Staying in the moment is one of the hardest concepts to achieve for my busy bee lifestyle. Recently I have gained a severe case of social anxiety, but I have been informed that a good trick to staying calm and not letting my brain take over is by being present. Now, this ‘trick’ may seem simple, but it is actually a lot harder than it sounds. As Oliver Burkeman claimed in his JOMO article, FOMO is an era that arose from the newness of social media and all the intrigue it seems to offer the people of my generation. For me, my busy bee lifestyle involves college athletics, volunteer work, being a full time student, having a boyfriend, maintaining long distance friendships, family, a job, and a social life. All of these activities and events were extremely fun… at first. My first year at Creighton was a year full of life lessons and excitement for the same reason FOMO is an era, it was new!
So, I am now almost three years into my college experience and even more things continue to be added to my agenda and it has become nothing but overwhelming, which is where the social anxiety comes in to play. Due to this, I have gained a new found love for JOMO. I tried to relieve some of my stress by eliminating the unnecessary activities, but still with all the musts on my everyday calendar I found that I still have a ridiculous amount of commitments. At first, I had a big case of FOMO when I started choosing sleep over dinner dates and going out with friends, but I realized those friends I have, I spend time with almost my whole day anyways because they are all people in my extracurricular musts. I have finally accepted my JOMO and now I even look for more opportunities to “hit pause and take a step back” as Douglas Ruskoff says. The hour or so I am in class where I insist on silencing my phone is extremely calming and feels very rewarding when considering how most of my generation never powers down their electronics.
Although I have expressed complete joy in missing out, I have moments of weakness where I feel regret for saying no after looking at pictures being posted. I also sometimes struggle with finding a balance between JOMO and YOLO (you only live once). It is healthy for someone with my schedule to take some down time and relax with a little bit of a digital detox, which I discussed in my first blog post last week. But every once in awhile I wonder if later on in life I will feel like I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunities to make memories or to have fun, that were presented in front of me. I don’t want to live a life of regret just for excluding myself on occasion, but I’ve also realized that if I appreciate my time alone and have JOMO then I have a good balance of social and isolated happiness.