So we live in a world where FOMO rules. People are literally stricken by the fear of missing out. That dreaded fear that you may miss out on an opportunity unless you stay as connected as humanely possible, or the fear that other people have organised an event and, sin of all sins, not invited you. Mobile phones have fuelled this epidemic because, rather than make a plan and stick to it (as was the case when I was young), we know that we can send a last minute text to excuse ourselves if a better option arises. It is a greedy world and can seem like you never really know where you are.
Social media governs that we are more abreast of the details in everyone’s lives than ever before. Sure, there are some interesting bits but largely it is just noise. Noise that doesn’t often help us or make our hearts sing but instead leaves us comparing our lives to other people’s and wondering why ours doesn’t look quite so shiny and exciting.
Ok so many of us suffer with FOMO. I present to you another option JOMO – the JOY of missing out!! When we can simplify our lives and quieten down the additional noise of social media we are left with what is going on right here, right now. What is going on for YOU in YOUR life rather than being bombarded with what is going on right here, right now, in everyone else’s life. Be kind to yourself. If you enjoy indulging in a little social media why not limit it to certain times of the day when it feels good to catch up. Don’t let it insidiously creep into your life when you simply would be better off without the distraction. Let the Joy of missing out seep into your bones as you truly connect with right here, right now in your life.
In November 2016 I felt literally swamped by life. There was so much noise around me, in our busy family life and with our busy friendship group. I was as connected as it was possible to be – Facebook, Instagram, Whats App, Messaging, Email, Telephone. I love helping people and had spent my early mothering years making myself available whenever anyone needed me, sometimes not in my best interests. I am a radiator, I will radiate my energy far and wide, where required and am often in danger of not having enough energy left for me, to fuel my fire. My lovely Mamma knew it well and reminded me to not let others drain me – it does me good to heed her advice.
Back to November 2016, the noise became unbearably loud and I felt like I needed to retreat from the madness so that I could focus on my gorgeous family and give them the best of me, rather than a diluted me who was so distracted by the busyness of life! One issue with social media is that it permeates your home and demands your attention when you don’t have time to give it. A month prior I had turned off all notifications so that my phone stopped pinging, dinging and buzzing whenever a message came through. But that was not enough, social media is drug like in its addiction. Slowly but surely, I developed a habit of way too regular checking of my phone to see what messages had come through. It had got to the stage with me that life was so busy with chatter from friends far and wide that I would even take my phone to the toilet with me to catch up!! Nuts – no-one else comes to the loo with me, why did I think it was normal procedure for my phone to come & for me to be checking it whilst I went to the loo?!! Bonkers!! This was the case for me and yet I knew that that other friends had it far worse – they couldn’t even get through a social occasion without constantly phone checking to the point where you wondered quite what the point was of you being physically there with them. I was doing ok compared to them, but still my ‘ok’ wasn’t me thriving and it needed to change for me to reconnect to the life I was living.
I chatted through my predicament with my gorgeous friend Julia and I floated my idea of removing myself temporarily, for the month of November from social media platforms. This would be a challenge because there is an addiction to the information, FOMO raises its head and I had created a habit which was hard to break. We decided it would be best to write an exit message, announcing my plans. So here it is:
1st November 2016 Facebook – “Today marks the start of my digital detox. A key part of my Mindfulness and Meditation training & wonderful for my sanity. I am turning off FB and just checking Whats App and Email once a day, so I will stay in the loop but remove myself from the barrage. Lets see how this goes. Over and out for now. If you need me in between, please call or pop in the old fashioned way!”
What I found that I could actually HEAR the noise that was most important and required my attention. Not only that but I could hear my soul’s voice – far from being under information-attack from all sides, I could feel in my body whether something felt right or wrong, was worth pursuing or not. It was truly a heavenly realisation – utter JOMO! Add to that the Joy at the release of pressure of commenting on people’s posts and Joy at the increased headspace. Joy at the beautiful replacement of FOMO with JOMO.
Honestly, I have not looked back. I haven’t missed out on a single thing. True friends have stayed in touch. I immediately gifted myself a huge amount more headspace to devote to those who really mattered in my life. I disconnected to reconnect with who really need and deserve my love and attention. It has been transformational!!
Summer 2018 – enjoying a bit of JOMO!