FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” is what happens when we try to keep up with everything that’s happening in the world, pine over how amazing someone else’s vacation looked on Facebook, or chase cryptocurrencies – all out of our deep social desire to feel included. Much like keeping up with the Jones’ – there’s not much good that comes out of it. The psychology community has been fairly vocal about how the “fear” component causes real problems for a growing number of people.
When we add modern marketing to the mix we find even more drivers of FOMO. Think of how companies design experiences around their products and services to make us take action or even stir envy. “Don’t wait, buy now!” “You have to try this!” Everything that is pushed via “Influencers.” What can we do, both to handle the personal onslaught and to market our own businesses with the right intentions?
Kristen Fuller, M.D. (h/t to Howard Lindzon) has an emotionally intelligent antidote for us: JOMO, or the joy of missing out. We experience JOMO when we’re right here, right now, and content. Period. No more, no less. Everything else may be moving, but we’ve taken a break from the hamster wheel. Most importantly, there’s no fear present, only joy. Simple.
When we seek to create moments filled with JOMO, they’re still shareable, but for a different reason than those filled with FOMO. When we help someone step away from the noise and focus on joy, we have shared a very human moment. Sharing JOMO is about peaceful togetherness, not the frantic hedonic treadmill that drives FOMO.
For businesses aware of how they want to be perceived, this distinction becomes meaningful. Focusing on creating moments and making good use of time becomes an actual differentiator. I suspect this is a concept we will be hearing more of in 2019.
JOMO > FOMO.
ps. FOMO can be extra tricky for young adults dealing with relatively rapid personal life changes and new freedoms. If this is you or someone you know, check out “How to Deal with FOMO in College (+Turn It Into JOMO)“