Is fear of missing out (Fomo) a cultural construct? investigating fomo from a marketing perspective

Faren Karimkhan, Sindy Chapa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Fear of missing out (FOMO) is an ongoing phenomenon. It is particularly important in the field of marketing as it is linked to impulsive shopping behaviour and other consequences that can affect the brand–consumer relationship. Existing literature suggests that FOMO is influenced by social media consumption, the level of collectivism versus individualism, and a sense of belonging. The present study deepens understanding of FOMO by examining its associations with social media consumption both in English and in consumers’ ethnic languages, collectivism versus individualism, and ethnic identity. The data were obtained via an online survey of 3,286 respondents of different ethnicities (non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, African American, Asian American). The results show that while consumption of English-language social media is not significantly related to FOMO, the consumption of social media in other languages appears to be a significant predictor of FOMO. The study also finds that collectivism and ethnic identity appear to have a strong correlation with FOMO and can be used as predictors of FOMO. These findings support the idea that FOMO is highly cultural. The paper goes on to discuss how these conclusions contribute to the literature, along with the managerial implications of the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
Pages (from-to)169-183
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cultural Marketing Strategy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural dimensions
  • FOMO
  • Fear of missing out
  • Online behaviour
  • Online marketing
  • Social media
  • Social media marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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