Under-35s scared to take ‘digital detox’ holidays due to ‘FOMO’

The fear of missing out (Fomo) and increasing digitalisation of tourism services are putting millenn

The fear of missing out (Fomo) and increasing digitalisation of tourism services are putting millennials off taking a break from the internet and their electronic devices on holiday, researchers from the UEA say. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A fear of missing out - so-called FOMO - is stopping millennials from taking a break from their electronic devices and the internet, a Norwich university study has found.

A study by the Universities of East Anglia (UEA), Westminster and Greenwich found some adults are reluctant to take a "digital detox holiday" despite a growing awareness of the problems with being constantly connected.

Participants aged 21 to 35 reported they recognised the overuse of smartphones in their daily lives and valued digital-free travel as a way of improving their "digital health".

However, researchers also found FOMO, personal and work commitments and nomophobia - the irrational fear of being without your phone - were obstacles to digital-free travel.

Dr Wenjie Cai, from the University of Greenwich Business School, said: "Switching off digitally and being 'mentally' away while on holiday is as important as being physically away."

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The push by tourism organisations to make their services more digital was also seen as a barrier to millennials going digital-free on holiday.

Dr Brad McKenna, from UEA's Norwich Business School, said: "Tourism and hospitality providers should notice the growing demands of digital-free travel and cater for this need by diversifying their operations design and planning."

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