College students’ academic motivation, media engagement and fear of missing out

The concerns about the consequences of mental problems related to use of social media among university students have recently raised consciousness about a relatively new phenomenon termed Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). Drawing on the self-determination theory and on the assumption that low levels of basic need satisfaction may relate to FoMO and social media engagement, the aim of the present research was to examine for the first time possible links between FoMO, social media engagement, and three motivational constructs: Intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation for learning. Data were gathered from 296 undergraduate students by using the following scales: Social Media Engagement (SME), Fear of Missing Out (FoMOs) and Academic Motivation. The SME is a new scale, specifically designed for this study to measure the extent to which students used social media in the classroom. This scale includes three categories: Social engagement, news information engagement and commercial information engagement. Path analysis results indicated that the positive links between social media engagement and two motivational factors: Extrinsic and amotivation for learning are more likely to be mediated by FoMO. Interpretation of these results, their congruence within the context of the theoretical frameworks and practical implications are discussed.

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