Blog Post By Erica Gordon.
By now, you’re probably familiar with the popular terms FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). The term FOMO stemmed from the paradox of millennials going out even when they felt like staying in, out of fear that they might miss out on something awesome if they stayed home.
It’s understandable. I mean, you might miss out on meeting that hot single bartender, I guess. Or you might miss out on that serendipitous moment when the Vancouver Canucks happen to pull up in a pink limo and offer you and your friends a ride. I don’t know, I guess it could happen. And you can’t miss out on that. So you better get dressed even though you’re feeling sick, right?
FOMO is of course in part cultivated by social media. It’s easy for our generation to sit at home feeling miserable as we scroll through our Instagram feed full of photos of our friends out having fun without us. But is it really us missing out? Or are they the ones missing out?
I’ll explain: The joy of missing out makes a lot more sense when you actually think about the pros and cons of going out VS staying in, and when you take a moment to recognize that the loneliest people are often the quickest to find fulfilment. Here are 5 reasons why JOMO is, and should be, the new FOMO.
- Because with enough isolation, you could basically take over the world. I’m serious. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking explained in her TED talk on the Power of Introverts that solitude really matters: “Solitude is often a crucial ingredient to creativity … Darwin took long walks alone in the woods and emphatically turned down dinner party invitations. Dr. Seuss dreamed up many of his amazing creations in a lonely bell tower office in the back of his house.” In short: deep thought, creativity and reflection comes with being alone – which is why these two icons are remarkable introverts whose best work is in part attributed to their willingness to “miss out” on social gatherings. Just saying.
- Because nothing good comes from being hungover. If you go out instead of staying in, you’ll likely bring home with you a massive hangover. When you’re hungover, your whole day is shot. You can’t really do anything productive, and alcohol is also a depressant so you’re likely to be in a horrible mood the day after a night out drinking. Who has time for that? Trust me, when you wake up feeling great and you have a productive day, you’ll be so glad you “missed out” on that event the night before. Another bonus? You didn’t drunk text your ex, post a hideous drunk selfie or drunkenly embarrass yourself.
- You need time alone to self-reflect, de-stress and work towards your goals. By being alone, you’re taking back control of your own life by focusing on your needs, wants, dreams and desires. This is also valuable time for de-stressing and relaxing. Going back to the brilliant author and lecturer Susan Cain, if you’re any part introvert you’ll need alone time to work on yourself. In her TED talk she says “introverts feel their most alive and their most switched on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.” Are you worried you might be bored while you’re at home ‘working on yourself’? Don’t be, because boredom is a good thing. Psychologists Shane W. Bench and Heather C. Lench explain that “boredom motivates pursuit of new goals”.
- You’re saving your resources. By staying in, you’re saving money and you’re saving your energy. There’s nothing worse than wasted energy (showering, getting dressed, getting a bus, etc) all for a lame night out. Keep your sweat pants on and save your energy for the times it really counts and the times it’s really needed. Also, financially you have a lot to gain from staying in.
- You’re gaining independence. By practicing solitude, you’re gaining independence. The ability to be alone allows for so much personal growth, creativity and idea-forming. Shutting out the world is a great thing to practice sometimes, and recognizing the value of missing out is paramount for success.
Erica Gordon is a Psychology Major who works in the dating industry and moonlights as a freelance writer and journalist. Check out more of her articles on her advice column for millennials The Babe Report or follow her on Instagram @the_babe_report for inspiration and advice.