The Alternative to Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

FOMO is that sinking, pit-in-the-stomach feeling that disconnects us from others and prevents us from savouring the here and now.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself – I’ll go down a rabbit hole following some juicy Facebook thread that often communicates the message, “Look at how much fun everybody is having – except you!” 

In short, fear of missing out (or FOMO) describes that uneasy, anxious feeling that’s driven by a desire to feel part of something. It often leads to feelings of inadequacy due to constant social comparison and competition. It happens to the best of us. 

The Black Hole of FOMO

Let’s call FOMO the puppeteer of social media – it doesn’t just nudge users to devour content. It cleverly coaxes us into creating and sharing our own experiences, drawing in additional users and fueling a whirlwind of interactions. Of course, these platforms do serve to keep us connected with friends and family. But more often than not FOMO’s pull takes us far beyond this well-intentioned outreach, throwing us into a frenzied and exhausted state of mind.

Welcome to the JOMO! 

That’s why it’s vital that we draw strong boundaries around the pull of social media. 

Enter the concept of the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO), a refreshing antidote to its evil twin, FOMO. JOMO celebrates stepping away from the digital whirlwind to reconnect to the simple, immediate pleasures of life. 

While most of us can’t afford to unplug completely, carving out time to do this is necessary for our personal sense of well-being. Think of JOMO as essential to our self-care, providing a much-needed pause from the relentless flood of information and notifications that can overload our brains and result in feelings of fatigue. Taking regular “digital detox” breaks to experience the JOMO has significant benefits for our mental and physical well-being.

Choosing to “miss out” provides space for self-reflection and an opportunity to understand one’s true desires and needs, which promotes personal growth and self-awareness.

Becca Williams is an emotions therapist and clinician who helps people free themselves from emotional burdens, traumas, and limiting beliefs to live more fulfilling lives.


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