For optimal experience the reader is advised to carefully scan the following definitions:
FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out
YOLO = You Only Live Once
JOMO = Joy Of Missing Out (I am a biggo JOMO advocate)
LOL = Laughing Out Loud (personal favorite)
When YOLO hit us it was everywhere and everyone was living it. We have all been there, done that. Period. Whenever we hear someone say YOLO nowadays we can’t help but feel they haven’t catched up yet. Somehow left behind.
Because now we are talking FOMO. Doing our everything to not miss out on anything. To make it to all the gatherings. Because we can’t stand the idea that our friends are having fun WITHOUT us! Unacceptable.
We have all had our fair share of discomforting FOMO moments. Whenever we go on our hourly Instagram stories spree and make the awful discovery that our people are out and about having a blast and we don’t.
We all know this quenching feeling in our gut we get in these moments of not being part of the party. The feeling of missing out on tipsy talks, endless giggles, the boy/girl across the bar and the 3 am McNuggets. To all the fun we could have had. Yay!
We are at home instead. Something we were actually looking forward to all week. Now we can’t even make ourselves focus on the book we still longed to read this very morning.
Because now all we do is to refresh Instagram every 20 seconds. Silent observers and enviers of other people’s seemingly better and more exciting lives. High on FOMO we come to the realization that our present situation is everything, but pleasant.
Question Your FOMO
It appears as if we are constantly driven to look for better options. Something more fun, more interesting, more unique, which makes it hard for us to be okay with what presently is.
We fail to realize, though, that social media is oftentimes not an accurate presentation of reality, but rather a vehicle to play pretend and make belief. Something that accelerates FOMO and if not used mindfully, will easily leave us feeling inferior.
I want to put them apples in my smoothie maker
add some androids and blackberrys
mix them all together
Imagine the taste of a free fake life
shoutout to MZ my man i am a big fan
‘cause now i live in a land of make belief and play pretend
Avocado toast in the city
oh no wait im actually at home binging tv
what a pity
The desire to not miss out causes us to say yes every time someone suggests to do something. We almost feel obligated to say yes, since we know there is a price we pay when saying no.
However, saying yes to everything might as well decrease our satisfaction with the overall experience. We easily end up not enjoying something we decided to join out of fear. We decide how much power we give to our fears. We can either let our fears control us or we can learn to control our fears.
Accept What Is & Appreciate your Present Situation
The thing with FOMO is that we are so focused on what we are missing out on that we fail to appreciate our current situation. Because here is never and somewhere else always better. We throw away our present moment by longing for another, although there is no proof that the other is necessarily better, only different.
So maybe we should ask ourselves, will we ever settle with what we have, or will we cling on to the fear that we may be missing out on something?
The Vicious Circle
I have recently read something by blogger Mark Manson that is highly applicable in this context:
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
In this case, the more we desire to not miss out, the more will we miss out on. We will miss out on our present moment.
And the present moment is everything we will ever have. That’s where life is happening. And if we fail to realize this and never really ‘are’ but always ‘want to be’ we will never find contentment.
FOMO implies we are living in a mental state of scarcity. Of being, doing and having too little. And this is our own fault. FOMO is so predictable if we understand the concept of “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
You might have heard of it. It means that we get what we expect to get. In other words, we can decide to fear missing out or not to fear it, but to enjoy it, because we are responsible for our own reality.
What will you decide?
This suggests we can turn this whole thinking around. Great. Lets do this and find joy in missing out. Plus, if we are regularly inactive we might increase our fit for fun, just like the motto ‘less is more.’ Sounds like fun? Let’s dig deeper.
Find Joy in Missing Out
We may be able to detect joy in missing out from a subtle shift in perspective, because we will always find what we are looking for.
Practically this means that whenever we suffer from FOMO fever, opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic will help us find joy in missing out.
Allow me to suggest that learning to appreciate what we currently have and do by cultivating a mindset of having and being enough will make a substantial difference in how we experience missing out on something.
We can acknowledge that missing out offers us the opportunity to take time for some self-care. To recharge our mental and physical energy. Be okay and content with being with yourself.
We can practice gratitude and learn to become comfortable with the notion that we don’t have to be part of everything. Accept that people will have fun without you. It’s inevitable. Cherish that! Be happy for them.
And most importantly, enjoy life to the fullest since we are definitely not gonna make it out alive (maybe we should just go back to YOLO). So live a great day and remember it’s up to you to judge if its great or not.
Thank you for reading:)