the joy of missing out

In a previous article, we spoke about the unfortunate case of FOMO that is taking control of the modern youth these days. 

We fear missing out, so we make decisions that aren’t well thought-out. 

But in this hectic world, where we feel overwhelmed by all the noise, perhaps you’re seeking genuine joy, peace, and contentment. 

A powerful antidote to FOMO is the JOMO, a new wave of self-care. 

What exactly is JOMO

So while FOMO stands for ‘fear of missing out,’ the very opposite of that is JOMO or the joy of missing out. 

In other words, it’s about choosing not to engage in social activities or digital distractions but instead focusing on one’s own well-being, solitude, or real-life experiences.

JOMO refers to a deliberate decision to disconnect from social and/or online activities and events, in order to focus on being present and enjoying one’s own company.

Embracing solitude, quiet moments, and focusing on activities that bring personal fulfillment and happiness is the key focus in JOMO. It is learning to understand how to calm the mind, without feeling the need to constantly be involved in what others are doing. 

The greatest power in JOMO, beyond learning to spend time yourself, is adopting the mindset that values self-care, mindfulness, and the freedom to prioritize one’s own well-being over social pressures.

While FOMO might be quite common amongst the youth, JOMO is gaining popularity as a response to the overwhelming presence of social media and rising depression, anxiety, and pressure to stay constantly connected. 

There is a growing realization that constant access to social media and pressure to attend every social event can have negative effects. Also, some of the contributing factors to why JOMO is on the rise may be: 

  1. Digital overload and fatigue — The hyperconnected is bombarding people with notifications, messages, and updates from everywhere. Not only are we receiving constant notifications from our personal contacts, but ever since the advent of remote work, work is the same. Feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion can result from this constant flow of information. 
  2. Burnout and stress — As the demands of work, personal life, and social obligations increase, it is no wonder that burnout and stress are on the rise, especially amongst Gen Z and Millenials. 
  3. The Mindfulness Movement — Over the last decade, the mindfulness movement has become a billion-dollar industry. From apps to endless services, mindfulness is all about encouraging individuals to be present at the moment, appreciate the simple joys of life, and cultivate a deeper connection with themselves. As such, JOMO aligns with these principles by promoting intentional disconnection and the enjoyment of offline experiences.
  4. Mental health awareness — In the US, 1 in 5 adults are reported to have experienced mental illness. Therefore, a lot of the stigma of therapy and mental health has vanished, as there has been an increasing rise in awareness and conversations surrounding mental health. All of this has helped to prioritize self-care and set boundaries.
  5. Shift in cultural behavior — Ever since the pandemic, people have become more accustomed to staying indoors. As a whole, the pandemic has transformed the idea of what a home is, and so people are now more willing to stay home. There has been a shift in societal values, with more emphasis being placed on personal fulfillment. The rise of remote work has further pushed this point.

Why we need to embrace JOMO

As mentioned earlier, the constant need to strive to be a part of a social event or activity can get exhausting. Looking online to what others are doing will never end, because there will always be something that is happening. 

The fear of missing out is nothing more than a fear. 

What this means is that it is something we can overcome. Having a greater work-life balance, a need for self-discovery and understanding, and improved state of wellness in the mind is ultimately what the joy of missing out offers. It is an alternative perspective that emphasizes the value of downtime, self-reflection, and comfort in solitude. 

How to embrace JOMO

So how can we go about embracing the joy of missing out exactly?

  • Set clear boundaries — Establish healthy boundaries with technology and social media. Designate specific times for digital detoxes or limit the amount of time spent on social platforms to create space for personal well-being.
  • Practice saying no — Learn to say no to activities or commitments that do not align with your priorities or bring you genuine joy. For those who are people pleasers, this can be a difficult thing in the beginning. Especially, if you feel like you are growing more distant with certain friends or missing opportunities. But upon practice, you’ll realize that saying no, isn’t that difficult. And by using your time right, you can create more opportunities with that ‘no’ than always ‘yes.’ 
  • Gratitude attitude — Shift your perspective to appreciate the present moment and the experiences you choose to engage in. Be grateful for the opportunities you have rather than dwelling on what you may be missing out on.
  • Engage in meaningful experiences — Invest your time and energy in activities that align with your values and bring you fulfillment. Whether that is learning a new skill, reading more books, or just meditating. JOMO isn’t about advocating being alone all the time. Instead, it is about learning how to not spend your time recklessly. Spend quality time with loved ones, engage in hobbies, or explore new interests that genuinely resonate with you.