I found myself left alone sitting at my office desk while everyone was busy attending a meeting with the CEO and senior members. It was run by the organisers of a fast-growth think tank company. All the senior attendees had been selected to present their ideas and strategies about how they will run the upcoming new projects.
At this point, I need to confess something: The organisers had actually told everyone to join. Unfortunately, I missed it, and after that, my colleagues told me it wasn’t very important. Despite this, something compelled me to fear that I have missed out on some gem of wisdom and exciting insights.
By missing out on a meeting, networking event, or gathering, we fear that we won’t reach that piece of information required to make our project a huge success. We fear losing out on that moment to shine in our boss’s eyes. And by giving in to FOMO (fear of missing out), we waste not just huge amounts of emotional energy but time.
Do you remember when your boss called for a meeting and told you that it’s not mandatory to join but then again,, something compelled you to hop on the call for fear that you might miss out on exciting topics discussed there?
If so, you’re a FOMO, a commonly accepted term defined as “an underlying form of anxiety that we’re missing out on something or that other people are having more fun than us.
Workers, and possibly all Individuals, can be divided into two tribes. Those who like to be involved in everything can be called FOMO (fear of missing out on something exciting and interesting that’s happening elsewhere). And then there are JOMOs (joy of missing out) who would ideally wish to be left to focus on their own specific task only, without any interruption.
Google has recently initiated Digital well-being tools. The conversation about restraining digital addiction has become more serious than ever. JOMO vs FOMO has become a major topic as technology is heavily keeping away our present moments.
When Jomos hear the word “networking”, they reach for their best possible excuses to avoid the extra hassle involved in it. For them, being involved in an industry cocktail party is rather like being compelled to attend the wedding of a distant relative you barely know, a different version of social purgatory. Jomo’s are very particular about attending some meetings and participating in certain activities to get their work done. They consider such things as an atonement, not an advantage.
“Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain
According to Social Comparison Theory, we are compelled to compare ourselves with others. However, when it comes to FOMO, the certain type of comparison we make is an ‘upward comparison’, where our goal is someone who is seemingly achieving more than us. In contrast, we, most of the time, perceive we need to do more.
Especially with the heavy use of digital platforms and social media, we are often attached to this feeling that others are managing their lives better and having more satisfying moments. There can be no doubt that advertising and social media have largely exacerbated the human tendency to disparage opportunities we have in favour of those we don’t. The itch of consumer desire is forever inflamed by the constant forces offering us numerous alternative ways to scratch it.
FOMO reveals that experiencing it may lead to severe psychological and health consequences such as stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep as well as academic demotivation, problematic mobile phone use, and problematic social media use. Research reveals that FOMO can also take the joy out of the present moment but also lead individuals towards lower satisfaction with the current experience.
With only a few hours in a day, both the opportunities and the duties can seem endless. Jumping into all of these does not serve any purpose. It’s really just making you miserable and only restraining your capabilities. It appears like you can’t control all that comes at you, so it may seem that the best alternative is to embrace JOMO.
Embracing the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) can abstain you from burnout and help eliminate the unrealistic and delusive desire to always being in-the-know.
Companies full of Jomos would have less participation in outside activities like socialising, networking, summits, conferences, etc. Therefore, sales might suffer as a result of poor innovation.
The other reason why depending on FOMOS is wearying is that they are naturally restless. Jomos will be loyal for fear of ending up with a worse employer. However, Fomos may assume that working for one company means missing out on higher positions at another. That is the main purpose of most networking, after all.
JOMO’s emotionally intelligent nature is all about self-care. It naturally thrives once you’re ok not doing something. When you focus on what matters most, disconnect and get the important project done, you can enjoy relaxing time and offline activities.
“It’s important to remember our brains were never designed to be constantly connected with others”.
Author- Jannatul Ferdousy