Fear of Missing Out: How about JOMO? (Joy of Missing Out!)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series FoMO

The StayFocusd app doesn’t mess around! There’s even a “Nuclear Option” to “NUKE” your online distractions. Click this image to learn more about the app.

Fear of missing out has always been a concern. What’s new is social media, which enables and fuels this fear. This technology-infused elevated level of fear of missing out has also given us a new acronym: FOMO.

Have you heard a related term—JOMO? It’s the joy of missing out, and it’s arisen as an antidote to FOMO. Check out this Guardian column on JOMO as just one example.

The core value of JOMO is self determination. Instead of focusing on what you’re missing, it means focusing on what you choose to do—and being present when you are doing it, whatever that may be. It’s the recognition that saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to something else. And, it means limiting the influence of social comparisons and what everyone else appears to be doing. JOMO is inner directed rather than outer directed.

And … There’s an App for that!

Ironically, there are apps that can help you manage your fear of missing out and find more joy in what you are doing. Among the 10 apps featured in this article, here are 3 that stood out for me:

Self-control makes your browser appear to be offline for a period of time. You can blacklist certain distracting web sites, or whitelist a few you let through.

Tracking Time is time tracking software. It a record of all your activities on the computer and produces a report that reveals what you are actually doing. You may think you spend only 15 minutes a day on Facebook, but learn that you actually spend much more!

Stay Focusd (and, no, that’s not a typo—there’s no “e” in the name) sets a time budget for using social media. Once you hit your time limit, you can’t use social media for the rest of the day. Sort of like a parent who lets you play videogames for an hour, but then homework time!

Do you find joy in missing out?

How do you manage the fear of missing out?

Would apps like these help?

Start a conversation …

That’s the purpose of the OurValues project. We encourage civil discussion on important topics of the day. You are free to print out, repost and share these columns with friends. You can use them in your small group or class. Enjoy this week’s series!

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