Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Robert Samet




emotions, social media, advertsiements


FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a modern social expression used in reference to an individual emotional experience generally associated with social media. This anthropological dissertation aims to explore the emotional expression of FoMO in relation to society and the self. The study begins with an analysis of academic literatures on emotions the self and cultures such as social media. Social media culture enables the self to be created and maintained in accordance to the societies interpretation of the ideal self. This ideal self perpetuates emotional reactions such as FoMO. Based on guided interviews with advertisers this thesis examines the ways in which social media allows the corporate world to market and brand objects in a seeming human self. Further interviews at Union College with social media users as well as 'Instagrammers' help to examine the real life understanding and application of FoMO. The additional examination of Instagrammers displays the ways that individual selves are created and promoted to others. Social media users perceive FoMO to originate from the pressures of appearing and maintaining a self that is the perceived ideal. This study ultimately contributes to the understanding of FoMO as an emotional experience generated by society and the self.

Included in

Anthropology Commons