JOMO // Joy of Missing Out

{Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from my dear friend and social media guru, Danielle Michels, and a wildly timely one at that. I know I’m guilty of coveting others’ filtered lives, and this touches at the heart of that. So, let’s all read this with an open mind, and then try disconnecting for a bit. xo}

Out of the gate of the New Year by nearly half a month and many of us have already lost sight of some resolutions we set for 2014. That’s nothing new, resolutions come and go as quick as the champagne runs out, but one thing was different this year.

A particular resolution made more of an appearance on my various newsfeeds when we rang in 2014 than the typical hope of eating healthier and shedding some pounds. Funny enough, this resolution was broadcast using the tool that many resolved to be less attached to: social media.

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First of all, when did social media become something we had to evade with the same sort of discomfort we have when we resist that piece of cheesecake on January 2nd?

In my opinion, the habit of being glued to social media has been an evolving one. First it was constant trolling of Facebook when out with friends, but now we also have beautifully styled pictures to drool over on Instagram 24/7 (guilty).

There’s a fine line, and we tend to flirt with crossing it by either vicariously living through other people to the point where we are not truly living our own lives, or we are living, but with the main intention being what kind of filter or hashtag we’re going to use later. We’re inflicting our own FOMO here, people!

A recent article on Huffington Post (the inspiration behind this post) urges us to make 2014 the year of the JOMO – the joy of missing out. While the article takes a different direction with the term, here’s some ways we can strike that careful balance of being intentional and creating joy in our own lives while also appropriately sharing the things worth putting on our profiles.

  • Ask yourself some questions first – Before I post anything online I ask myself, “Who cares?” We all know not everyone is going to care about what you have to say or show, but knowing that what you’re posting has value for some of your social media followers is important.

This might sound harsh, but there are things about our personal lives that are just boring and/or no one else’s business. If it’s something I think one of my long-distance friends or family will enjoy being updated on, or something I think someone can get a laugh out of (at my own expense, not out of making fun of others), then it’s post-worthy.

  • Declare social media free times – I have a steadfast rule that I do not post anything on social media when I am at work (unless I am on my lunch break by myself), when I am having quality time or on a date with my fiancé, when I’m with family, or when I’m walking somewhere.

By not being attached to social media during these times I’m actually living the life I want to live and making memories that I’ll have the rest of my life. If these times happen to be captured, I post them later during time spent doing boring things around my house that no one cares about.

  • Minimize visibility – When push comes to shove sometimes it’s just easier to take away the visibility of social media in your life. Delete bookmarks on your computer, delete the app of your phone, or use a tool that locks you out of your social media accounts for a given amount of time. Whatever method makes the temptation of mindlessly viewing/posting diminished, do it!

So I propose a post-New Year’s toast to make 2014 a more joyful year by purposefully missing out on our newsfeeds. Who’s in?

You can follow Danielle @ellemichels on Twitter + Instagram. Danielle is a graduate of the University of Florida with her Bachelors degree in public relations. She currently resides in Bethesda, MD and works at a health and fitness club in DC. Danielle enjoys seashell hunting after a good storm and any excuse to cook a big celebratory meal.

Image via Pinterest 

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