May 6, 2011
Data point: Who’s afraid of missing out?
This week we released our May trend report, a look at the rising Fear Of Missing Out. This state of mind, widely referred to as FOMO, spans generations and cultures (and means something a little different to everyone), but the Millennial generation is the most acutely afflicted. We confirmed this in a survey of 1,000-plus adults and 87 teens in the U.S. and the U.K., with as many as 72 percent of young adults (18-33) telling us they could completely or somewhat relate to the expression and four in 10 saying they experience FOMO often or sometimes. Teens (13-17) were the second most likely cohort to relate to the concept (56%), with about a quarter of them saying they experience FOMO often or sometimes.
As detailed in the chart above, when it comes to social media specifically, Millennials feel more left out than any other generation when they learn their friends are doing something they’re not, buying something they’re not or finding out about something sooner than they do. It’s no surprise that this generation, shaped by online tools and social media, is most closely linked with FOMO—they’re the most exposed to what their network of peers is doing at all times in real time; their inclination toward FOMO is also a function of their age and life stage. It was a surprise, however, to find out that men experience more FOMO on social media than women. To see how and why, check out the full report here.