FOMO is an acronym for the fear of missing out. It is not a new experience although it has become more widespread like a virus due to the existence of some mediums like social media that foster the fear. You may be at home having a nice time reading, watching a movie, or enjoying a drink when you receive a notification on your phone, and boom! it’s Instagram. Your friends are out partying, traveling and even getting married then soon your joy and happiness are replaced by anxiousness, self-doubt fear, and other negative vibrations.
This is a very natural thing to occur because as soon as we are born we were inculcated with the idea that we are not enough. We are taught that we must wait to be chosen, seek validation, and essentially not be able to be ourselves. Everyone is afraid of being the odd one out. We rate ourselves on a scale set by others. FOMO has a few effects on our lives. They are:
1. It keeps us from enjoying the present moment:
imagine you are having a precious time with your family and you just zoom off from the conversations into your thoughts of everything you feel you should be doing just like others and slowly other tiny negative thoughts creeps in their volumes in your head and then your mood is changed and you miss out on the nice time with your family and those that care about you.
2. It hinders us from achieving our goals:
I’m almost certain everyone has procrastinated on a goal or something and for some of us, most of the time you procrastinated on something, it was prompted by FOMO. You know, the times where you begin something or you are supposed to begin something then suddenly you decide to go out to hang out with friends at a party.
We can see that FOMO is of no good at all, instead, JOMO- Joy of missing out should be inducted.
The joy of missing out is about feeling enough, content, and devoid of the character of seeking validation. Here are some ways to turn FOMO into JOMO:
1. Set a non-screen time:
when you can take time away from your phone and resist the urge to go on social media for updates on what is going on in other people’s lives, you would have reduced the channels that trigger FOMO.
2. Do not compare yourself to others:
You should learn to understand that the competition should not be with others but with your old self. It is more convenient and harmless to strive to be a better version of yourself not to be someone else.
3. Learn to be a little more focused on your goals:
When all that is in your mind is what you have set out to do, you will have little time to think about what others are doing. Be a little more rigid with your goals to chase away the thought of abandoning school work to chill with friends.
The process of embracing JOMO is like practicing a new skill and it takes time to soak in. In the beginning, it can be hard for you to stay away from your phone, you may even experience the phantom vibration syndrome- a perception that your phone’s vibrating or ringing when it is not. Some days you may not be able to resist but as time passes by with intention and consistency, you will be able to enjoy being different and independent, making decisions for yourself, and being the best version of yourself.