That’s right ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new word in town, and although it rhymes with FOMO, it means quite the opposite. That word is: JOMO! Not sure what either of those mean? Don’t you worry, we’ve got all the information needed for you to stay up to date with us, cool millennia’s , latest slang.
FOMO, meaning the “fear of missing out” is a word that should (or not) be familiar to you. Let me bring you back to the good old high-school times, stressing about whether or not your parents will allow you to go to Chad’s big party. Do you recall whether the reason you wanted to go was because you actually wanted to go and have fun, or was it because you didn’t want to miss out on anything from the night?
This was when we were young however, and times have now changed in our late 20s. Our generation seems to find it harder to balance out work and social life, we crave self-care to unwind at home, and the motivation of having a relaxed weekend at home has become a very attractive incentive to do overtime at work. So where has our MOJO gone?
It definitely seems like the sayings we used to tell each other on MySpace and Messenger such as “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “you can never relive a party” are distant memories, and that somewhere along the way, we have taken a back seat to its inverse: JOMO a.k.a the “joy of missing out”.
So what exactly is the joy of missing out? According to research, more than three quarters of millennials actively engage in JOMO, to the point where they seem to sacrifice opportunities to socialise with friends, or meet new people.
Going through this JOMO phenomenon could involve staying at home on a Saturday night, turning off your social media for a certain period of time, choosing to wait until a film is released on Netflix rather than going to the cinema, and even texting your parents rather than organising a Skype call.
The most obvious signs you might be going through this JOMO phase are pretty simple to point out. If for example, the thought of enjoying your own company on a Friday night rather than being out with friends bringing you comfort, or if you’re not particularly into social media or dating apps.
Although these signs might seem quite anti-social behaviour for some, there are many other obvious positive aspects to the joy of missing out, and these are mainly focused around financial and mental benefits. “Think about it”, my friend told me, “missing out on an average night out is nothing compared to the money you’ll save up to have a proper holiday when you truly are in the mood for it. Think about all the times you felt obliged to go out and spent at least £40 between transport and a drink out. This money could easily be saved up and added to your piggy bank.”
But there are also a lot of concerns about the rise of social media and the inability for people to disconnect, which is where JOMO plays a massive part in helping people to take time to spend time on their own, disconnect from the outside world, and grab a good book. In start contrast to FOMO, JOMO actually encourages us to embrace the pleasure of having a choice, of going out or not, and to engage in a while that is much more fulfilling than when feeling pressured to follow the crowds.
JOMO is all about understanding yourself, your needs, desires and choosing the way of life that works for you. But in order to fully understand how we went from this fear of missing out on fun to this joy of missing it, we need to take a look at what’s happened to our society in order for the shift to take place.
“Regardless on whether you’re a big social media freak or not, social media will and always will be a one of the best inventions ever, as well as the biggest cause to our loneliness,” explained my friend who works in the field
“Whether you like or dislike those social channels, most people would agree that the rise of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps has led to people relying on their phones and laptops, therefore creating this obsession with a constant connection to your friends. But what you should know, is that those platforms are also the main reasons why JOMO came about. People needing to disconnect to Laura’s latest brunch gram,” explained my friend.
During our discussion, I started to claim that I thought you could easily find a balance between hanging out at home, but yet still find some type of connection to the outside world. But this indirect, and fragmented form of communication is not as satisfying as the physical contact with other humans and seems to create this sense of loneliness. Which was something, I could completely relate to.
But social media isn’t the only cause for JOMO. “There’s also social pressure from the outside world today to be out and about when you’re not really feeling like it, as well as all the negative articles and communication about the negative effects of watching too much TV or not socialising. But at the end of the day, disconnecting from the outside world is also one of the best ways to be at peace with yourself, meditate, and take the time to reflect on what really makes you happy,” said my friend as I asked her about her thoughts on JOMO as a positive factor.
At the end of the day, whether you want to miss out, or are afraid of missing out, it really depends on what you want in your life and whether or not you are making decisions for yourself. All I have to say about this is that you just have to experience your best life, whether its by pushing yourself to socialise or not, no-one can take that decision for you.
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