Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study explores whether fear of missing out (FOMO) mediates the relation between social networking site (SNS) use and negative mental health outcomes, with moderators of Facebook activities and individual-level characteristics included. Short-term longitudinal data was collected from undergraduate students (N=296). Mediation analyses indicated that intensity of Facebook use did not predict anxiety or depression, as mediated by FOMO. Further, Facebook activities did not moderate the relation between intensity of Facebook use and FOMO, and social comparison and social connectedness did not moderate the relations between FOMO and negative mental health outcomes. Post-hoc analyses showed that social connectedness moderated the relation between FOMO and anxiety. Passive behaviors on social media indirectly predicted higher levels of anxiety and depression through increases in FOMO. This study gives pause in making sweeping negative conclusions about SNS use, finding that specific uses of SNSs may be more important than duration of time spent online.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.