Social media has become a primary necessity in people’s lives, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Its use has significantly increased, marked by influencers who drive trends on social media.
This situation has led to hyperreality, where the real and virtual worlds become challenging to distinguish. Hyperreality drives consumptive behavior due to the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Advertisements that tempt, personalized recommendations, ease of payment, and the frequency of social media use all contribute to the emergence of FOMO.
Buying and selling platforms also blur the line between the real and the virtual, leading to consumptive behavior and FOMO feelings that often go unnoticed.
“FOMO makes people feel like they don’t want to be left behind and encourages them to engage in consumer behavior,” said team member Yuono Dwi Raharjo from the Faculty of Psychology on Wednesday (October 11).
Raharjo explained that he and his team, which includes Siti Aminah Nurhasanah (Psychology 2020), Esa Geniusa Religiswa Magistravia, and Muhammad Rofi’i (Philosophy 2020), along with their supervisor Lavenda Geshica, conducted research on FOMO and consumptive behavior experienced by the community, especially those in Yogyakarta.
This social and humanities research was submitted to compete at the Ministry of Research’s Student Creativity Program.
Through their research titled “The Effects of Hyperreality on FOMO: A Mixed-Method Study of Consumer Behavior,” the team studied the dynamics of hyperreality, FOMO, and consumptive behavior in Yogyakarta, then analyzed it using two approaches: quantitative analysis through mediation regression and qualitative analysis using thematic analysis.
Raharjo explained that the research, conducted over four months with Yogyakarta residents as respondents, aimed to explore the influence of consumerism on the community. The study used a social life background to understand the phenomenon better.
“Consumptive behavior is essentially a current phenomenon that needs to be studied in-depth to find solutions, such as regulations, to address the situation in society,” he said.
The research sampled 89 participants of ages ranging from 18 to 35 years. The team then selected five participants with the highest baseline scores for interviews.
The research showed that people have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is virtual. They feel annoyed and restless if they don’t receive the desired information.
People seek information for various life needs, entertainment, and current news. These feelings lead to the emergence of FOMO, a fear of missing out on valuable experiences or information that others have.
This result was observed in four out of five participants experiencing hyperreality-related FOMO symptoms.
Raharjo and his team also discussed the fear of missing out (FOMO) in social media use, which can apparently influence consumptive behavior. Differences in FOMO tendencies are related to age groups.
“The symptoms experienced by the participants related to FOMO include feelings of low self-confidence, an inability to adapt to the environment, and self-control issues,” he explained.
The team concluded that the digital age’s development impacts everyone. Social media has made distinguishing between real and virtual challenging, resulting in the fear of missing out (FOMO).
This is characterized by a lack of self-confidence, causing individuals to cover their shortcomings through consumptive behavior.
Regulation is needed to help address the negative impacts of FOMO and consumptive behavior to create a balanced and sustainable society. The regulation focuses on positive psychological control aspects to promote positive thinking in individuals’ lives.
“Of course, this research still has limitations, which should be considered for future research, especially related to the number and location of participants, age, education level, occupation, and marital status as subjects to be studied,” Raharjo concluded.
Author: Agung Nugroho