Embracing the Joy of Missing Out in the Digital Age
You’ve likely heard of FOMO before. FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”. It refers to the apprehension or anxiety individuals experience when they believe that others are having enjoyable experiences, events, or opportunities from which they are absent. This fear often leads people to stay constantly connected to social media, attend events, or participate in activities solely to ensure they are not missing out on what others may be experiencing. FOMO can manifest as a compulsive need to stay informed about what others are doing and can sometimes result in feelings of inadequacy or discontent.
Recently, the concept of JOMO has been gaining popularity as a welcomed antidote for FOMO. JOMO, as you may have gathered by now, stands for "Joy of Missing Out." JOMO is the feeling of contentment and satisfaction that can come from staying in, disconnecting from social activities or digital devices, and enjoying a quieter, more introspective time. It's about embracing the idea that you don't need to be part of every social event or online trend and finding happiness in the present moment, often by yourself or with a select group of close friends or family. JOMO represents a shift toward valuing moments of relaxation, and self-care over constantly seeking external stimulation and validation.
FOMO is not voluntary or intentional, so what can we do to purposefully leave FOMO behind and enjoy JOMO?
In her book “How to Break Up with Your Phone”, award-winning science journalist Catherine Price says “When we decide what to pay attention to in the moment, we are making a broader decision about how we want to spend our lives.” In other words, change comes from decision. So the first step to go from FOMO to JOMO is to choose to do so.
You can begin by setting priorities in your life. Determine your most important values, interests, and goals, and focus your time and energy on activities and relationships that align with these priorities.
Dedicate time to self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it's reading, taking a bath, meditating, or pursuing a hobby, prioritize activities that nurture your well-being. Take breaks from digital devices. Disconnect from social media and screen time to enjoy moments of real-life presence without distractions.
Shift your focus from the quantity of social interactions to their quality. Cultivate deeper connections with a smaller circle of friends and loved ones. Practice mindfulness and being fully present in the moment. Engage in activities without the constant need to document or share them on social media. Don't feel compelled to say yes to every social invitation or request. It's okay to decline and prioritize your well-being and personal time. Remind yourself that it's okay to miss out on certain events or trends. Celebrate the freedom and peace that comes with choosing your own path.
Appreciate simple and ordinary moments in life. You don't always need extravagant experiences to find happiness and contentment. Establish boundaries with your work, social obligations, and technology use. Define when you'll be available and when you'll disconnect to prioritize your well-being. Cultivate a gratitude mindset. Reflect on the things you're thankful for in your life, which can shift your focus from what you lack to what you have.
It is paramount to keep in mind that this transition is a process, not a procedure. In other words, it takes time, effort, and discipline, but the results and benefits more than outweigh the cost.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Have you experienced FOMO? Can you identify the cause for feeling this way? What changes can you make in your life right now to start your journey from FOMO to JOMO?
An accomplished translator and writer, Cami has been in the creative field for nearly two decades. Her experience as a linguist in several fields, paired with her background as a native Latina immigrant (born and raised in Brazil and naturalized American citizen) gives her a unique perspective on the social and cultural context of our society. She has been with Techless since 2022 and currently lives in Michigan with her husband of twelve years, their eight-year-old son, and their puppy Oreo.