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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

FOMO No More - Post Covid Reality

Fear of Missing Out may not matter so much in our new world order

Pix Credit: Shutterstock

Fear of Missing out (FOMO) and the sentiment of social exclusion has become a very real feeling permeating our social relationships. Putting it simply, the psychology of FOMO is scared to stay in.


Back in the day, trolling the internet meant most of us would end up watching friends upload pictures on Facebook and Instagram of dinners, walks and social events with friends.


As we scroll through countless stories of "others" doing fun and impressive things, our restlessness would continue to build. A weird combination of exclusion and envy begins to grow. It’s a strange and utterly empty feeling that psychologists have identified as becoming common among social media users. It harks back to a human need to fit in, belong to groups, merge with communities.


Contradictory Emotions: FOMO to FOGO


Seemingly overnight for most of the world #FOMO has turned to #FOGO – fear of getting on, or fear of going out. #Coronavirus has washed away the guilt of not doing something, of being somewhere or posting something. In spite of our restlessness of being cooped up indoors - the mere thought of venturing out of our homes gives us pause unless there is a good reason.


We have hit a reset button in more ways than one. It is time to re-examine the values that truly make sense to us, that are not only driven by social media appearances. For us to look inside ourselves, seek answers and then glance upwards towards the light beyond the treetops.


The New Rule Book


Given the fragility of the times we need a new rule book. Many are learning the difference between being lonely and being alone. I have re - discovered the joys of my inner circle my family and a few close friends. It’s OK to admit that I do want things to slow down, I am happy in my own company.


There is no need to despair about the direction of our life or only find joy in the ceaseless noise of social gatherings.


In fact, psychologists suggest social media users embrace #JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out.


#JOMO is “the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO and is essentially about being present and being content with where you are at in life”, says Kristen Fuller. JOMO can enable people to remain mindful of the importance of human relationships, reclaim the time spent otherwise on social media, embrace time spent away from social media and most importantly find solace in their own lives.


As 2020 runs its course, we realize that #COVID is changing our personal lives well beyond just this year. Let us re-examine candidly these myriad changes, including personal adjustments that come with this global shift.


The FOMO reality that is now tinged with FOGO. Maybe we need to adopt some of the principles of JOMO and create a new philosophy that will serve us well in the new world that has dawned upon us. For the next guru out there within us, stick with the 4 letter acronyms! They really work! If you have any you'd like to share, drop them in the comments below.


We are stronger together



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