The FOMO antidote: JOMO

“Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling–
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won’t go through it;
The anxious clamouring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favor of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out”

—Michael Leunig

The problem: FOMO

If you’re a millennial, Gen Z, Gen X or anyone with a smartphone’s roots embedded deep in your hands, you’re aware of what FOMO is.

When people travel, go fancy dining and adopt ten dogs to run away from their problem but display it as having a ‘good time’ and you on the other side of the screen with less than half their salary imagines living that time.

All social media platforms have become a breeding ground for all kinds of negative feelings, whether trying to fit in, being a part of the crowd, or doing things because others are doing it.

FOMO is real, by ScoopWhoop.

This is not a strange problem to me, I can’t write this article in a vacuum that everyone is affected by it, but I’m the sane one here.

This is one of the articles that I wrote for myself. So that when FOMO tries to throw a punch at me, I read this and dodge it.

I’m sure I’m not the only one affected by this.

In this hyperconnected world where we can see what the most brilliant minds are doing, at times, it’s easy to feel bad about not doing the same things.

So, the solution is moving In the other direction: JOMO.

The solution: Joy Of Missing Out, ergo, JOMO

I’ve written about FOMO at length on my blog, and the solution was there all along.

According to Anil Dash, one thing that can make us happy is JOMO. The joy of missing out. “There can be, and should be, a blissful, serene enjoyment in knowing, and celebrating, that there are folks out there having the time of their life at something that you might have loved to but are simply skipping.” 

The fact that it’s okay not to be everywhere, it’s okay to find peace at where you are. Finding joy in where you are.

Let’s be like her.

It requires cutting the cord for a while and being at peace with your current situation. 

The moment we wake up, we expose ourselves to all the noise around us as if we are meant to see and absorb all this information at once. But, no, we can’t, and we shouldn’t. 

The joy of missing out sounds like a unicorn in a far, far land of a mystical fairy tale.

It is practical? Hell, it is. 

How can you do it?

  1. Plan the important stuff – whether it’s working out, reading a book or meeting a friend, take some time out, and finish it. You’ll feel a sense of control and not be steered by just impulses to do stuff. Be intentional with the essential things in life and think about what you can do than waste time thinking about what others are doing. 
  2. Enjoy the tech-free time – whether it’s going for a bit of walk for half an hour or just keeping your phone in the other room while you read or bake cookies, this is something that can help you ignore what the world is up to.
  3. Learn to say no – your attention is the most critical resource; it’s pretty scarce as well. So, spend it wisely. You don’t need to be everywhere you’re invited. Unless you want to be everywhere, in that case, you might feel burnout. If it’s something that doesn’t interest you or you’re doing it just out of obligation, social pressure or our favourite, FOMO, then think about it twice. In the long term, you’ll feel confident about the opportunities you said no to.

You can say yes to your sanity and your peace instead of running from app to app checking where people are headed now.

You can reread this article and remind yourself that it’s okay to miss a celebration, a day out, or a party.

People can have the best time of their lives, and you can be happy staying in.

Write a journal, post those write ups that are still there in your notes app, connect with people, know your neighbour, paint badly, sing on top of your voice and worry less about what’s happening in the crypto world and how a 20 year old is buying a S class Mercedes by selling quick money tips to vulnerable audience on Instagram.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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