Akbari, M., Seydavi, M., Palmieri, S., Mansueto, G., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Fear of missing out (FoMO) and internet use: A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of behavioral addictions.


Background and aims

FoMO has been considered a predisposing factor toward excessive internet use, and a great deal of literature has investigated the link between FoMO and internet use. However, there is still a lack of cohesion in the literature.


The current study have been conducted and reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).


In the current systematic review and meta-analysis of 86 effect-sizes, representative of 55,134 participants (Mean age = 22.07, SD = 6.15, females = 58.37%), we found that the strength of the trait FoMO- internet use association significantly varies from r = 0.11 to r = 0.63. In some populations, FoMO appears to increase with age and it is reverse in other populations. Facebook use was unrelated to FoMO in some populations, and higher FoMO was linked with stopping Instagram use for some individuals. The FoMO- internet use association was independent of their severity, as the interaction was not significant, and this association was neither linear nor curvilinear. The FoMO-internet use association does not appear to be associated with depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms or level of life satisfaction. The COVID-19 pandemic was the only significant moderator of the FoMO-internet use association, strengthening this relationship.

Discussion and Conclusions

FoMO demonstrates a considerable role in internet use; however, there is no evidence of interaction or bi-directional association between the mentioned. Overall, we still don’t know what factors contribute to individuals exhibiting distinct patterns in the FoMO-internet use association.