Constant Connection and Fear of Missing out in Youth’s Everyday Face-to-Face Interaction


  • Sebastijan Ivasović Madison Consulting
  • Ivan Burić


constant connection, fear of missing out, smartphone, Generation Z


The main aim of this explorative research paper was is to discover frequency, patterns, and motives of smartphone usage by Generation Z (people born in the late 1990s or the early 2000s)’ during their face-to-face interaction with a view to exploring the need for constant connection and correlated fear of missing out. For this purpose, the authors of the paper conducted in-depth interviews and an observation in Zagreb. As the results indicate, young people use smartphones during their face-toface interactions in order to bridge the fall of dialogue intensity and generate new topics, while usage dynamics varies in correlation with the size of the group and the quality of friendship. Additionally, it is discovered that youth’s constant connection is a habit – especially for the ones in a love relationship. Constant connection is, in general, the result of boredom and desire for fun, which can lead to stress and a fear of missing out. Such a fear manifests itself in situations when young people lose their smartphones, which makes them feel ”cut off from the world“. Also, due to high communication expectations generated by constant connectedness, young people feel the pressure of quick communication, which leads to stress.