Like many of us I tend to pass some of my downtime or in-between time by browsing social media or mindlessly ingesting a palette of headlines from insert news org here. Last year I realized that my social media habits were simply a surrogate for a feeling of connectedness to the world and what was going on in the small circles of interest I followed. The news simply served as a way for me to navigate making sense of what was going on in the world at large. Both habits — social media and the news — were a kind of participatory activity predicated on FOMO. If a friend asked “did you hear about so and so” I could respond — confidently — yes, and then we could riff. Or if, while thumbing down my Instagram feed, I got sucked into some video from Huberman or Attia I would feel like it was time well spent because I had gained some new knowledge about morning sunlight or some bio-marker that I really need to get checked for.
If not kept in check, these behaviors move stealthily from intentional to aimless and eat up more and more of our time. Anything for that quick hit of dopamine.
Months ago I made the decision to get off all social media and stop seeking out knowing what’s going on in the world. I needed to free up some brain space as well as some time. I’ve since noticed a striking difference in how calm my mind feels and how much space I now have to dedicate to things that are actually important to me. I’ve realized that none of what I was seeking through those channels was neither important nor contributing to a better me.
Now, instead of FOMO, I take pride JOMO: joy of missing out. When a friend now asks “did you hear about some shit”, I love saying: “nope”.
Try it for a day. Then a couple days. Once you hit a week, kudos. Now just keep that going. You’re not missing out on anything. I promise.