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Joy of missing out

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You likely know FOMO (fear of missing out) and its cousin FOBO (fear of better options) – but the next generation of tailored-for-social-media acronyms is ‘JOMO’, or the joy of missing out. As the antithesis of FOMO, it symbolises relief from the breathless and guilt-laden need to be perennially switched on and constantly productive, which emerged in reaction to ‘hustle culture’ and other widely accepted models of ‘success’.

Now, people gather to share stories at organised failure celebration events around the world. Empowered by automation, entrepreneurs favour staying small over hyper-scaling in the interest of work-life balance; a collective side-eye is given to Silicon Valley’s sleepless elite proclaiming that all work and no play is what makes Jack a very rich boy.

At its core, JOMO means proudly living life in the slow lane and deriving pleasure from social exclusion. Paradoxically, it’s a wellbeing initiative backed by the Big Tech firms that played their part in our social addictions in the first place. By intentionally taking a step back, shunning needless over-exertion and unshackling ourselves from what we “should” be doing, fear is traded for joy. Our most precious resource is reclaimed: time.

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Image credit: Piero Zagami and Michela Nicchiotti.

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