You open Facebook (or Instagram, Snapchat, or some other social media website) and see your friend having the time of her life! Perhaps she is on vacation, with family, or eating at a fancy restaurant. Then, it hits you. FOMO. "It would be great to be able to do that," you think.
You remember an event happening later in the week. You'd love to go, but if you go to that event, you'd have to leave a different event early, and get to another event late. Even though your day is full, you try to figure out how to squeeze the new event into your bulging schedule. FOMO begins.
Perhaps you find yourself at one activity and your mind begins wondering about a different one. Or, as your friend (or spouse) talks with you, your phone buzzes and you look down (for just a glance, of course) to make sure you aren't missing anything while your friend (or spouse) continues to talk. There's a momentary lapse as you are distracted by the notification. You hope your friend (or spouse) doesn't notice. FOMO keeps you from being fully attentive.
You and your family sit down to watch a movie together and you start wondering about what else might be happening. So, you take a look at Facebook, just a quick glance, of course, to keep up what is going on elsewhere. Thirty minutes later, you realized you missed the most important part of the movie and precious moments with your family. FOMO has taken hold of you, once again.
If you've ever found yourself wondering about what else was going on and what you might be missing, you've encountered FOMO. If you've ever been distracted, unable to enjoy the moment because your mind was elsewhere, you may have been hijacked by FOMO.
Dictionary.com defines FOMO as, "anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website."
FOMO stands for the "fear of missing out" and is very real. It's always been around but seems to have escalated with social media. FOMO grows more troubling because, with increased options of how to spend our time, we begin wondering about what we miss. We fear that somewhere something is happening and we are not a part.
FOMO causes us to add one more activity to our busy days, squeezing as many moments into our minutes as possible. We add some activities and events to our calendar because we are afraid of missing out.
We don't have to follow the FOMO path though. Instead of FOMO, we can experience JOMO. What's JOMO? I thought JOMO was something I had discovered, but later found that others had experienced the wonders of JOMO as well.
JOMO stands for the "Joy Of Missing Out" and can serve to balance our lives, bringing joy, contentment, and peace.
The JOY of missing out? We want to experience life to the fullest and we believe missing out is the opposite. When I watch a basketball or football game, I don't want to miss anything! I want to see it all! Missing out seems anything but joyful.
But when I pause to think about FOMO, I have to ask myself, "What am I really missing out on?" A fantastic play? A touchdown?
There will be other plays. There will be other touchdowns. In the totality of life, missing a fantastic play, or even a game, or many games, really won't be that big of a deal. When I'm looking back over my life, I doubt I will ever regret missing those things.
The reality is, when I live by FOMO, I am missing out. I'm missing out on the moment I am in and that is where JOMO comes into play.
The JOY of missing out reminds us that joy comes from being present in the current moment. Joy does not come as we stuff our full schedules fuller still. Full schedules create distraction bringing tension and keeping the joy of the moment at bay
Beyond finding joy in the moment, we also find joy when we are mindful about what we choose NOT to do. We don't have to do everything. Rather, we must discern the right things to do. When we practice FOMO, we cultivate fear, disappointment, and regret (Fear is the first part of FOMO after all). When we practice JOMO, we cultivate joy, contentment, and peace.
JOMO is a choice. It's a choice to not allow FOMO to rule our lives. JOMO is being intentional and honest. JOMO encourages us to create space where we can breathe, grow, and find freedom. JOMO helps us create space where we can deeply connect with others because we aren't distracted and exhausted.
What are we really missing if we don't watch the next episode? Go to the party? Take on an extra activity? What are we missing if we stay in, spend time with people we love, and get the rest we need rather than heading out?
JOMO is when we find joy by choosing to miss out and the discovery that we aren't missing a thing.
May you experience the deep joy and peace of Jesus because you are choosing to spend some moments with Jesus!