Joy of missing out

The joy of missing out, JOMO, is the perfect antidote to the Twitter phenomenon #FOMO, the fear of missing out.

While FOMO pressure comes from internal and external forces, advertising and social media amplify the idea that fulfilment comes from constantly doing something, thinking something, and experiencing something. As a result, it gets hard to differentiate what’s truly important from the ongoing clutter distracting us from our deeper priorities.

Here are 4 tips to declutter yourself from pressures that get in the way of your fulfilment and well-being.

Tip 1

Get over your fear of saying ‘no’

Sometimes the fear of saying no actually comes from a core belief that you’re unlikeable, and that you need to constantly say yes in order to keep others happy. If this resonates with you in any way, it’s time to ask yourself this hard question: “Am I saying yes because I want to, or am I saying it to keep others happy?” Saying no isn’t easy for most of us, because most of us care way too much about what other people think. Ditch the guilt and start small. What’s the best way to say no? Just say it.

Tip 2

Embrace alone time

“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company,” so says French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Point being, rarely do we appreciate our own company. The goal here is to understand that alone time doesn’t need to be filled with productivity. Rather than tailoring experiences for yourself that are defined by time or purpose, embrace the joys that come from a bit of boredom and smallness. Learn to appreciate the immense pleasures that come from the glory of being alone. As poet Rupi Kaur puts it, “fall in love with your solitude.”

Tip 2

Take a vacation from your devices

Because social media plays into our FOMO anxieties, it makes sense to intentionally switch off. A recent study found that 58% of respondents admit that pressure to post the perfect picture on social media has prevented them from enjoying life’s experiences in real time. Think about your relationship to social media and consider how much time spent on your device is used to connect versus mindlessly scrolling. Try blocking two to three hours at a time for a few days and see how you feel. Then try an entire day.

Tip 4

Own your weirdness

What really tickles your fancy? Is there a hobby, a goofy obsession you have, or a creative passion that you’ve been neglecting? Whether it’s singing along to karaoke YouTube videos in your bedroom, crafting, or watching obscure sci-fi movies, say yes to things that make you happy and that are specific to you. Cultivate a taste and healthy appetite for a life that is uniquely yours.