The joy of missing out has never had a better time than now to thrive. It’s time to be okay with nothingness, and all the happiness it brings

The new year has just hit us. And by ‘hit us’, I mean exactly that. We don’t know what just happened over the last year. 2021 just had us trying to come to terms with whatever was happening around us, and then we had a moment of respite, which a lot of took as a licence to run away to Goa. It’s also a conditioning that we have to party or travel or just make something happen in our downtime, and we’ve all had a lot of pent up down time stored within us. Being ready to do something fun but being restricted from doing so — this epididymal hypertension is enough to drive anyone wild — you know, blue balls.

Now with that image in your mind of India’s collective ‘hypertensive blues’, maybe we should pause and acknowledge the large proportion of the population like myself, who take pride in the mundane. The fact that we chose to do nothing is something that makes us band together like brothers and sisters in arms, fighting for the collective good of the species. Yes, we take the responsibility of the species on our shoulders when we do nothing with our free time. 

Nothing is beautiful. Everything is great, but nothing is beautiful. Nothing is the activity you undertake to appreciate all the brilliant things you forget to notice when you’re out doing all the somethings of your life. How much of nothing you can do, is really up to you. I’m usually up to my ears in nothing, in fact the nothings act as my noise cancelling earbuds. 

fomo and Jomo concept. fear of missing out, joy of missing outomo and Jomo concept. fear of missing out, joy of missing out

Nothing is the best time to better yourself. The joy it brings is what I’d like to point out. Folks, FOMO (fear of missing out) is so 2019. JOMO, the joy of missing out, is our present.

You’d assume that the propagators of JOMO would think of themselves as better individuals than the rest, but it’s quite the contrary. They simply want to enjoy not being part of plans, and plans taking place are intertwined with their joyful mirth. As we all know, without plans, they would never get to miss out on anything, and thereby miss out on the joy of missing out. 

It’s a complicated relationship, but it seems to be working. The entire JOMO population would be joy starved without the “party hard” population. Wanting to miss out on plans can create the same hypertensive blues as wanting to be out, so we are all in the same boat — just that some are on the upper deck, and the rest of us are taking pride in the fact that we are below, and can hear their feet grooving on the dance floor. 

So, it simply comes down to taking pride in who you are. That’s what makes me happy about the memes and stories I see about missing out on the things that we once thought were an essential part of our social experience. We’ve managed to find friends who want to hang out and simply partake in this joy.

Being proud of your choices and still getting to be part of a tribe is fantastic now. Whether you want to sit at home curled up with a book while the world passes you by, or you want to be spinning faster than the earth does on its axis (the latter, of course, needs to be done with caution not because of the restrictions of physics but the restrictions of covid). Nonetheless, the JOMO gang has found its place in humanity, and the current circumstances are conducive to its survival. 

fomo and jomo

Let’s not lose ourselves in our pride, trying to satisfy our ego with regard to our choice. You can absolutely regret your choice, occasionally; even if you are proud of it. Jumping back and forth between our choices is what makes us more confident about where we want to end up. Happiness can dissipate very quickly if we don’t manage to, let’s lean into this cliche, strike a balance. You can simply take a little bit of this and a little bit of that, who’s stopping you from getting that recipe just right? Enjoy the process of figuring out what’s right for your personal brand of insanity. 

Just because you don’t really enjoy participation in something, doesn’t mean that the activity objectively loses value. The introvert-extrovert debate will continue to rage on, and numerous punch lines shall be created in the process. I recently stumbled upon the term ‘the introverted extrovert’, and instantly wanted to slap myself, but I’m much too introverted for that to manifest externally. Introverts and extroverts will continue to never really understand each other, but we can all agree that ‘introverted extrovert’ is the last thing you’d want to see on a Tinder bio. 

 

It’s just hanging out with our friends that we miss at the end of the day, trying to recount all the dumb things you’d wasted time doing in the college canteen. Even the enjoyment of one’s own company is more fun if it’s done with the knowledge that others are doing the same. You somehow, I think, feel belonged.

 

Let’s enjoy simmering together.