Anyone who’s obsessed with social media or being a social butterfly knows the FOMO is real. You can’t possibly miss out on all the amazing things your friends are doing today, tomorrow, and next week. And. You. Must. Document. Everything. Pics or it didn’t happen, you say before sharing multiple selfies to your Insta followers. But when you think back on those moments, did you really experience them — or just go through the motions? If the latter, now’s a good time to acquaint yourself with JOMO, aka the joy of missing out. Here’s why.
You’ll become more self-aware
“FOMO is about other people; JOMO is about you,” says Rachel Wright, a psychotherapist and co-founder of the Wright Wellness Center. “It’s about minimalism, autonomy, figuring out what brings you joy and making intentional choices.” Instead of worrying about what your friends are up to this weekend, think about something you’ve been meaning to do all on your own — whether it’s curling up on the couch to watch a cheesy movie on Netflix or checking out a cool new art exhibit in your neighborhood — and do it!
Your mental health will improve
When you take a break from the social scene, which can be stressful if you’re feeling pressure to participate, you’re able to put your mind at ease. It’s scientifically proven, says Wright. “Truly experiencing JOMO can decrease anxiety and depression while increasing your overall quality of life.”
You’ll be more productive at work
When you recharge your batteries, your productivity will inevitably go up. “So many people find it hard to disconnect from work when they’ve left the office and are constantly on Slack or checking email when they don’t need to,” says Ashira Prossack, a career coach in New York City. “JOMO shows us that muting Slack for two hours doesn’t make the world end, but instead gives you time to decompress…and do something that makes you happy.” You’ll be much more satisfied at work if you give yourself a chance to unplug.
You’ll live in the moment
Work, social obligations, current events — they can all distract you from focusing on your well-being, but only if you let them. “JOMO forces you to take a break from the constant inundation of information we’re being fed through social media,” says Prossack. Adds Wright, “Experiencing JOMO helps you to be present in the here and now, in your life, in your thoughts, in your emotions and feelings.”
You’ll feel empowered
When you choose to temporarily disengage, you also have the power to determine how much of a break to give yourself. A good rule of thumb, according to Prossack, is unplugging for at least 90 minutes a day. “The best way to experience JOMO is by reducing your social media usage by 50 to 75 percent,” she advises. “This is a lot easier than it sounds: Simply swap your social media time for reading a book, listening to a podcast, exercising, meditating, or good old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation!”
As Wright puts it: “When we say ‘no’ to something — whether it’s a date, a vacation, social media, responding to a work email on the weekend or that third cocktail — it’s one of the most empowering things we can do as humans.”