An irrational Fear Of Missing Out …. is something I’ve, with growing up, outgrown. It used to be a very strong feeling/thought. Wanting to be where things are happening, people will be…I’ll be seen. Actually, to be fair, I’m not sure if it was something I actively pursued more than my involvements, responsibilities and circumstances kept me where things were going on. I just went along with it and didn’t exercise my right to opt out. It had a lot to do with the stockpile of acquaintances I’d accumulated. I’d go somewhere or end up somewhere an event was happening on a whim and end up spending an, in hindsight, absurd amount of time engaging in the obligatory and unnecessarily loud “HEEEEEY”, hugs, “where’ve you been” and, worst of all, the exchange where we assume we have each other’s numbers, one of us says “I still have your number” so we say we’ll get in touch, knowing we won’t, and/so we don’t! Enough of those exchanges consecutively in the short time span that makes up an outing proved exhausting.
Several years later, going to less of those events because I either do not hear about them or opt out, when the “heeeeys” happen they are a lot more sincere and when I scroll through the contacts in my phone I can safely say/know I’ll use the number and would definitely pick up if any of the people in there call. I also learnt to let myself be genuinely excited to see someone I haven’t in a long time, but not pretend to want it to go beyond that – less anxiety. I found the quality of my interactions improved, didn’t leave me empty and total strangers were a gem of people I’d missed out on. Some of those have ended wherever they happened and others have continued into friendships and being mutually exposed to completely new things.
Being an only child and having always [therefore] been an extroverted introvert, I’m coming into my own in being fully capable of doing awesome things alone, trying new activities with friends and generally feeling completely OK missing out, I’ve found the Joy Of Missing Out! JOMO is peaceful. It is rejuvenating and stimulates my creativity, spiritual growth and is a comfortable pillow to sleep on at night. JOMO, in fact, contributes extraordinarily to getting enough rest and being able to be energetic and perform in responsibilities that contribute to my well being. JOMO, along with outgrowing FOMO, allowed me to write this.