How can social networks design trigger fear of missing out?

Aarif Alutaybi, Emily Arden-Close, John McAlaney, Angelos Stefanidis, Keith Phalp, Raian Ali

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social Network Sites (SNSs) are meant to facilitate interaction between people. The design of SNSs employs persuasive techniques with the aim of enhancing the user experience but also increasing interaction and user retention.Examples include the personalisation of content, temporarily available feeds, and notification and alert features. Socialness is now being embedded in new paradigms such as the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems where devices can link people to each other and increase relatedness and group creation. One of the phenomena associated with such persuasion techniques is the experience of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). FoMO typically refers to the preoccupation of SNS users with being deprived of interaction while offline. The salience, mood modification and conflict typically experienced as part of FoMO, are symptoms of digital addiction (DA). Despite recognition of the widespread experience of FoMO, existing research focuses on user psychology to interpret it. The contribution of SNS design in triggering FoMO remains largely unexplored. In this paper, we conduct a multi-stage qualitative research including interviews, a diary study and three focus group sessions to explore the relationship between SNS features and FoMO. Our findings demonstrate how the different SNS features act as persuasion triggers for certain kinds of FoMO. Also, we suggest features that could be introduced to social network sites to allow individuals to manage FoMO and identify the principles and challenges associated with engineering them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, SMC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages3758-3765
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728145693
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, SMC 2019 - Bari, Italy
Duration: 6 Oct 20199 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
Volume2019-October
ISSN (Print)1062-922X

Conference

Conference2019 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, SMC 2019
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityBari
Period6/10/199/10/19

Keywords

  • Digital Addiction
  • Fear of Missing Out
  • Social Networks
  • User Experience

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