Fear of Missing Out is often referred to as the first social media disease. In an article in The Guardian, Caterina Fake, "who helped popularise the term Fomo [explains that it] is “an age-old problem, exacerbated by technology”: we’ve never been so aware of what others are doing, and we aren’t.'"
You know the feeling. You're home alone on a Saturday night, pull up Instagram, and find out all of your friends are out at a bar. Why weren't you invited?
Everyone in the entire world seems to be at that Kanye West concert you couldn't get tickets to. Your friends are at brunch on a Sunday while you're home doing your laundry. There's 300 weddings on the same night, and you weren't invited to any of them.
The problem with social media- whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever-- is over saturation. We get a glimpse into every aspect of people's lives, from best friends to acquaintances, but are only presented the very best version.
Of course, looking at a carefully curated version of someone's life can cause envy. But I'm here to help you get over that by telling you an important truth:
The internet isn't real.
Some Benefits of JOMO
JOMO honors the importance of taking some time to unplug. How can you truly be present in any activity if your main priority is to capture it online? If what you fear missing out on is being heavily documented on the Internet, then most likely it's not that fun of an event anyway. People are doing the same thing that you're doing right now: looking at their phones.
JOMO acknowledges that you aren't missing out, you have some very important plans with someone else instead: yourself. And here are some benefits of being alone. Introverts probably know these best.
You get to avoid awkward small talk about things like weather, how you're basically unemployed, and yes, still single.
When you stay home, you don't have to worry about uncomfortable conversations with Uber drivers, or being stuck in traffic
No chance of running into an ex if you don't leave your house
No need to spend hours picking out an outfit only to change last minute
No hiding in the bathroom at a party you realize you didn't want to be at in the first place
No wondering how long is the polite amount of time you have to be somewhere before you can actually go
Everything seems romanticized when you're not actually there. But in reality, things are usually about half as fun. And, they'll happen again. You can always just go next time.
Some JOMO Activities
The most important part of JOMO is spending time with yourself. The more you like hanging out with yourself, the less you'll envy other people's lives. What are some soul enriching activities?
see a movie alone
go to a used book store, by some books, spend the day reading
go to a restaurant and eat at the bar
go to a botanical garden, bring food for a picnic
tour a museum
binge watch your favorite TV show and order in an obscene amount of food
get a cheap massage
try a new workout class
take staycation at a cheap motel
watch the food network and try to replicate the recipe
get some more fun ideas here
But whatever you do, don't take any pictures while you're doing it.
Remember, the Internet isn't real. What's real is being present in the moment and enjoying what's in front of you and experiencing exactly where you are, exactly when you're there. Don't let life pass you by wishing you were somewhere else.
Some other helpful hints:
Sign up for this JOMO newsletter. Three times a week, you'll receive a prompt, a fun fact, and an inspirational quote which will all help turn your JOMO into FOMO.
Turn your phone off and find time to UNPLUG.
Practice gratitude. :)
SHARE this article with your friends who need to turn their FOMO into JOMO.