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Description: You have probably heard about FOMO or the fear of missing out which is often discussed as a serious hazard of involvement in social media. The idea is that postings on social media sites (like Instagram) are typically created and posted with the purpose of showing that the poster is having a great time, is living the good life, is hanging out with better people, and is generally having a better time than you are and as a result you may fear you are missing out on the better times and lives you could be living. FOMO is the sort of thing that researchers have in mind when they are talking about the possible negative effects of significant engagement (5 hours a day) with social media (see Jean Twenge reference below). One type of challenge to research claims regarding the possible evils of social media use has been methodological (see my related post — ) and such challenges are important. Another type of challenge, however, is also important as it involves examining different ways of thinking about the issues of FOMO. If FOMO is bad for us then what is better for us or even, ore simple, what is good for us? How about turning FOMO on its head theoretically and considering JOMO? What is JOMO, well it is the joy of missing out. Think about what that might mean, what it might involve and how it might help us. Oh, and while you are at it, think about how we might research JOMO and then read the article linked below to see how it fits with your own thoughts, speculations, and hypothesizing.

Source: JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out, Kristen Fuller, Happiness is a State of Mind, Psychology Today.

Date: February 22, 2019

Photo Credit: Book Cover, The Joy of Missing Out by Christina Crook.

Article Link:

There are many versions of the suggestion that you should put your technology down from time to time if only to give yourself a rest from its many, constant cognitive demands and stressors. The article linked above more explicitly suggests we consider tying such techno-breaks to the increasing researcher supported notion that practicing mindfulness, being in the moment, and doing things purposefully and deliberately is generally good for us and our overall sense of wellbeing. Finding things that do that for us seem to be increasingly important for us these days and research that explains why AND shows us how is important and needed. More research is definitely needed.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are FOMO and JOMO and how are they related?
  2. What psychological concepts and theories does JOMO possibly relate to?
  3. What should some of the central components be of a systematic research agenda aimed at helping us to properly understand and manage the effects of technology and social media on our lives and our wellbeing?

References (Read Further):

Crook, C. (2015). The joy of missing out: Finding balance in a wired world. New Society Publishers.

Suler, J. R. (2016). Psychology of the digital age: Humans become electric. Cambridge University Press.

Twenge, J. M. (2017). Have smartphones destroyed a generation. The Atlantic, 3.

Baer, R., Crane, C., Miller, E., & Kuyken, W. (2019). Doing no harm in mindfulness-based programs: Conceptual issues and empirical findings. Clinical psychology review.