In the ever-connected world dominated by social media, the familiar anxiety of missing out (FOMO) is taking a back seat to a new trend for 2024 – the joys of missing out (JOMO). As experts suggest, it’s time to be more selective and intentional about what we engage with, turning FOMO into JOMO.
Ways to Transform FOMO into JOMO
The fear of missing out has been a prevalent concern long before the digital age, but with social media, witnessing the highlights of others’ lives in real time has exacerbated the immediate sense of being left out. Tali Gazit, an associate professor of information science at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, points out that exposure to strangers’ seemingly perfect lives can contribute to the FOMO phenomenon.
However, Gazit emphasizes that missing out doesn’t have to induce negative emotions. Reframing FOMO into JOMO allows individuals to enjoy missing out on certain things intentionally, without the distraction of comparing themselves to others.
“JOMO reminds us that we can not only not fear that we are missing something important, but actually enjoy missing something,” Gazit said.
The Positive Impact of JOMO on Mental Well-being
JOMO isn’t about isolating oneself from social activities. Instead, it provides the freedom to choose when to step back intentionally, fostering increased productivity, focus, engagement in relationships, and overall emotional and physical well-being, according to Cleveland Clinic.
While social media has its drawbacks, it also facilitates connections that can be beneficial for mental health. Embracing JOMO doesn’t mean cutting off connections but rather disconnecting intentionally to recharge.
Incorporating JOMO into Your Life: Practical Strategies
1. Make Plans to Disconnect
Being intentional about JOMO involves purposefully choosing to disconnect from social media. Gazit’s research indicates that those who made this choice had higher psychological well-being.
2. Say No and Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries in all aspects of life, including social events, is crucial. Being selective about how time is spent and being comfortable saying no without apology is essential.
3. Use Coping Mechanisms
Behavioral strategies such as using features like do not disturb, muting people, turning off notifications, and setting time limits for apps can reduce the temptation to engage in excessive social media usage.
4. Be Mindful with Social Media
JOMO isn’t about eliminating social media but using it mindfully. Consider the emotions triggered by different content and assess its impact on your well-being. Limiting social media can decrease self-comparisons.
Encouraging a Mindful Approach to Life
Gazit suggests that individuals should allocate time to focus on their own lives rather than being preoccupied with others. Recognizing that everyone experiences FOMO at times and actively enjoying one’s current activities can contribute to a sense of fulfillment.
As we navigate the digital age, transforming FOMO into JOMO provides an empowering shift in perspective, encouraging intentional choices and fostering a positive impact on mental health. It’s not about missing out; it’s about choosing what truly matters.