The world was hurtling forward at breakneck speed when we were all thrown off by a virus.
Remember snippets from our pre-COVID-19 life? Nodding to our chattering kids while scrolling through our Instagram feeds, having coffee with one friend while texting another one, constantly reaching for the phone to check if we had missed out on something. These are symptoms of FOMO– the fear of missing out, the anxiety that compels us to persistently compare our lives to those we see on social media feeds. suggests that the need to constantly be connected to social media leads to depression, anxiety and poor quality of sleep.
It took nothing less than a pandemic for us to stop in our tracks and change our ways. COVID-19 has catapulted us into a life where we are experiencing the possibility of JOMO – the joy of missing out, because of the sheer nature of life in quarantine. Overnight, we found ourselves distanced from our social lives and closer than ever to the people we love. Even as we reach for our phones to see what others are doing, we have become increasingly aware of the blessings that surround us. We are learning to be present and experience joy in every moment without the fear of missing out on what others are doing.
While life in quarantine could have been about all the things, we are unable to do, we have turned the situation on its head and made it all about new things we can do. #creativityinquarantine, #quaranatineworkout and #quarantinekitchen have become the new and popular themes on social media, representing a turn towards living in the moment and enjoying the present. We have found joy in baking and gardening; we have picked up those paint brushes that were lying forgotten and we have re-learnt the art of schooling our own children. Recognizing this shift, , a nail salon in California is now bringing a nail kit straight to our doorsteps. “Beautiful nails for everyone,” is their mantra and a pandemic is not about to come in the way of that objective.
An article in the claims that this new way of life is in fact leading to a better world. There is a reduction in traffic accidents and crime rate, we can see bluer skies and breathe cleaner air, and animals are reclaiming the earth. As the world strives towards JOMO, companies are syncing their marketing efforts with this new theme. Summersalt, a US-based swimwear brand launched , a free text message hotline in March 2020. If you are feeling down in the dumps, just shoot them a text and you will receive self-care ideas, a cute puppy GIF or a short meditation video.
Has life as we know it changed for good? The pandemic is now approaching its peak across the world and countries are starting to open up again. Soon, we will be faced with choices. COVID-19 has offered us a unique opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and decide whether we want to return to our FOMO days or allow JOMO to reign in our new world.
In our choice, lies the future of our world. For what we do, is what our children will learn from us.