FOMO vs JOMO: Which one would you choose?

Cartoon illustration of young girls under FOMO and JOMO
© Jcomp / Freepik

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

The Fear of Missing Out or FOMO refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem. It’s not just the sense that there might be better things that you could be doing at this moment, but it is the feeling that you are missing out on something fundamentally important that others are experiencing right now. It is becoming increasingly common, in part thanks to social media, and can cause significant stress in your life. It can affect just about anyone, but some people are at greater risk of FOMO.

Social media creates a platform for bragging; it is where things, events, and even happiness itself seem to be in competition at times. People are comparing their best, picture-perfect experiences, which may lead you to wonder what you are lacking.

These are a few terms related to FOMO:
FOBO (Fear Of Better Options): This refers to the fear that you are missing out on potentially better alternatives.
MOMO (Mystery Of Missing Out): This refers to the fear that you are missing out but not having any clue about what you’re missing out on.
ROMO (Reality Of Missing Out): This refers to knowing that you aren’t missing out on anything.
FOJI (Fear Of Joining In): The fear of sharing things on social media but not garnering any response.

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Dr Avinash De Sousa is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist based in Mumbai. He is the Founder of the Global Society for Digital Psychology and the Founder-Trustee of the Desousa Foundation.

Pragya Lodha is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist based in Mumbai.