of Missing Out. Due to the variability of options along with limited time and practical restrictions, social media imply adverse effects for users (Przybylski et al., 2013). The authors discuss the dual nature of social networks and the characteristics of FOMO, such as the tendency to stay continually connected with other people and growing anxiety when it is impossible. Przybylski et al. (2013) present the findings of three studies of the phenomenon. The first research creates the Fear of Missing Out scale, while the second studies demographic, well-being, and motivational factors and their association with FOMO. For the third research, the scholars conducted a survey among young adults to explore the behavioral and emotional correlates.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is another independent variable important for studying the association between social media use and FOMO. The article by Baltaci (2019) presents the research with a correlational survey model aiming to examine the levels of students’ social anxiety, loneliness, and happiness along with social media addiction at a Turkish state university. The data collection occurred through personal information forms, short forms of questionnaires, and addiction scales. Pearson analysis identified tendencies in students’ social media use and showed a positive relationship between students’ addiction levels and social anxiety (Baltaci, 2019). Interestingly enough, the study presented no positive connection between social media addiction and happiness. Overall, these studies’ findings add to the discussion on social media addiction and offer a basis for further research, identifying gaps in the literature.


Higher levels of social media addiction positively correlate to higher levels of social anxiety and FOMO.


Baltaci, Ö. (2019). The predictive relationships between the social media addiction and social anxiety, loneliness, and happiness. International Journal of Progressive Education, 15(4), 73-82. Web.

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Dhir, A., Yossatorn, Y., Kaur, P., & Chen, S. (2018). Online social media fatigue and psychological wellbeing: A study of compulsive use, fear of missing out, fatigue, anxiety and depression. International Journal of Information Management, 40, 141-152. Web.

Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in human behavior, 29(4), 1841-1848. Web.

Rozgonjuk, D., Sindermann, C., Elhai, J. D., & Montag, C. (2020). Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and social media’s impact on daily-life and productivity at work: Do WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat Use Disorders mediate that association? Addictive Behaviors, 110. Web.

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