From FOMO to JOMO: why it’s important to disconnect and learn to miss things |  Technology

From FOMO to JOMO: why it’s important to disconnect and learn to miss things | Technology

From FOMO to JOMO: why it’s important to disconnect and learn to miss things |  Technology

It’s impossible to quantify the amount of content on social media that recommends the latest trendy restaurant, the must-have “free plan” or the best places to visit in any city in the world. Every day thousands of new Instagram videos, posts and stories emerge with these types of suggestions, which for years have sought to appeal to users of different platforms.

This phenomenon gave rise to a term to describe the need to be aware of everything others do: FOMO, an acronym in English. fear of missing something, which translates into the fear of missing out. However, more and more users are now rebelling against this trend, which various studies have shown to be harmful to mental health, and have decided to adopt the opposite trend, renamed JOMO (acronym in English). joy of missing something: joy or pleasure of missing something).

“We should not be afraid of missing out, but rather enjoy the simplicity and focus that a good human life brings us. No matter what we do, we will always be missing something, so trying to do everything is a crazy idea,” says Sven Brinkmann, a Danish psychologist and philosopher. author of the book The joy of missing something. The popularizer, who in his book promotes the need to get out of the frenetic wheel imposed by social networks, insists on the idea that doing too many things is not always synonymous with happiness. “A lot of psychological research has shown that people are happier when they have fewer options to choose from. This is called the paradox of choice. “If we learn to miss something, we are more likely to be satisfied with what we have, rather than always wanting more.” »

Although both names were primarily used to describe the two trends in relation to social media addiction – the JOMO tag has more than 54 million views on TikTok, much less than the most popular FOMO, which has around 880 million – Brinkmann emphasizes that these are “existential phenomena” that go beyond technology. “Rather, FOMO refers to the need to be where everything is happening, to live and experience life to the fullest. It becomes a search that can never end, because there is always more to see and do,” he says.

“When we want to fit so many things into the day that don’t suit us, we end up feeling anxious, frustrated, guilty for not having everything figured out,” explains clinical psychologist Patricia Ramírez, known on social media as from @patri_psicologa. “People who choose JOMO make a deliberate and conscious decision not to have to be present in everything and to be able to lead a full and meaningful life, even if one is not going to travel to every country or everything to try.” food from around the world or it’s not in all the restaurants, in all the beautiful corners and in everything that people teach on the networks that you have to visit.

Content Saturation

So videos of club nights that end with sunrises on the beach are replaced by people staying home on a Friday night. There are hundreds of videos on TikTok that use the same audio while showing scenes from everyday life. “Honestly, my most toxic trait is that I have no FOMO, I’m happy to miss out on things,” we hear in one of these posts which shows a woman placing a cup of tea on the bedside table as she prepares to read in bed.

“We live in an age of self-awareness, in which many people have realized that being constantly connected and trying to imitate what they see online does not make them happy,” says health psychologist Alicia Banderas , which studies the effect of social networks. have on mental health. The data proves him right. A 2017 study by the British Royal Society for Public Health shows that four in five young people say that using Instagram makes them feel more anxious. In Spain, 25.9% of girls and 20.5% of boys between 14 and 18 years old admit to “problematic” use of the Internet, likely to affect their self-esteem and well-being.

“So there are people who decide to disconnect and who have found in JOMO a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the networks,” explains Banderas. However, this psychologist also warns against self-help videos that increase this label on social networks with content that preaches the need to miss things, while teaching Dazzling floors and the coffee is made with a top-of-the-line machine. “It also ends up becoming a fashion, even if the initial idea was precisely to move away in search of simplicity.”

For Patricia Ramírez, on the other hand, it is not contradictory that JOMO, like other phenomena popular among young people before, has such a presence on social networks. “Practicing JOMO does not mean stopping using social networks, but rather filtering content to only find what really interests us, instead of consuming everything indiscriminately. In addition, networks have today become one of the largest channels of information. It is normal to learn about these phenomena on Instagram or TikTok,” explains this specialist.

The virtue of restraining oneself

Sven Brinkmann further points out that when talking about FOMO, we often hear the objection that the need to not miss anything, to want to do and experience as much as possible is inherent in human nature. “This is a misconception. For most of human history, we have not lived with a philosophy of more and more. Rather, restraining oneself has been a virtue. This is something we see in most philosophical and religious ideas around the world. However, with the advent of the consumer society, the situation was reversed and people learned that the meaning of life is to consume as much as possible,” Brinkmann retorts.

Despite this saturation of content, experts recognize that in most cases FOMO is a passing stage, which almost automatically gives way to its positive counterpart. “There comes an age, with maturity, where we have the capacity to decide what we want or don’t want in our life: what values ​​are important. And that’s when you think it’s okay to miss out on things and you’ll even enjoy knowing that you’ve decided to give up and that you’re not going to achieve everything. By reaching this conclusion, it already relaxes us,” emphasizes Ramírez.

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