Are you desperate to cancel tonight’s drinks with a friend because you’re feeling exhausted and over-committed? And just when you’re wondering whether the “sick-child” excuse will bring you bad karma – joy! – your friend cancels first! You are off the hook and you experience a delicious feeling of relief, or JOMO, a.k.a. The Joy of Missing Out.

So, I know what you’re thinking… not another acronym! But, this is an interesting one. And sometimes naming things helps us to think about them.

JOMO is the upbeat antidote to its glass-half-empty cousin FOMO (The Fear of Missing Out). The FOMO meme took instant hold amongst those of us who love the digital life, not so? FOMO has been made popular by Flickr founder Caterina Fake, describing our uber connectivity through social media. We constantly monitor our friends’ activities and fear that we are missing out when we aren’t doing, seeing, and living the same experiences as the next person on our Facebook or Instagram feed. Exhausting!

JOMO, on the other hand, is consciously opting out and reclaiming a simple, happy life where you can focus on what brings you contentment. JOMO is the joy of living in the moment, having more focus, and more intentional use of your precious time. The joy of missing out leaves you with the joy of choosing what works for you in your life.

Thing is, most of us suffer from social media fatigue and missing out may be the only way to step into the life that gives us happiness. People who embrace JOMO lean toward mindfulness, homeliness and comfort over the outside world to combat overwhelming levels of technology and being excessively social. The rise of trends such as Hygge is proof of people wanting to take back control and bring happiness and solitude into their homes, having just as good a time there as they would elsewhere.

In the US, JOMO is on the rise as more and more people prefer the pleasure of missing out. In fact, a Yelp Eat24 online survey of men and women between the ages of 18 and 54 found that almost 80% of those surveyed make excuses to avoid going out, and 10% are doing so regularly.

Arianna Huffington published that the third element to success (alongside money and power) was wellbeing, and according to psychologist Anders Ericsson, enjoying alone time is as important for your overall health as hitting the gym or cooking a healthy dinner. Everyone has the need to spend less time “doing” and more time” being”.

So, start living a la JOMO by intentionally disconnecting from social media from time to time. Review your schedule and social commitments – look at which activities you participate in and question the value of everything. There will be things that you can cut out or invitations that can be politely declined. Let them go and give yourself the gift of time.

It doesn’t have to be complicated; find five minutes every day to train your mind to be present. Sit somewhere peaceful – ideally outside. Pay attention to your senses and the simple things around you. Smell the grass and listen to the wind in the trees. Discover what you love to do, read more or listen to your favourite song every day.

“How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives” – Annie Dillard. Does the thought scare you, or does it make you happy?

JOMO isn’t about sitting back and letting life pass you by – it’s about saying “yes” to the things that bring you joy.




DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.