Unless you’ve actually been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. It’s an underlying form of anxiety but sometimes debilitating where you feel you’re missing out on something or that you’re somehow being left out of all the fun.
This modern misery is usually thought to be caused by social media, where we’re all seeing endless status updates and photos of friends showing off their (supposedly) happier, more exciting lives. For example, we may see some acquaintances all sharing Instagram Stories together at the newest restaurant in town. You may wonder – why wasn’t I invited? How come they’re having loads of fun when I’m sat here, watching re-runs of Friends and feeling lonely and left out.
I really struggled with FOMO in the past. It resulted in anxiety, a feeling of disconnect and uneasiness that I wasn’t getting the best out of my life. My friendship groups have always been quite dispersed and a full-time job combined with trying to make every social engagement meant I lost weight and was seriously unhealthy due to drinking and late nights – a full on burnout was soon on the way leaving me feeling worse than ever!
Why JOMO is the new FOMO
To be honest, I don’t believe that FOMO is a completely bad thing. We’re human. We love to feel part of something and get involved. However, attending or joining in purely for the sake of it kind of misses the point – we need to make real connections and actually enjoy ourselves.
According to a survey by LinkedIn reported that 70 per cent of employees admit that when they go on holiday, they don’t disconnect from work (gross). So in fact, living in today’s non-stop world, where everyone is almost always constantly ‘on’, detoxing from people and technology might just be the best way to spend our time.
“It’s about disconnecting, opting-out of certain events and just being okay as you are.”
Welcome to JOMO. In stark contrast to FOMO, JOMO – Joy of Missing Out encourages us to live in the here and now, rather than worrying about what we COULD be doing. It’s about disconnecting, opting-out of certain events and just being okay as you are.
We need to realise that getting cosy on a Saturday night with no makeup on and in our ugliest pyjamas, rather than getting dressed up to the nines and spending next week’s rent money for a picture on the ‘gram is absolutely FINE.
How to experience JOMO
Make sure you’re monitoring your digital intake, first and foremost. According to a recent study, limiting the likes of Facebook and Instagram to 10 minutes a day could be beneficial. Learn to let go of worrying that you’re doing something wrong, or not doing enough.
A great way to think about things if you’re constantly worrying about missing out is to ask yourself: is it really worth it? When you’re older, will you remember hours scrolling through Instagram, or will you remember the time you spent watching your favourite film, sprawled on the sofa with pizza and friend?
Sometimes, it’s simply about finding joy in what you have, rather than what you don’t.
Ella in the Big City – She can be found with her head in a book or attempting to learn a new skill (some with more success than others!). Travelling is her second passion and she is constantly dreaming about her next far-flung destination.