What is Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO)?

While I scrolled through my social media feed on New Years’ Eve, I saw plenty of posts about friends partying, travelling, hiking, finding new hobbies and much more. Sleeping in my bed, I felt a bit left out at some point while scrolling through my feed. I felt lonely and dejected. A few moments later, I fell asleep in my bed and woke up feeling content with myself the next morning.

With so many opportunities and so much peer pressure, it can sometimes be very tempting to do a lot more than you can handle. This temptation is driven by the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ or FOMO. FOMO can be described as an anxiety arising from the feeling that you are significantly feeling left out from events. It is the feeling that others around you are having more fun than you. JOMO is the antonym of FOMO. JOMO is described as a feeling of contention with what you are doing and with your current place in life.


Today, a large portion of our day is peppered by buzzes and interruptions from our electronic devices. Leaving our electronic devices away for even half an hour can lead to immense anxiety in many. Ask yourself- when was the last time you stayed away from all your electronics for an hour or more?

As per a recent survey on LinkedIn, 70 percent of employees admit that when they take a vacation, they stay don’t disconnect from work. Our digital habits, which include constantly checking messages, emails, and social media timelines, have become so entrenched, it is nearly impossible to simply enjoy the moment, along with the people with whom we are sharing these moments.

This digital addiction has finally come to the forefront and led to many initiatives such as Google’s Digital Wellbeing Initiative. JOMO is the key to finding personal happiness and well-being. It helps you focus on what is right for you as an individual and focus on your own self by prioritizing yourself.

Do you need JOMO?

Now that you have some idea about what is JOMO, the real question at hand is how applicable it is to your life. Asking yourself a few hard questions can help you figure out whether you have a FOMO that is having detrimental effects on your life. Figuring out if you have FOMO can help you answer the need to include the JOMO in your life.

In order to assess if you have FOMO, do the following activities-

Analyze your digital habits

This is the first step in assessing FOMO. Using time management apps can help you to find out how much time you are spending online. Then ask yourself whether it is absolutely necessary to spend so much time on social media or checking your emails? Are you addicted to certain apps?

Set realistic expectations for your peers

The next step is asking yourself what kind of expectations you are setting for your peers- ranging from friends to colleagues to clients. Do you make yourself available beyond working hours and reply to emails? Do you reply to texts or pings during time that you have taken out for your own self? Do you keep yourself off electronic devices while working out or reading a book or during vacations?

How to achieve JOMO?

Find your priorities

Set aside some time to lay out your priorities. Think about what matters most to you as a person. Find out your top priority- this could be your health or travel or a hobby. Set personal goals that help you achieve the same. Find out what activities distract you from this goal and figure out ways to cut out on those.

Block your calendar for personal activities

One of the best ways to achieve your personal goals is to block your calendar or schedule them. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you execute them. During this time, focus only on that particular activity and put aside your electronics.

Live in the present

Oftentimes, we are physically present somewhere but our minds are away thinking about something on social media or worrying about someone else. Do not allow yourself to enter a rat race with others on social media. Embrace the present moment and live in it. If you had a long day at work, allow yourself some time to relax by reading a book, going to a spa or just hanging out with some friends.

Put away your electronics

Unsubscribe from social media accounts and mailing lists that trigger your FOMO. Turn off notifications from apps that are a major source of distraction for you. Use apps that help you block notifications that are unnecessary to help you stay focused. Use time management apps to help you limit the time you spend online. While travelling, cut yourself off from social media and treasure it as personal time to do some soul searching.

Turn down events

If someone asks you to attend an event that you see as a waste of your time- turn it down. It might take some time for others to accept this but they will eventually start respecting you for this. It is perfectly alright to not be available at all hours of the day and focus on your personal commitments instead. Use this time to take care of your personal self and embrace your personal time.

As you take baby steps to practice JOMO, you will begin to notice how much of a difference it can make to your personal well-being.  Allow yourself to be joyful,  simple, real, messy and personal. Remove the arms-length distractions of technology. Choose real connections rather than shallow distractions. Over time, you’ll find that the joy of missing out helps you say Yes to what you need to thrive.