Forget FOMO. Get Your JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)

— by Dr. Sandip Roy.

Most people you see around are reeling from the effects of FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out.

For one, they have to do that latest social media challenge. They want to be seen doing The Duct Tape Challenge and The Outlet Challenge, even when it’s dumb or dangerous.

These people are looking for social validation from their audience. They dress it up as a way to satisfy their natural drive for thrill. Still, it doesn’t excuse their risky behavior.

I am rather for this positive attitude: JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out.

JOMO - Joy of Missing Out
Photo by Gus Ayna, Pexels

What is JOMO: Joy of Missing Out?

JOMO, short for Joy of Missing Out, is the intentional avoidance of social pressures to participate in popular trends,

It’s a way of thinking that tells us it’s okay not to join in on everything that’s happening around us. Instead of feeling like we have to keep up with everyone else, JOMO teaches us to enjoy our own company and do what makes us happy.

Imagine not worrying about the latest celebrity news or feeling like you have to be at every social event. That’s JOMO. It’s choosing to skip out on things because you’d rather have some quiet time, dive into a hobby, or just relax by yourself.

JOMO is about finding happiness in not being part of the crowd. It’s deciding that you don’t need to be plugged into the digital world all the time. Instead, you find joy in simpler, more personal experiences.

This basic idea is really about taking care of yourself.

It is giving yourself permission to take a break from being social or staring at screens, and focus on what is truly important to you.

So, JOMO isn’t about missing out at all. It’s the mindful philosophy of making space for what truly matters to you

It’s about finding peace in pursuing your own journey at your own pace.

How to cultivate JOMO?

  1. Digital Detox: Consider periods of time when you disconnect from digital devices, especially social media. This could be certain hours of the day, one day a week, or even a full week or month. These digital detoxes can help reduce the noise of constant updates and comparisons.
  2. Mindfulness and Presence: Practice being fully present in whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s work, spending time with loved ones, or enjoying a hobby, give it your full attention. This may include practices like mindfulness meditation, mindful eating, and mindful writing.
  3. Self-Care Practices: Prioritize activities that nourish your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This could include exercise, reading, creative activities, spending time in nature, or simply relaxing.
  4. Real-Life Connections: Make an effort to nurture your relationships offline. In-person interactions tend to be more meaningful and fulfilling, helping to cultivate a sense of contentment and reducing the need for digital validation.
  5. Gratitude Journaling: Regularly write down what you’re grateful for. This shifts the focus from what you’re missing out on to appreciating what you already have.
  6. Setting Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries around your time and energy. Learn to say no to invitations or commitments that don’t serve your well-being or align with your priorities.
  7. Healthy Self-Reflection: Regularly check in with yourself about your needs, goals, and values. This can help you make decisions that promote your own joy and fulfillment, rather than trying to keep up with others’ lives.
  8. Clarity of Priority: Identifying and understanding what truly matters to you in your personal and professional life. Well-defined priorities establish a personal framework to guide your decisions, activities, and use of time. This clarity can help alleviate ‌FOMO because you’re consciously choosing to focus on what aligns with your values and goals. Instead of feeling pulled in different directions by external influences or social pressures, you are more content with your choices, knowing they serve your priorities.
  9. Learning To Say No: Knowing how and when to say No is an empowering skill that directly supports JOMO. In a world filled with opportunities, invitations, and demands on our time, it’s impossible (and unhealthy) to say yes to everything. The ability to say No to requests and demands helps you keep your peace and balance in life. Each time you say no to something that doesn’t serve you, you’re saying yes to something that helped you grow, whether that’s rest, a hobby, quality time with loved ones, or focusing on personal goals. This skill reinforces JOMO as it allows you to actively choose experiences that bring you joy and fulfillment over those that might lead to stress, overcommitment, or a distraction from what truly matters to you.
Joy of missing out PIN

JOMO Examples

The following examples capture the essence of JOMO: consciously choosing what brings you personal joy and fulfillment, rather than being led by the fear of missing out on what others are doing.

  1. Social Media Break: You decide to spend a weekend without checking your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, relishing the time to engage in personal activities like reading, gardening, or just relaxing, without the constant influx of updates and notifications.
  2. Choosing Solitude: Instead of joining friends for a night out, you consciously choose to have a quiet evening at home, enjoying your own company, perhaps with a good book, a movie, or practicing a hobby.
  3. Skipping a Popular Event: There’s a big concert happening in town with a popular band, but instead of feeling compelled to go, you happily choose to spend your time in a more personally satisfying way, such as going for a nature hike or attending a small, intimate gathering with close friends.
  4. Unplanned Free Time: You find yourself with a couple of free hours due to a last-minute cancellation. Rather than rushing to fill the time, you savor the unexpected open space to do whatever you please, or perhaps do nothing at all.
  5. Saying No to Overcommitment: Despite the opportunity to join several committees at work, which could increase your visibility but also your stress levels, you decide to join only one that truly aligns with your interests and allows you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  6. Disconnecting on Vacation: During your vacation, you choose to disconnect from work emails and social media, focusing on the joy of the experience and being fully present in the moment, rather than staying constantly connected.
  7. Mindful Consumption: Rather than binge-watching the latest popular series because everyone else is watching it, you opt to watch something that truly interests you, or perhaps spend the time pursuing a creative project or an educational course.

JOMO Self-Affirmations

  1. “I honor my needs and respect my boundaries.”
  2. “I find joy and fulfillment in the present moment.”
  3. “I am releasing the FOMO, and embracing the JOMO!”
  4. “I am empowered to say ‘no’ to things that don’t serve me.”
  5. “I am taking the path that brings me personal joy and fulfillment.”
  6. “I choose to prioritize my own happiness over social expectations.”
  7. “I embrace the joy of missing out, knowing it brings peace to my life.”
  8. “I am embracing a life that aligns with my values, not societal pressures.”
  9. “I am content and fulfilled in my own journey, regardless of others’ paths.”
  10. “I cherish the moments of solitude as opportunities for growth and self-discovery.”

What is FOMO: Fear of Missing Out?

FOMO, standing for Fear of Missing Out, is a social anxiety characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.

Notice the first word: Fear.

FOMO is the fear that you’re missing out on rewarding experiences that others are enjoying.

While JOMO encourages a more mindful approach, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), reflects the stress and anxiety of feeling left out of interesting or enjoyable experiences happening elsewhere.

FOMO is often enabled, and made into an addiction, by social media. Social media can make it seem like everyone else is having a better life, which makes it seem like you’re not living exciting, fulfilling lives.

While FOMO can motivate us to seek out valuable experiences and connections, it can also lead to feelings of inadequacy, stress, and dissatisfaction if left unchecked.

What is better, FOMO or JOMO?

JOMO is better than FOMO.

While FOMO has many known drawbacks, JOMO is definitely better and carries more benefits at different roles at different times in our lives.

Still, the choice between FOMO and JOMO may depend on your personal values, lifestyle, health, and situations.

FOMO can sometimes be a powerful motivator, pushing us to seize opportunities, stay socially connected, and engage in new experiences.

However, it often carries on unchecked, leading to overcommitment, stress, burnout, and a lack of focus, driven by constant comparison with others’ lives as portrayed on social media.

On the other hand, JOMO promotes mindfulness, self-care, and the appreciation of personal space and solitude.

JOMO can help us disconnect from social pressures and digital distractions.

With JOMO, you can be happy in your solitude, and content with your own experiences.

Just make sure to not take it to an extreme, so that you might risk isolating yourself from meaningful relationships, and missing out on genuinely valuable experiences.

Ultimately, a balanced approach might be the healthiest: FOMO to seek out novel, fulfilling experiences to bring joy and growth, and JOMO to take time for introspection, self-care, and appreciation of one’s personal journey.

How does JOMO relate to self-perception and mental health?

JOMO is deeply intertwined with social media use, self-perception, and mental health.

In terms of social media, JOMO is often linked with conscious decisions to limit or take breaks from these platforms.

The constant stream of updates and highlights from others’ lives on social media can intensify feelings of FOMO and lead to harmful comparisons, potentially distorting one’s self-perception.

But by choosing to disconnect or reduce engagement, individuals embracing JOMO can mitigate these effects, creating space for more authentic, less comparative experiences.

When it comes to self-perception, JOMO can foster a healthier self-image.

Rather than measuring one’s life and achievements against the carefully curated lives of others on social media, individuals can focus on their personal growth, contentment, and the value in their own unique experiences.

Regarding mental health, JOMO can have significant benefits.

The reduction of social comparison and digital distraction can decrease stress and anxiety levels, while promoting mindfulness, peace, and satisfaction with one’s own life.

It allows you to prioritize your well-being, engage in self-care, and cultivate a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

However, like any approach, you have to ensure that JOMO doesn’t lead to excessive isolation or the avoidance of beneficial social connections and experiences.

JOMO Quotes

  1. “The joy of missing out means missing out on something outside to experience what is going on inside.” — Tonya Dalton
  2. “JOMO: Because sometimes, the joy of missing out beats the fear of missing out.” — Anonymous
  3. “Savor the joy of missing out on the right things.” – Greg McKeown
  4. “Less scrolling, more strolling.” – Anonymous
  5. “Choosing solitude over socializing is not missing out, it’s choosing to nourish your soul.” — Anonymous
  6. “JOMO is a happiness filter. It removes what does not matter, so you can focus on what does.” — Patrick Rhone
  7. “Live for moments you can’t put into words.” — Anonymous
  8. “The art of life is to live in the present moment.” — Emmet Fox
  9. “The joy of missing out is about reclaiming the space in our lives for the things that matter.” — Christina Crook
  10. “JOMO: Because no one is having as much fun as their social media feeds are leading you to believe.” — Jessica Lahey

Final Words

Let’s close this with a simple JOMO-inspired poem:

Away from the constant chatters,
I found what truly matters.

No need to chase the fleeting fame,
No need to play the comparison game.
The joy of missing out is my guide,
In this life’s irresistible tide.

So here's to silence, peace, and rest,
To choosing what I love the best.
In the joy of missing out, I see,
The path that makes a happier me.

√ Also Read: Positive Procrastination: How To Procrastinate Like A Pro

√ Please spread the word if you found this helpful.

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When it comes to mental well-being, you don't have to do it alone. Going to therapy to feel better is a positive choice. Therapists can help you work through your trauma triggers and emotional patterns.