FOMO vs. FOGO

Do you ever scroll through social media on the weekend, seeing most people you know out on the town having a good ol’ time and feel a little bummed out? Yeah, that’s FOMO my friend.

If you’re in college and haven’t heard the term FOMO, well then you are missing out. Just kidding. FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. This can be in terms of social media, or just feeling like you’re missing out when your friends are at some party. Usually, you’ll feel this when you purposefully choose to stay in, but then start feeling a sense of regret when you see how much fun everyone is having. Or, everyone you know and their brother is at Coachella but you couldn’t afford it so you’re just stuck having to watch people’s livestreams… how pathetic.

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But in all seriousness, FOMO is a real thing that many of us feel on a regular basis. Social media has made it that much easier because you can literally watch people having fun in real-time as you’re sitting at home digging at a pint of ice cream. We have this weird fear that if we don’t join in on all the partying and festivities, we might be missing out on THE NIGHT OF OUR LIVES. But in reality, the night doesn’t usually live up to those expectations and we just feel like going back to bed where it’s safe and warm. Or maybe that’s just me.

I definitely feel the FOMO every now and then, but I’ve become more comfortable in my decisions to miss out on things because I pretty much know how the night’s going to go. More often than not I regret going out, so I’m very selective. To be honest, I’m sometimes fearful of going out based on previous experiences, which is why I’ve coined the term FOGO = Fear of Going Out. Not many people think of this, but it’s just as valid a feeling as FOMO.

Going out, whether it’s going somewhere during the day or going downtown during the night requires a lot of effort both physically and mentally. You have to figure out what to wear, what to bring, whether you’ll need a jacket, how long you’ll be out, where you’re going, who you might end up with, how you’ll get home… etc. Sometimes going out with certain people can drain your energy, or sometimes you end up hanging around people you don’t really trust or get along with. Maybe you're just tired and don't want to become more tired. These are all worries that can make us fear going out. It doesn’t necessarily mean an extreme fear or phobia; it’s more like apprehension and possible bad vibes. In some cases it could be more related to social anxiety which is quite common. Experiencing FOGO is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you know for a fact you’ll enjoy spending time alone at home or watching a movie with a close friend instead, then that’s what you should do. Most likely you aren’t missing out on anything incredibly special and there will be plenty more chances.

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Once you can accept your FOGO, you can begin to feel a sense of JOMO (I know, this is starting to sound ridiculous but just bear with me).

JOMO = Joy of missing out! Yes, this is also a thing.

There’s a sense of joy when you decide to miss out on plans you just know you won’t enjoy. It’s honestly an act of self-care. You’ll decide to have a face-mask, pasta eating and Netflix binging movie night in your sweatpants without a care in the world and at the end of the night you’ll be feeling much more satisfied. Not everyone will agree, though. I know many people who live for a wild night out and will go out every chance they get just to be around the company of people and avoid the FOMO (I mean, this is college we're talking about here). I totally get it and respect that. However if you’re more like myself: slightly more introverted, needs time to recharge after social interaction, tends to avoid drinking because nothing good seems to come from it, and enjoys spending the night in once in a while then you most likely feel JOMO.

So there you go, three new bizarre terms you can use in conversation just like this: 

“Hey Susan, I think I’ll be staying in because I’m really feeling a case of FOGO tonight.”

“Dude, we have to go out tonight there’s no way I’m missing out on Chad’s party! It’s the party of the CENTURY!!” and the friend responds, “Wow Dave, you really have that FOMO going on huh?”

“You know, after taking a hot shower and treating myself to some chocolate, I’m really feeling that JOMO.”

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When it comes down to it, just do what makes you most comfortable. Your own happiness is more important than Chad's party.