This post is brought to you by Atlas Communications.
Let me set the scene.
It’s 7:00pm on a Friday night and, if you’re like most of the millennials I know living and working in Toronto, you’re just packing up to leave the office.
Your phone is buzzing with tonight’s plans, the group text is practically burning a hole in your pocket, and your pal is already Snapchatting you obscene selfies, drink-in-hand, asking where you are.
You’re absolutely exhausted from the workweek and all you really want to do is crawl into your over-sized tee, catch up with everyone’s favourite drug lord on Netflix, and wake up hangover-free on Saturday morning. This, in essence, is a little-known thing called JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out (more on that later).
But First, FOMO
Yet tired as you are, though, you’re craving the sharp bite of a glass of Chardonnay, a much-needed catch up session with friends, and the chance to let off some steam at one of the city’s many after-work watering holes. This is what’s widely known as FOMO –Fear Of Missing Out – an anxiety-inducing monster that only keeps growing in size and scope as technology continues to keep us perpetually engaged.
This is the scenario I often find myself in. I like to refer to it as dangling your feet over the edge of no return – meaning that you, in your vulnerable and over-worked state of mind, could potentially be swayed either way, regardless of what you know is actually best for you.
As conservative as it sounds, the most liberating thing I’ve done in a long time was simply saying “no” a few Friday nights ago, and since then, I’ve been working on taking back my Friday nights and spending my time the way I want to.
Because Burnout’s Worse Than a Buzzkill
Now before you go ahead and call me an uptight fun-sucker, let me explain why I feel this way. Thanks to current technology, we live in an age of instant everything. And I mean everything.
Want a drink? Just check DrinkOwl to see what the specials are. Want a date? Just hop on the Tinder Train – everyone’s doing it, right? Hungry? Well, just get something yummy delivered to wherever you may be, at any given moment, using Hurrier.
When technology makes everything accessible, it makes us – living, breathing, humans – more accessible to everyone around us. With all of this accessibility comes the inevitable as young professionals, that we’re bound to burn out sooner or later.
I for one have fallen victim to this – constantly saying yes, without stopping to think about my actions and how they could be affecting my mental and physical health.
Our lives have become so overly busy, it seems that most of us are almost in a competition with one another over who’s busier. When did it suddenly become cool to work a 10-hour day and freelance during the evening, or attend two separate networking events in one night?
Balancing work and a social life is hard enough – and a romantic life is almost laughable for most (again, all aboard the Tinder train!).
The Key To Living Happily JOMO After
Does this sound a bit too familiar? Don’t worry, because you’re certainly not alone. A solution is to start practicing saying no, instead of yes, and not feeling guilty about it.
In the era of Instagram, Snapchat, and countless other social media apps that were practically designed to give us FOMO, JOMO is something that should actually be desired.
There’s something extremely satisfying about not going out and experiencing the joy in spending your night exactly how you want, without caring what anyone else is doing.
Now, I’m not saying to go ahead and cancel on all your plans because chances are you’d lose your friends quicker than Hurrier can deliver tonight’s dinner. But the reality is that we are young professionals, not super heroes.
Leaving a few nights a week open, or simply going home early to “put your feet up” as a good friend of mine calls it, can do wonders for your wellbeing.
It’s time to stop the fear of missing out, for everyone’s sake, and experience (and embrace) the joy in it. And that is why trading in your FOMO for JOMO, even on a sacred Friday night, can change your life.
Staying in is the new going out. And you’ll thank us for it later.