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FOMO & JOMO

Are you a fan of a good acronym? The world is full of them these days, and over time some acronyms even turn into real, everyday words in our language. Did you know for instance that SCUBA is actually an acronym standing for these words:  Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus? You learn something new every day. My daughter once came up with a great acronym for remembering her favourite toy which was called Plinky! It went as follows: Plinky Lives in North Korea Yes. It has worked really well considering we still remember it now many years later – although that maybe also has something to do with the fact that the name Plinky is in the acronym itself, which kind of defeats the purpose. Anyway, one acronym that has wormed its way into modern usage is FOMO. It describes the Fear Of Missing Out, especially related to social media. It explains why people keep on scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feed all the time, desperately worried that they might miss out on some important piece of news. It’s actually quite a negative concept related to the sense of deep anxiety someone feels that other people are having fun in their absence. More and more people are realising that there can be something compulsive and obsessive about this urge to always be checking on the lives of other people. Just before Christmas I came across a great twist on this concept. It’s called JOMO, which stands for the Joy of Missing Out. Instead of a gut-wrenching sense of anxiety that other people are having a better time than you, it describes a state of contentment with your own life and your own interests and activities. That’s a difficult state to reach, which is probably why Paul writes these words in the Bible: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12). I would love to be able to say that I have also learnt that secret, but to be honest I’m still working on it. For me, I had to jumpstart that JOMO process by deleting the Facebook app from my phone over the past month or so and it’s actually been a really positive experience for me. If you’re struggling with FOMO just now and would like to discover a bit of JOMO for yourself, why not give it a try too and see how liberating it can be to take a wee break from social media?

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