15 May The joy of missing out!
It started out as a trendy term to use, but deep down FOMO (the fear of missing out) really stems from a lack of self-esteem, desire to fit in and not embracing one’s uniqueness.
What surprises me is that adults seem to be falling victim to FOMO as just as much as teenagers. Even with teenagers, one can understand that they are still forming their identity; so we would expect adults to have a better sense of who they are.
And we have to bear in mind that our kids are learning through observing our behaviour. We are their first roles models – so what are we teaching them?
Examples of FOMO in daily life:
- Accepting every single invite, even if its stressful to fit in, just because ‘everyone is going to be there’
- Buying designer brands, even if out of your budget, because they’re trendy.
- A deep sense of sorrow when you are not invited to something.
- Feeling like other people have it better than you because of what you see them portray on social media.
- Trying every beauty treatment, weight loss product etc., because celebrities are doing it.
- Comparing yourself unfavourably to others because of what you see on social media – they seem to look better (never mind, they posted the 10th selfie because the first 9 were not flattering enough), they seem to be so in love (off course no one posts about the fights they have), they have more luxurious homes and cars or go on fabulous holidays (yet you have no idea what stress they’ve been through to achieve all of this – or better still, they are still struggling to pay for these things).
So, what’s the solution?
JOMO, off course – the JOY of missing out! Why can’t you feel content when scrolling through your social media on Sunday morning, looking at the pictures of the parties your friends attended until the early hours of the morning, while you were home in your PJs having pizza and playing boardgames? We need to reach a point where we can be happy for others without desiring what they have. And that comes with authenticity and increased self-confidence. The confidence to be who you are and not feel like you have to go with what’s trendy to fit in.
So what if G & Ts are the trendiest drink right now? If you don’t like it, there’s no need to pretend to. So what if everyone is spending several thousands of rands for every function they attend? If it’s not what truly makes you happy, don’t do it just to keep up! If you feel free to be who you are, trendy or not, the right people will enter your life.
The more confident you are to be yourself, the less likely you are to experience FOMO, because it means that you are happy for others to do their thing while you do yours. Why compare when we are all unique, anyway?
Perhaps we need to rethink our social media use too. While it’s become a vital part of our lives for several reasons, let’s commit to using social media more purposefully to enrich our lives, as opposed to spending mindless time, scrolling through our feeds and (sometimes even unknowingly) comparing our lives to others.
If you want to improve your life, focus on what makes YOU truly happy. Nothing external can, because nothing external is permanent anyway. The joy you seek can only be found within – it’s a choice you make! So start by doing what you love (trendy or not), wear what you like (fashionable or not) and spend time with those who uplift and inspire you.
Let us admire others, without desiring what they have, because we are content with what WE have…that is the essence of JOMO!