🪷 Wellbeing

Jul 1, 2024

7 min read

What’s the meaning of JOMO?

What’s the meaning of JOMO?

Discover JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) and how it can help you beat phone addiction, FOMO, and social media anxiety. Plus, get practical tips to conquer FOMO!

Social media has made it easier than ever to discover various social activities, be it online or offline. While this provides us with more opportunities than ever, it often gives us more options than one can realistically pursue.

In 1992, John Frusciante, the guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was at the peak of his career.

The rock band had just released "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," their breakout record that shot them to popularity. Their songs were playing nonstop on the radio, they were doing sold-out arena gigs, and they were making appearances on prominent TV shows.

But Frusciante was overwhelmed by the band's success. His physical and emotional well-being started to suffer from all the touring, the spotlight, and the expectation to perform. He felt disconnected from his artistic roots and the simple joy of making music.

At the height of the band's popularity, Frusciante made the unexpected decision to leave.

Yes, leave.

Yes, in the middle of a world tour.

He essentially chose to "miss out" on fame, fortune, and what many pub bands would consider a dream career.

For the next several years, Frusciante lived a relatively isolated life, focusing on his personal music projects and battling addiction. Even though it was a difficult time, he was able to rediscover his love of music free from the constraints of mainstream popularity.

Frusciante returned to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in 1998, having recovered and rediscovered his enthusiasm. The band's latter albums, especially "By the Way" (2002) and "Californication" (1999), are regarded as some of their greatest; on them, he showcases his newly found passion and originality.

This story of Frusciante “missing out” poses an interesting question for anyone suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). What if, instead of anxiety, we could find joy in disconnecting? What if we could embrace the art of missing out? What if missing out can help us grow?

In this article, we’ll talk about JOMO (the joy of missing out) and how to cultivate it in our lives. But first, let’s talk about FOMO and its impact on our daily lives.

The triggers of FOMO

We experience FOMO because humans are social animals.

This fear has roots in our evolutionary past, where being part of a group was crucial for survival. Back then, being excluded meant hunger, illness, and death. And while our circumstances have changed dramatically in the present day, our brains are still wired the same: we want to seek social connection and avoid exclusion.

Even though this need to be included is biological, increased social media use over time has made it worse. Studies have shown a link between social media use and FOMO. When it’s easy to see what your friends are doing, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on something.

One click, and you’ll see highly curated feeds of your friends sharing their best moments of their lives. Picture perfect relationships, beautiful vacations, exciting career milestones, and social events you wished you were a part of. But this illusion makes you feel inadequate. Suddenly, everyone you know looks like they’re living a more fulfilling life, and that you’re missing out.

But this fear has consequences.

Consequences of FOMO

When you give in to the fear of missing out, you end up doing things you don’t enjoy.

You watch the latest on Netflix because everyone’s been talking about it.

You download the newest productivity app because your favorite YouTuber is reviewing it.

You attend a party you're not really interested in because your friends are going.

You do the things you think you should do rather than the things you want to just to avoid the pain of missing out. But in the long run, you end up missing out on your life.

Not only that, falling prey to this fear also leads to:

  • Increased anxiety: FOMO is strongly associated with higher levels of anxiety. When you suffer from FOMO, you’re constantly worrying about missing out on social events or experiences. What’s worse is that you end up scrolling social media to make yourself feel better, only to get stuck in a vicious cycle of even more anxiety.


  • Lower life satisfaction: Individuals experiencing FOMO often report lower levels of satisfaction. This is intuitive: when you think that people out there are having better experiences, you feel like you’re lacking and your life isn't as fulfilling as it could be. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction with one's own.

  • Decreased productivity: Studies have found that FOMO can also negatively impact your productivity. When you're constantly checking social media or worrying about missing out on something, it becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand. Ultimately, this lack of focus leads to decreased productivity and even overwhelm with the constant distractions.


Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

Made simple. See by yourself.

⚡️

💜

🔒

⌨️

🌿

🌿

🌙

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

Made simple. See by yourself.

⚡️

💜

🔒

⌨️

🌿

🌿

🌙

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

All made simple. See by yourself.

⚡️

💜

🔒

⌨️

🌿

🌿

🌙

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

All made simple. See by yourself.

JOMO - the antidote to FOMO

So, how can we break free from FOMO? The answer lies in embracing its opposite: JOMO, or the joy of missing out.

Embracing JOMO is about being content with where you are and what you’re doing. It’s choosing not to worry about what other people are up to. It’s being present in the moment and finding joy in your own experiences.

This can mean:

  • Choosing to play with your kids instead of attending a party everyone is attending.

  • Opting for a quiet evening at home with a good book rather than going to a concert you don’t enjoy.

  • Being comfortable with saying no to invitations or opportunities that don’t align with your values or interests.

  • Spending time alone and enjoying your own company.

  • Focusing on your own goals and priorities, rather than comparing yourself to others.

By embracing JOMO, you can improve your wellbeing, build deeper relationships, and focus on what truly matters to you.

But most importantly, you get to live a life on your own terms.

How to embrace JOMO

Putting JOMO into practice can be challenging. The good news is that it is a skill that can be developed. Let's explore some practical ways to cultivate JOMO in your daily life:

🪞 Reflect on how you spend your time

The first step to embracing JOMO is to become aware of how you're currently spending it. Take a moment to look back at your calendar and journal.

Ask yourself: Do my daily activities align with your values and goals? Are you engaging in activities because you genuinely enjoy them, or because you feel obligated to keep up with the Joneses?

When you notice areas where FOMO might be influencing your action, you’ll be more intentional about how you spend your time and energy.

🙅‍♂️ Hell Yeah! or No

Once you notice the things you don’t enjoy, it’s time to start saying ‘no’.

Even though we all know how important it is to do so, it’s not always easy. One idea that can help is “Hell Yeah! or No”, which was popularized by the writer Derek Sivers. This means only saying yes to opportunities that genuinely excite you.

If your response isn't a "Hell Yeah!", it's a no. This approach helps you focus on what truly matters to you, rather than spreading yourself thin trying to do everything. By being selective, you create space for the activities and relationships that you really care about. Everything that is not a “Hell Yeah!” are just FOMO traps!

❤️ Make time for the things you love

Now that you've cleared space in your schedule, it's time to fill it with activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Schedule time on your calendar for things that matter to you. This could be pursuing a hobby, spending quality time with loved ones, or simply enjoying moments of solitude. By making time for these activities, you're reinforcing the idea that your choices are valuable and meaningful. That you have everything you need, and you’re not missing out on anything.

🚶 Go offline

As mentioned earlier, social media is a major trigger for FOMO. So consider taking regular breaks from your screens. You don’t have to go on a digital detox (because we don’t believe in it), all you have to do is to spend some time offline. Take a break from social media, even if it’s as little as a hour per week.

Use the time to explore activities that spark joy. Go for a walk without listening to a podcast. Read physical books instead of on your iPad. Call a friend and meet in person instead of texting.

The truth is, everyone will miss out on things. We don’t have enough time, energy, or attention to pursue all the opportunities in the world. Instead of regretting the ones you missed out on, we should embrace the fact that we will miss out. This finitude is what makes the things we choose to do even more meaningful and valuable.

Cultivate JOMO with us!

Embracing JOMO doesn't have to be hard. Our app blocker is designed to help you cultivate the joy of missing out and reclaim your time and attention. Here's how you can use Jomo to embrace it:

🗓️ Create weekly disconnect sessions

As mentioned earlier, one of the ways to embrace JOMO is to go offline. You can use our app to completely disconnect from your phone once a week. Here’s how to set it up:

1️⃣ Download Jomo.

2️⃣ Go to Rules > Sessions > Add > Schedule Blocking Session.

3️⃣ Select the social media apps you want to block in “Apps & Websites”.

4️⃣ Go to Timing > Scheduled. Toggle “All Day” and select which days you want to disconnect.

5️⃣ Tap on "Schedule."

📱 Offline activities widget

In collaboration with Digibloom, we've created an iOS widget that suggests offline activities. From reading a book to taking a nature walk, this feature inspires you to find joy in offline experiences.

😄 Embrace Jomo with your squad

Using the Squads feature on your app, you can invite your friends and family to share their screen time. This way, you can keep each other accountable and get support as you work towards embracing the joy of missing out.

Remember, feeling FOMO is completely normal. But instead of fearing that we're missing out on trivial experiences, we should focus on what really matters, even if it’s just life's simple pleasures.

🔗 Study 1 ; Study 2 ; Study 3 | ✋Illustrations by Jomo