Nielsen: Fear of missing out a real phenomenon

WASHINGTON — We’re increasingly connected to the world through our mobile devices, and Nielsen Holdings reports that FOMO, or the fear of missing out, has become a legitimate phenomenon, especially regarding our smartphones.

A recent Nielsen survey of consumers around the world found that 53 percent of us feel anxious when our mobile devices aren’t close at hand.

About two-thirds of consumers globally said they can’t imagine life without mobile devices, and 66 percent agree that face-to-face interactions are being replaced with electronic ones.

That might not be as big of a problem as it sounds. Nielsen said its survey showed 47 percent of consumers globally prefer texting than talking face-to-face.

The survey was focused on mobile shopping, banking and payment habits, and also found globally that 53 percent of consumers now use their smartphones or tablets to look up product information and 38 percent use them to purchase products.

And one out of three consumers worldwide has purchased a product or service on their mobile device in the past six months.

Mobile banking activities like accessing account information and paying bills are more common than transferring money from one account to another.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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