How to Turn FOMO Into JOMO

FOMO – the fear of missing out – is not just the fear of not experiencing something. This is the fear of not being invited. Some authors say that to combat FOMO, you need to “disconnect”, change your attitude, and enjoy simple pleasures. Congratulations to the owners of such willpower. The rest of us have to fool our animal brains a little harder. To discover the joy of lost sight – JOMO – we need to make three changes.

To leave early

When I was in my 20s, I stayed at every party until the end – sometimes because I was having too much fun, but usually because it wasn’t. I didn’t want to go home until I had a proper time.

Sometimes a good time would eventually show up, but usually it didn’t. If someone said: “Oh no, don’t go!” I took it as a sincere request and never left. And then, if anyone else tried to leave, I said the same thing. (When we suffer from FOMO, we try to make other people feel FOMO.)

So if you’ve already picked more than you should, now is the time to give up. Leave the party early, abandon the project with an apology, unsubscribe, lower your commitments. When you feel like leaving too early, you will soon realize that you actually came on time.

Rip off the plaster

It hurts to quit. Getting from FOMO to JOMO usually means a little work.

In one crowded year at the SxSW tech conference, my friends and I queued for an hour for an “exclusive” open bar party. Half an hour later, my friend decided that this party was going to be massive, that even after all the sunk costs, it’s still better to leave and hang out with a couple of people in a quieter bar and buy himself drinks. So he did a little countdown with our group. “Now,” he said, “we’re ripping off the plaster.”

Don’t expect it to be painless to miss an opportunity. Instead, treat this pain as good pain that precedes relief.

Quit before you get fired

There are many tips on how to “change your mind” about missed opportunities. It is quite difficult to do this if you don’t decide to skip it. You can’t switch your brain from “I’m sad, I’m not at this party” to “Actually, it’s good that I’m not here.” You must decide not to go to the party.

It’s impossible to predict every party. But you can think of any event that you only regret attending. And you may decide not to go next time without even getting an invitation.

In this way, I got rid of several bad social obligations. Hurt! I stopped going to SxSW and then to another good but unnecessary annual event that I just didn’t have time for. And I made a decision in advance – so by the time events unfolded, I had made up a few months ago. Every time I saw Instagram photos from friends who were still visiting it, I remembered why I didn’t go and felt better, but I also wished my friends all the best.

It’s still a bit of self-deception. You cannot brainwash yourself without conflicting feelings. But you can start dealing with those feelings ahead of time and decide to let go while it still feels like your decision.

It is also a way to avoid marketing FOMO. When you buy an iPhone this year, make the decision not to buy an iPhone next year. When shopping for new clothes, give yourself a new window that must end before you buy more, or put a cap on your clothing budget while it’s optional. Now everything is under control, and you decide to pass up the chance later.

There is something to go home

Of course, the only good reason to skip is if you have something to do. It’s bad to skip a party scrolling through Facebook and say no to a project just because you’re afraid of failure. You should appreciate what you care about. We have advice on this matter.

In an essay in which he came up with FOMO , Harvard Business School student Patrick J. McGinnis also came up with FOBO: fear of the best option. While FOMO forces us to commit ourselves excessively, FOBO forces us to commit ourselves less. While the two fears pull us in opposite directions, together they can paralyze us and cause us to do nothing at all. See which bigger commitments you’re avoiding because you’re afraid to miss out on smaller ones. This is what makes JOMO happy. CTO Anil Dash wrote about these JOMO-worthy things back in 2012.

This does not mean that you need to find the love of your life, or work on your magnum opus, or truly enjoy meditating in an empty room. This means that you need to think about what you want , not what you have been given, and you need to do some kind of controlled version of that. Skip the party and hang out with a couple of friends. If you’re disappointed that you can’t afford something, find the most decadent item you’ve already bought and use it. Delete your news feed and read a book, watch TV shows, play video games if that makes you happy. You don’t have to look for something serious or “meaningful,” just what you legitimately like, and you won’t regret wasting the time. Something worth missing out on.


Leave a Reply