The Joy of Missing Out: Embracing the Power of Disconnection in a Socially Intelligent World

Michael Zaldúa

Hatched by Michael Zaldúa

Jul 08, 2024

3 min read


The Joy of Missing Out: Embracing the Power of Disconnection in a Socially Intelligent World

In today's hyperconnected world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and opportunities, there is a growing movement that seeks to find joy in missing out. The concept of the joy of missing out, or JOMO, is about embracing the power of disconnection and finding contentment in the present moment. It is a rebellion against the fear of missing out, or FOMO, that often drives our actions and decisions.

Michael Leunig, a poet and cultural commentator, beautifully captures the essence of JOMO in his poem. He describes the pleasure of saying no to the constant clamoring and need to have it all. Instead, he finds joy in the emptiness, in the peacefulness of missing out. This idea resonates with many who are seeking a more balanced and fulfilling life.

But what does JOMO have to do with the idea of social intelligence? François Chollet, a software engineer at Google, argues that human intelligence is inherently social. He challenges the notion of a general intelligence, instead proposing that intelligence is situational and contextual. He believes that our intelligence is not contained within our brains alone, but is shaped and defined by our environment and the collective knowledge of our civilization.

When we connect these two ideas, we realize that JOMO is not just about disconnecting from the noise of the digital world, but also about connecting with our social intelligence. By embracing the joy of missing out, we create space for deeper connections and meaningful interactions with others. We free ourselves from the constant need to be a part of everything, and instead focus on what truly matters to us.

So how can we apply the principles of JOMO and social intelligence in our own lives? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Set boundaries and prioritize: Take the time to identify what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. Set boundaries around your time and energy, and prioritize activities that align with your values and goals. By saying no to the things that don't serve you, you create space for the things that do.
  • 2. Practice mindfulness and self-reflection: Cultivate a sense of awareness and presence in your daily life. Take moments to pause, breathe, and reflect on your experiences. This allows you to connect with your own emotions and needs, and make conscious choices that align with your authentic self.
  • 3. Foster meaningful connections: Instead of trying to be everywhere and do everything, focus on building deep and meaningful relationships with others. Invest your time and energy in the people who truly matter to you, and create opportunities for shared experiences and genuine connections.

In conclusion, the joy of missing out is not about disconnecting from the world, but about connecting with our own values and social intelligence. It is about finding contentment in the present moment and embracing a more balanced and fulfilling life. By setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness, and fostering meaningful connections, we can cultivate a sense of joy and fulfillment that transcends the fear of missing out. So let us embrace the power of disconnection and discover the true joy that comes from missing out.

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