Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Chloe O Connor 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Chloe O’Connor, and I am an Applied Psychology graduate at IADT that specialised in the tech path. Being in the tech path has opened my eyes to the importance of psychology in UX/ UI design. I have developed a particular interest in user accessibility and user experience. I also have a keen interest in social psychology. I hope to further my knowledge of these topics in the future.

Project Description

The way individuals use and interact with social media is shown to impact their feeling of FOMO. As TikTok's popularity is still relatively new, there is limited research on whether there is a link between the fear of missing out (FOMO) in relation to TikTok. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether the way a user engages with TikTok has an impact on an individual's fear of missing out levels. Specifically, the users time spent online, passive TikTok use and Passive TikTok use was examined.

Research question: Does user activity on TikTok influence feelings of Fear of missing out?

Project Objectives

This study aimed to investigate whether there was a positive correlation between an individual's feelings of FOMO, time spent on TikTok, Active TikTok use and Passive TikTok use. A between-groups design was employed, and data was collected from 85 participants through convenience sampling. The participants age ranged from 18 to 64, with a large proportion of the participants being female (19.8% male, 74.4% female, 3.5% non-binary, and 1.2% other). An online survey examining their active TikTok use, Passive TikTok use, and time spent on TikTok was completed. The data collected was then statistically analysed using SPSS software.

Project Outcomes

The results suggest that Passive TikTok use predicts feelings of FOMO. However, active TikTok use, and time spent on TikTok did not appear to predict feelings of FOMO. These results suggest that it is the type of engagement that impacts feelings of FOMO, as opposed to how long a user spends on the application. The implications of these findings may be significant to TikTok users, future researchers and parents of children using TikTok. These findings will hopefully be beneficial to TikTok users by providing a better understanding of how their behaviour online can impact their feelings of FOMO. Limiting the time spent passively using TikTok, such as scrolling the For You Page may be useful.