FOMO is passé, Try JOMO

A friend I recently met, mentioned about a café that she suggested we should try. While that hasn’t happened yet, the café’s name however is stuck in my head. JOMO- joy of missing out; isn’t that a perfect name for a café? In the pre-pandemic era, I fulfilled my dream of sipping coffee on lazy afternoons in Parisian cafés and watch the world go by so I am assuming JOMO would be my kind of place.

More on that when I actually do it. For today, I just want you to roll the acronym JOMO in your head and I have a good feeling that like me you’d be hooked to it. While FOMO (Fear of missing out) is more well known, JOMO sounds like it’s uber cool cousin. The anxiety that comes with FOMO is so real that Oxford Dictionary included it as a word in its pages.

JOMO inspires us to step off from the hamster’s wheel that we have constructed for ourselves. If we actually try doing that we could might as well call it an antidote to FOMO. When we choose to miss out on certain things, instinctively we choose to prioritise stuff and be more mindfully involved in it.

I see a lot of my friends going off social media or trimming their friend list. I have been too lazy to trim my list and not courageous enough to sign out of my SM handles. When I hear them claim that it works wonders, I am definitely tempted. Conscious decluttering helps get over our fear of missing out on updates that are probably of little use to us. George Michael has been crooning since 1984 – To the heart and mind ignorance is kind (Careless whispers) but maybe we haven’t been paying attention to it.

The pandemic has done that favour to us now. Somewhere between the lockdown, zoom calls and online ordering a lot of us have become aware of our priorities- things we need to live and stuff we can manage without. There couldn’t be a better time to explore the possibilities JOMO might have on offer.

As far as I understand it doesn’t expect us to shut shop and head to the mountains. All it asks of us is, not to jump in every direction and to carefully segregate stuff we say yes or no to; quite akin to winnowing where the chaff gets separated from the grain.

Prune your calendar. Stay in the moment, focus on your breath, allow yourself to be soaked into the sounds that you no longer register, smell the cake as it bakes, speak to your loved ones and hear them talk. Pick that one thing that gives you pleasure. For 2021, I think this would be my chosen word(s). While I look for my mojo in JOMO, see if you can find yours.

Have a great weekend.

Dr. Shivani Salil

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