Leticia Keith Leticia Keith

The JOMO effect. Is it possible to enjoy what we miss?

02 December 2021
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The year 2019 was marked by FOMO, or the fear of missing out on some events and information. Today, that fear is being replaced by JOMO, or joy, and we’re more appreciative of what’s around us, not online.

On Saturday night, you wanted to sit quietly at home and spend the evening with Netflix. The plan was good until you saw on Instagram that your friend was going to a new restaurant, relatives took a walk to the theater, and some friend was giving a lecture at a big conference

Social networks send “interesting event in your area” notifications and a quiet evening at home is no longer enjoyable. JOMO is precisely about not paying much attention to other people’s actions and focusing on yourself, your state and your desires. If you want to stay home on a Saturday night, do so and don’t feel bad about it.

Unhealthy social networking

Everyone probably knows that social media can be addictive, but its harmfulness doesn’t end there. They tear us away from what’s real and really important – it’s not hard to find groups of people hanging out together and yet separately, each on their own phone. Procrastination, Facebook depression, Internet addiction and digital dementia are fairly new psychological phenomena that society is facing

Among them is also FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out – the irrational fear that a moment’s absence from the web may deprive us of access to important information and current gossip. We begin to fear that life is passing us by, that we will be sidelined and lose something.

We are less focused on current affairs, we waste a lot of time constantly checking notifications on our phone or just scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. We wait anxiously for an answer to even the most trivial messages, we worry when we’re ignored, our comment doesn’t live to see a reply, and a photo gets few “hearts”.

Other people’s accounts, full of colorful and beautiful photographs of distant travels and outings to unique places, make us feel complex. We start to feel that we are not enough and become depressed.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed our approach to this issue and has allowed many to discover joy beyond social media. Today, irrational fear is increasingly giving way to pure joy.

What is JOMO?

The Joy of Missing Out is nothing more than joy derived from the present day and the people who are close to us. More and more people are unsubscribing from the chase for likes and subs, and taking more pleasure in being offline. We’re starting to see that not being connected to the internet for a few hours isn’t the end of the world.

JOMO is also about the peace of mind that comes over us when we don’t obsessively follow other people’s lives, and begin to notice and appreciate our own. We develop a strong belief that we don’t have to be more cheerful, more beautiful to fit into the network standards

We also understand that Instagram happiness and perfect lives are often a facade behind which people with their own problems and fears hide. And so JOMO opens our eyes to the pretence and falseness of what we see on social media and steers us towards real life.

Achieving this state is not as easy as it seems, but it is worth the effort for mental health and well-being.

How do we enjoy the things that pass us by?

JOMO teaches us to focus on real life rather than virtual life, to build boundaries online so people don’t wait for an immediate response, and to care about the quality of the information we take in. But how do we accomplish all of this?

First of all, do a digital detox

This is a major step on the road to happiness. Turn off all notifications and try to check messengers less often. It won’t be easy for sure. You will have to overcome a strong desire to check messages and news on your board. Try to stop, occupy yourself with something else and see how your day will change.

Get rid of the guilt

By opting out of events and meetings that aren’t valuable, you shouldn’t feel guilty – instead, make time for something that’s really important. Try to pay attention to the quality of the events in your life rather than the number of them.

Find something you enjoy

Think about what really brings you positive emotions and makes you happy. Schedule it into your day or week. Drawing? How about reading a book in the park? An evening walk around town or a home spa? Find time for yourself and don’t document it on your instagram.

Learn to say “no”

Don’t be afraid to cancel meetings or events if you don’t feel like it. Don’t look for excuses. You have the right to be tired or in a worse mood.

Slow down

Understand that you don’t have to be everywhere at all times. Let go and slow down, start living your life more mindfully and spontaneously rather than on a social schedule.

Experience emotions for real

Instead of looking for the right emoticon to match your mood, learn to really experience what you’re feeling.

Use the web consciously

Only follow accounts and sites that really interest you and have value to you. Reject toxic content that makes you feel anxious or irritated. Unsubscribe from unfriendly groups full of haters and trolls. Also, set yourself a time that you will devote to social media during the day – various applications available on the market can help you with this.

Psychologists agree that reducing time on social networks helps to overcome anxiety and stress and improve mood. Of course, it’s not about abandoning technology altogether (which in many ways changes our lives for the better), but about using it consciously. To feel true happiness, you need to find a balance between the virtual and real worlds. JOMO is a step in the right direction.

Main photo: Paul Hanaoka/unsplash.com

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