Read

You’ve Heard of FOMO — But Have You Heard of JOMO?

Published:
March 5, 2024
February 26, 2024
Read this article to find out how to get over FOMO and find joy in only participating in the activities that mean the most to you.

“JOMO” — there it was inscribed on the cover of a hard-bound journal on the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble. I leaned closer to read. “JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out.”

I stood back, surprised. Well, this was new. I’d heard of FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” but never had I heard that there could actually be joy in missing out.

And yet, it resonated deeply within me. What is FOMO, after all, but a desire to be where the action is, to end up on the social media feed, to grasp at every opportunity? It’s not always a healthy way to make decisions or live one’s life. 

JOMO, on the other hand, could be the way out of FOMO, forever.

What is FOMO?

FOMO, as the acronym indicates, is a fear of missing out. But missing out on what? Parties, events, activities, potential opportunities, sure. But the fear goes deeper than that. It is a fear of missing out on one’s only chance at whatever is at hand. It is a fear of appearing a certain way to others, of not living up to their expectations. 

FOMO is not just about missing a party. It has real-world consequences, and you would be surprised what decisions made by FOMO can turn into later in life. People end up in careers they didn't want, or taking on massive debt for a wedding, vacation, or house, because they are afraid of what would happen if they didn’t.

FOMO also has major spiritual implications. It causes us to choose things out of fear, rather than out of a true desire of the heart. It is a limiting worldview, one that ultimately conveys a lack of trust in what God will provide, now and in the future.

How can I get over my FOMO?

If you struggle with FOMO, you’re not alone. After all, letting go of fear is easier said than done. One thing that can help is an age-old spiritual practice called an examination of conscience.  This process allows you to determine your true motivations. The next time you’re faced with a decision that requires a commitment, ask yourself: why am I attracted to this? Is it because I fear there will never be another opportunity, or because I am afraid of how I will look if I don’t go/do go? Or is it because there is an inherent good in what I seek, that will lead to my own flourishing and fulfillment?

It may seem silly to perform an examination of conscience over every little decision, and the point is not to become mired in indecision. Rather, it’s to cultivate an interior stillness that will allow you to sense your own motives more easily, at any time, as we are constantly faced with questions about how to spend our time and talent.

Further, contemplate how you perceive God. Because FOMO is based in fear, and an overall sense of scarcity of opportunity, this lends itself to prayerfully examining what we really think of God and how God provides. Our relationship with fear is directly correlated to our relationship with God, who is pure love.

My own experience with FOMO and JOMO

I experienced JOMO during the pandemic. It did not come right away; like everyone, I was grieved by the perceived sense of what had been taken from me. I was missing out not just on fun events like parties and dinners, but on significant life events – weddings, births, deaths. There was no joy in that.

And yet, I found my life much quieter than before. While the gatherings with others were not as frequent or missing altogether, I used the time alone to introspect: to pray, to read, to walk, and to settle down, inwardly. I did not plan to do this; it was just what came naturally and due to having no real other choice. But suddenly, I found myself not missing the hustle and bustle of my former life in a major city. I saw the times when I chose activity out of FOMO, rather than a proactive desire. I learned to find joy in missing out on former activities, which had been replaced with natural beauty and inner stillness. I found myself proactively choosing how I would spend my time in a way that truly reflected my priorities. 

Why is there joy in missing out?

Missing out gives you freedom, specifically, interior freedom to choose what your heart actually desires. 

FOMO and JOMO also relate to identity. When I was forced to give up the events and activities that were on the more glamorous side – and realizing I was interested in them for that, and not for their substance – I discovered that my identity is grounded in who I am, not what I do.

Go forth and miss out

Should we eschew all activity and become hermits like St. Anthony? No, of course not, and only a very few special people have that sort of calling in the world. We can, however, be real about our motivations in the activities we choose and the events we attend. Do you need to make an examination of conscience to determine whether to go grab lunch? Probably not. But cultivating an interior, prayerful stillness will make identifying your motives – fear or free will – much easier at any time.

Creators:
Laura DeMaria
Published:
March 5, 2024
February 26, 2024
On a related note...
A Place To Come Home To

A Place To Come Home To

Shemaiah Gonzalez

Setting Healthy Boundaries for the Holidays

Setting Healthy Boundaries for the Holidays

Krista Steele

Why (& How) We Should Filter the Voices in Our Lives

Why (& How) We Should Filter the Voices in Our Lives

Krista Steele

How to Avoid Losing Your Mind on Dating Apps

How to Avoid Losing Your Mind on Dating Apps

Stephanie DePrez

Why I'm Catholic: It Sets Me Free

Why I'm Catholic: It Sets Me Free

Grotto

Having a Rough Semester? Walk it Out

Having a Rough Semester? Walk it Out

Cate Von Dohlen

After Collapsing on the Ice, This Hockey Player Found a New Passion

After Collapsing on the Ice, This Hockey Player Found a New Passion

Grotto Shares

How to Change the Way You Confront Challenges

How to Change the Way You Confront Challenges

Paul Mitchell

How Do You Care for Your Skin?

How Do You Care for Your Skin?

Grotto

What Does Success (Really) Mean to You?

What Does Success (Really) Mean to You?

Sophie Caldecott

How to Seek Out Wonder and Delight in Everyday Life

How to Seek Out Wonder and Delight in Everyday Life

Kathryn O'Callaghan

Meatless Friday Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

Meatless Friday Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

Grotto

Without My Daughter, I'd Be a Partial Human

Without My Daughter, I'd Be a Partial Human

Patrick Tomassi

Living the Season Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Living the Season Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Jessica Mannen Kimmet

11 Winter Hobbies To Beat Cabin Fever

11 Winter Hobbies To Beat Cabin Fever

Mary Claire Lagroue

What You Need to Know About ‘Wishful Recycling’

What You Need to Know About ‘Wishful Recycling’

Emily Mae Mentock

Some Questions Have to Be Lived, Not Answered

Some Questions Have to Be Lived, Not Answered

Christian Santa Maria

How This Nun is Helping Immigrants at the Border

How This Nun is Helping Immigrants at the Border

Grotto Shares

How Much We Really Use Our Phones Each Day

How Much We Really Use Our Phones Each Day

Erica Tighe Campbell

4 Tips for Dating When You Have Depression

4 Tips for Dating When You Have Depression

Emily Bouch

newsletter

We’d love to be pals.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll meet you in your inbox each week.