Research 5: #FOMO – Report

Posted on: Friday 04 July 2014 4:37pm by Katie Simmons

What’s this year’s big thing? #FOMO. Of course it is. But don’t get #FOMO 


  • Kids’ online and offline life is merging into one.
  • 2013 = I am connected 24/7. 2014 = I am on show 24/7.

Session Details

This short session from Discovery Research demonstrated the latest trends within the lives of 6-15 yr olds as #FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out. Tablets, phones and apps are this year’s big stories, and they’re used to connect and share experience. Kids’ online and offline life is merging into one. 2013 = I am connected 24/7. 2014 = I am on show 24/7.

This session really connected with the audience and we heard their voices loud and clear. And they’re telling us that FOMO is a key driver of how kids consume and interact with media.


Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere – the Fear Of Missing Out

(You’ll know this feeling if you’ve ever missed out on a spot on the Pizza Express night!)

“Got, got… Neeed!”

This year’s key trend is apps – “How would you survive without them?” one child pleaded. The key to ‘essential’ apps seems to be social networking – and that means so very much more than Facebook!

Successful apps manage to bridge the gap between the physical and online world. Kids swap Match Attack cards in playgrounds, go onto Ebay to buy what they “need”, and then go onto YouTube to watch other kids opening their packets of stickers to relive the experience. The social interaction overlaps their physical and virtual worlds.

“My mum isn’t as interesting as Instagram”

Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, Vine and YouTube are the bare essentials of tablets and phones. (Interstingly BBM has made a comeback now that it’s a free app.)

Other apps are disposable. Their longeviety is based on FOMO. Children’s lifestyle seems to follow a pattern of collect, absorb, share and then disregard.

Games are a natural contender for phone and tablet devices, but what keeps kids coming back to them? You’ve guessed it; social interaction feeding the FOMO.

FOMO vs No Go

Google and Facebook are soooo no go. Kids aren’t using search engines anymore and will go to Google only after they’ve tried YouTube. And Facebook?! “Facebook is where the old people go like my dad. It’s too slow and I don’t really use it anymore.” (Anyone else deleting their Facebook account as they read this?!)


Kid’s life is screen addicted and the Presentation ended on a cautionary note; kids don’t know how or when to stop consuming. Are we plunging towards a content obesity epidemic?!

Full details of the speakers are available in the Session Guide.
View the presentation: Research 5

Event Reports

Katie Simmons, Writer and Development Producer – Freelance

About the author

Katie Simmons

Freelance, Writer and Development Producer

Katie has been involved in the creation and development of many well-loved brands including 'Show Me Show Me', 'Mr Bloom’s Nursery' and 'Numtums'. She has also been the creative lead on projects that are developed for the commercial, worldwide audience. Katie is also an experienced children’s scriptwriter and her credits… Read more