Written by Amaranila Nariswari, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
“FOMO, JOMO, Cheugy, Bussin”, do you know what those words mean? If your answer is absolutely yes!, then congratulations, you haven’t miss a single beat of TikTok’s latest famous slang words. But if your answer is mainly no, then congratulations, too! Not knowing what’s in the trend is not something you should be ashamed of. FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is the feeling of anxiety you get when you think someone else is having a valuable experience, while you are not (Przybylski et al., 2013). The key point of FOMO is that you missed the experience, and sometimes you might feel that it would be the end of your social life.
While knowing all the latest trends in social media helps you understand most of its contents, the feeling of FOMO pushes you to know more about everything happening around the internet. It’s crazy! It often makes you stressed out when you don’t know something is happening. Furthermore, FOMO is said to be linked to reduced life satisfaction, bad temperamental, and even higher problematic usage of social media (Baker et al., 2016; Elhai et al., 2016; Beyens et al., 2016 in Milyavskaya, 2018). It’s a cycle that brings people into depression and could bring physical symptoms, too, like muscle tension, headaches, or insomnia.
Wortham (2011) said that FOMO most likely occurs due to the amplification of the ever-growing social media. However, experiencing FOMO doesn’t always have to be social media-related. It could also happen when you miss out on a chance given by someone, and you begin to think of the “what ifs”. Sometimes we have to miss an opportunity due to an obligation we have to fulfill, but when we miss something, we begin to think if it is really worth the sacrifice. For instance, you were torn between studying or attending a party, but eventually, you chose to study instead of going to the party. You wonder if you made the right choice, I mean, if you did go to that party, you can mingle and socialize with your friends, and you can always study later.
Believe me, though, you did not miss anything. Well, maybe you did, but let’s pretend that it is not something big, and we can always grow from that. Would you believe me if I said that missing out on something is a form of self-love? When you know you missed out on something and decide that it is okay, you let yourself rest and even feel joyful! It’s not always easy, but you can start by distracting yourself by doing something productive and focusing on your well-being. Here’s how you can start letting go of the feeling of FOMO:
Meditating is an excellent way to start releasing tension. Using the technique of mindfulness, we learn to attain emotional and mentally stable conditions. Through meditating, you develop a mindset of the present and you let go of any sense of judgment. While you live in the present, you let go of your past. You know that not everything in the future will go in accordance with your will, too, but you let go. Citing SCL Health, the key to mindfulness is to observe your thoughts and let them pass by. You are separated from your thoughts, meaning you don’t have to comply with your anxiety of wanting to know everything at every moment.
- Read books
You can never go wrong with reading books. Take a 15-minute break from your work and study. Instead of scrolling through your social media, grab a book and let yourself get immersed in your reading. Keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be a self-motivating book or other highly-substantive reading. You can read anything you feel comfortable with, even comics, as long as it brings you joy and the feeling of calmness. It could be better if you get inspired after reading, then you can be productive in doing your job later instead of worrying about missing a single thing.
- Gardening, playing musical instruments, or volunteering with us!
Let’s not forget about hobbies. You can do your hobbies, be it gardening, cooking, listening and playing musical instruments, doing sports, or basically anything! Doing your hobby–while it doesn’t interfere with your obligations–is good for your mental health. Don’t forget, too, that you can choose to do social work, for instance, by participating in volunteering events. Through volunteering, you can get to know new people, give-back to your surroundings, gain new perspectives, and learn to be grateful for the life you have. If you haven’t known about this, we, Project Child Indonesia, constantly provide a place for you to contribute as a volunteer in our programs. You can check our website and social media to learn more about it!
Now that you have tried several ways to avoid things that might bring you anxiety, you can actually feel the Joy of Missing Out, or JOMO. When you feel okay being left out of the trends, you can actually achieve more than you can think of. You will get to spend more time doing something genuinely productive, which helps your own self-development. I know, I know, it is not as easy as it might sound. Getting away from my phone and doing other activities? How would you expect me to do that!? Well, I expect you to do it slowly but surely! A little progress is still progress, and remember to not force yourself!
Milyavskaya, M., et al. (2018). Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO. Motivation and Emotion, 42, 725–737. doi:10.1007/s11031-018-9683-5
Przybylski, A. K., et al. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1841–1848. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014
SCL Health. (n.d). Why We Feel FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and What to Do About It. SCL Health. Retrieved from https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/03/why-we-feel-fomo-and-what-to-do-about-it/
SCL Health. (n.d). Meditation Techniques from Beginner to Pro. SCL Health. Retrieved from https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2018/09/a-peek-at-five-different-types-of-meditation/
Wortham, J. (2011). Feel like a wallflower? Maybe it’s your Facebook Wall. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/business/10ping.html