School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


William Bird


Social, Media, Addiction, Fear of Missing Out, Smartphone, Usage


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The development of social media addiction has become a phenomenon creating a potential public health crisis. While research has found correlations between the development of social media addiction and rising levels of fear of missing out, there is limited research surrounding the influence of smartphone ease of access. This study examined the moderating effects of smartphone ease of access to social media platforms and assessed appropriate treatment interventions. This study used an experimental within-subject design with 641 participants, ages 19-32 years. Part I of this study measured the participants’ levels of smartphone addiction, fear of missing out, and social media addiction at the initiation of the study. In Part II, 189 participants were asked to deactivate social media applications on their smartphones for two weeks and limit desktop usage to two days per week, no more than one hour each day. Variables were measured again at the conclusion of the two weeks. The results reflected that the relationship between fear of missing out and social media addiction was significantly moderated by smartphone addiction and revealed a significant difference in the mean scores for both instruments measuring fear of missing out, FOMO, and social media addiction, BSMAS. The results revealed a slight increase in the mean scores for FOMO and BSMAS, which may indicate the need for a longer period of abstinence for smartphone social media use to reduce the levels of FOMO and BSMAS.

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