Turn your FOMO into JOMO

Turn your FOMO into JOMO

You are here. But what if you could be somewhere else where the real fun occurs? In a place where unique experiences await you. Wake up; you are missing out! If this realisation stresses you, then you probably suffer from FOMO – fear of missing out.

The concept of FOMO was first introduced in 2000 by dr. Dan Herman, a marketing strategist. However, Patrick McGinnis found the acronym in 2004. Nine years later, the abbreviation FOMO was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary as “a feeling of worry that an interesting or exciting event is happening somewhere else”. 

The rise of social media has admittedly made our life much easier by offering access to hundreds of thousands of online sources for everything the human mind can think of. Access to information could not have been more uncomplicated and instant. Communicating with people on the other side of the globe is now a piece of cake; credit to technology!

On the other side, social media have brought about-or, more precisely, exacerbated- exactly what FOMO describes; the fear of missing out on all the incredible adventures and unparalleled events that everyone else seems to cherish but us.

FOMO can affect every age group that is involved in the use of social media. No exceptions there. The more you use social media without having set healthy boundaries, the more you are at risk of suffering from FOMO, to a smaller or greater extent.

Signs that you experience FOMO

  • Nervousness and stress surround your thoughts and actions. You feel restless and unable to fully enjoy what you experience then and there, for you wonder whether something greater is now happening elsewhere.
  • A feeling of doing worse than your peers; people of the same age seem to have more exciting lives than you. You obviously do something wrong because your life is dull.
  • You are glued to your phone even when you drive or cycle to avoid missing out on what is happening.
  • You regularly interrupt meals with family or friends to respond to messages and calls or check out social media.
  • You might feel depressed, and your self-esteem has taken a severe hit.
  • You terminate a romantic relationship out of fear of missing out on all the options existing out there; sure enough, there is always a better partner waiting for you somewhere, so why commit now?

Social media have the tendency to depict an unrealistic or idealised world. A world where everything seems feasible if you try hard enough, but also things occur effortlessly and smoothly. Do you see the irony there?

How to turn your FOMO into JOMO

  • Take a break from social media. Breaks are the best way to re-assess and re-focus on what truly matters.
  • Be thankful for what you have. Put your life into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, you don’t do that bad!
  • Set goals and priorities. What do you want to achieve long-term or short-term? What is at the moment more important and valuable to you? Ask yourself if the overuse of social media can inhibit your aims.
  • Exercise JOMO -the joy of missing out. Yes, this can happen by showing appreciation for what you experience. You say no to something because you say yes to something else that matters to you. Enjoy the fact that you cannot be everywhere and concentrate on all the people and things that make you content, satisfied and appreciative.

Time is finite, whereas experiences are not. We are bound to miss out on happenings, for we have one life to live, long or short. That is a fact that once we acknowledge and espouse, we can let go of the notion that we are missing out and savour what we can when we can. 

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