How to Make This the Summer of Missing Out

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“To me, it’s about setting boundaries,” said Cara Wenig, 30, a sales rep and JOMO practitioner. “In my work, it is really important to respond quickly and to be on top of things so it’s not as if I can completely unplug. But I can be more mindful about it.”

Given JOMO’s Luddite bent, it’s (perhaps) surprising that the tech industry has recently come on board. This spring, Sundar Pichai, the C.E.O. of Google, took the stage at the company’s annual developer conference with the words “Joy of Missing Out” projected behind him.

Mr. Pichai was announcing a new “digital wellbeing” initiative that aims to encourage healthier tech habits via several tools, including a dashboard on its newest Android that shows you how much time you spend per app, suggested breaks from marathon sessions and batched notifications to avoid the update-every-second situation.

All of which means missing out can be a good thing. But how best to do it?

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Antisocial network: how self-deprecation is taking over the internet

girl with no job

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Social media is often called out as an outlet for bragging. Or its spin-off, the #humblebrag. We hear all the time about how the pressure to keep up with the shiny, happy people we see on Facebook is making our mental health suffer.

…A popular internet trope is now the antisocial individual, the homebody, the push back from scenesters. It’s now all about revelling in singledom, jokes about therapy sessions, the terror of being an adult or putting it out there that hitting a club can actually be pretty hellish. And slumming it on the couch? Heaven.

The most popular memes on humour and pop-culture-based Instagram and Twitter accounts such as The Fat Jewish and Girl With No Job et al? Pictures of cats chilling on couches, confessions of a sub-par life and vignettes of people expressing a (sort of) joking disdain for other people. Or as one poster puts it: “God bless Uber drivers that don’t attempt small talk”.

…When Caterina Fake popularised the idea of (FOMO) or the fear of missing out, she wrote that the internet itself exacerbated this anxiety, and I’m sure she is right. But, in a world of constantly switched-on, ostentatious displays of popularity and people having an ostensibly TOTALLY AWESOME TIME, perhaps it isn’t surprising that things would start to pitch in the opposite direction (known as JOMO, joy of missing out).