Some days ago I encountered a post by this hep bistro in the city, holding a special screening at 6:30 in the morning of a very popular fantasy show which was in its final season. The promise was great breakfast, screening of the show on a big screen and of course a check in to be posted on social media which would definitely earn you some ‘wows’. “If you’re not here on Sunday, you are missing out,” a friend of mine had commented below it. And there they were those four words which strike not just panic but an existential crisis in hearts of many today. The fear of missing out is real, and updates and invites like this do a stellar job in capitalising on them to have you hooked. In the corner of my head which has become attuned to predict social media reactions to all my posts, this was a winner. Besides, this looked much fun!

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Fear of Missing Out is something all of us experience these days.
  • We often end up spending big chunks of time partaking in activities others have dubbed important.
  • But why should others get to decide what is important for you.
  • It is time to replace FOMO with the Joy of Missing Out.

All someone has to do is to mention an event, party or a web series and we begin feeling redundant. Why have I not watched the third season of Stranger Things yet, when it is already making for a trending conversation on Twitter?

And that is the biggest curse the digital era has bestowed on us. It takes so little to titillate us, to spark outrage or to simply strike fear in our hearts. All someone has to do is to mention an event, party or a web series and we begin feeling redundant. “Why have I not watched the third season of Stranger Things yet, when it is already making for a trending conversation on Twitter?” or “My colleagues are going to this amazing party after work, wonder what all conversations and networking I’ll miss out on,” we just can’t escape this feeling of not being at a place or doing something which others are. We feel left out, we feel irrelevant, and we fear losing the grip on our digital and real lives. FOMO can give you anxiety and if you go around chasing it, FOMO will leave you exhausted. A study called, Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO, associated FOMO with fatigue, stress, physical symptoms, and decreased sleep.

Also Read: How Can Young Women Deal With Emotional Stress?

Which is why it is time to kick out FOMO and embrace the joy of missing out. Let us accept it that a day cannot have more than 24 four hours, and if you cut out even the minimal amount of time that you require for eating, sleeping, working, maintaining hygiene etc, you are left just a handful of hours to live your life. How would you like to spend this precious time? Chasing events, entertainment, activities or any other experiences that others taking part in or doing things that make you happy. Should you watch the latest episode of that trending show just to keep up, or bask in the comfort of a rom-com you have seen a million times, but which still makes your heart swell with joy?

We feel left out, we feel irrelevant, and we fear losing the grip on our digital and real lives. FOMO can give you anxiety and if you go around chasing it, FOMO will leave you exhausted.

The problem is that today we even let others decide what our priorities should be. We want to be part of what others are doing, and not what we would like to do. JOMO actually isn’t about missing out all that is looks happening but taking the reins of your life back in your hands. Prioritising happiness, is a luxury in the times that we live in, and making peace with oneself. It is okay to miss out sometimes because that leaves a very precious commodity at your disposal—time. Time which you can put to use the way you like. You don’t have to essentially do something important or fruitful with it. Perhaps you could treat yourself to a nap, or bake a cake with your kid. You could read a book, take a walk or just do nothing.

These activities may seem mundane but they actually bring so much peace and stability to our hectic lives. Not every second that we are awake needs to be action packed, does it? So the next time you experience FOMO, kill it with JOMO. The only thing worth not missing out in our lives is happiness, and no one else should get to dictate the terms on which each one of us pursues it.

I obviously didn’t make it to the screening in the morning, but I definitely know that it couldn’t have been better than sleeping till late and then snuggling with my daughter as she painstakingly explained it to me why elephants are the best animals in the world.

Picture credits: naahq.org

Also Read: Holding On To A Dead Relationship: Love Or Arrogance?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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