That moment when you see all the posts from the conference you had to miss. Sigh, you should be there.
Or when your peer’s Instagram aesthetic is seemingly so perfectly frequent. Yours just are not enough.
When it’s midnight and you’re still scrolling LinkedIn, looking to see everyone’s new accomplishments. You’ve got nothing.
The moment you’re invited to a business dinner and say yes even though you are mentally exhausted and jet-lagged. How can you say no and then see all the fun stories on Instagram?
Refreshing your email every five minutes to make sure you didn’t miss anything. It’s officially part of the daily thumbing and tapping.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real and has become an epidemic because of social media.
FOMO can be dangerous. But, when you know what to look for, FOMO is reversible.
It’s time to ditch that FOMO and switch to embracing JOMO, or the joy of missing out.
The problem? It’s harder to take the healthier, self-care route.
Marketers Recognizing FOMO, Finding JOMO
Last year, Ai Addyson found herself at a pivotal and rising point in her social media marketing career.
On one hand, she was breaking through the barriers of diversity, time zones, and building a popular personal brand on her social channels from ground zero.
But her wealth of success was costing her health and happiness.
She decided to turn her fear into joy with a little self-care.
“As an entrepreneur and a social media practitioner, I developed a tendency to work all the time, especially during the early stage of our business, we are our business, and our business is us,” Addyson said.
“I remember feeling so burned out I couldn’t even touch my computer anymore,” she added. “Exhaustion took over my whole body ached. I promised myself to prioritize my health. After all, our health is our wealth.”
What worked for her?
“Scheduling time to take breaks by engaging in activities that relax and recharge you, such as meditation, yoga, or even taking naps,” she said.
She isn’t alone.
Digital marketers are required to be in front of multiple screens in real time as part of the job requirement.
But how much screen time is too much?
The Statistical Struggle of Unplugging
We can’t even take a vacation anymore to completely unplug. Most places, even the most exotic and secluded, have Wi-Fi. It feels like we’re expected to stay connected 24/7.
A LinkedIn survey revealed that 70 percent of people don’t disconnect from work when they take a vacation. The FOMO of not being in the know of messages, emails, status, and trends is turning our minds, bodies, and relationships into a toxic mess.
“We wield the power of a ‘like,’ which stimulates the firing of dopamine in our brains and soon we become addicted to the knowing, the likes, the instant gratification, the attention, and the busyness, so we keep going back for more,” according to Kristen Fuller M.D. in Psychology Today.
The reality is similar to the accounting principle Time Value of Money, where the more exposure to time that your investment has, the larger it grows.
Similarly, the FOMO effect forces users to accrue more and more screen time in an effort to keep a positive, and reinforced mindset.
Minutes can turn into hours while we scroll through news feeds and posts for fear that we will miss out on something. The other side of the coin is that we FOMO in an effort to be the first person talking about an issue, Fuller noted.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are robbing us from the daily essentials of sleep and real-world relationships. While the social networks feeds are promoting negative side effects such as fears, stress, anxiety, body image issues, and depression.
Just a Few Hours a Day?
When you think about your social media usage as a part of your larger day, how often do you hear the argument “I am only on for a few hours daily?”
Consider that when you say “just a few hours a day” here is what the actual projected values look like:
5 minutes per day = 30 hours per year
15 minutes per day = 91 hours per year
30 minutes per day = 182 hours per year
1 hour per day = 365 hours per year
It’s staggering, terrifying, and a fact that has many of us soul searching.
The famed military strategist Sun Tzu who wrote the often quoted “Know thy enemy” principle in his book “The Art of War”. The only thing is that those three words are just a small piece of the entire quote.
The full quote reads:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Who knew ancient writings about warfare strategy would be so applicable to the idea of FOMO and JOMO?
The first step in any rehab process is to first take a step back and admit that you might have a problem.
We have also established that FOMO is entirely of our own making.
Now that we know our “enemy” and took a long look in the mirror of “ourself,” it’s time for strategic action.
According to a survey in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health, Britons aged 14-24 believe that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have detrimental effects on their well-being.
With the rise of smartphone addiction and social media-induced depression, anxiety, and even suicide, JOMO is becoming a therapeutic means and intentional choice of self-care especially for those working in the digital marketing profession.
Ready to turn in your smartphone for a flip phone?
Maybe start with a more reasonable goal.
10 Simple Tips to Turn the FOMO into JOMO
Here are 10 rules I’ve learned to start turning fear into joy of missing out:
Don’t go to every conference. While modern tech has made this possible, it certainly doesn’t make it required.
Take advantage of screen controls. Use the tools provided to control the beast.
Stop looking at emails past 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. Seriously, is it really worth spending the next 30 years anxious about emails?
Schedule in-person meetings or video calls to replace calls. This methodology is especially helpful when beginning to scale back.
Pick one thing at a time to focus on. Our brains can only compartmentalize so much, so we must pick our path.
Accept that everything is not an emergency. This is most difficult to remember within the social media profession.
Set boundaries. Hard and fast rules with a reward at the end.
Go to a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Pick up a physical book, have a coffee, and leave the phone in the car.
Working out (whether that means the gym, a yoga studio, or some other fitness outlet) is both healthy and beneficial during the transition to full JOMO.
Schedule JOMO time. Don’t forget to consider where that JOMO time will be spent.
Reclaiming Happiness with JOMO
In “Ghostbusters“, the door famously swings both ways. For FOMO/JOMO management, the same rule applies:
5 minutes per day = 30 hours per year
15 minutes per day = 91 hours per year
30 minutes per day = 182 hours per year
1 hour per day = 365 hours per year
JOMO is a great way to reclaim happiness.
It isn’t easy, but it is well worth it to seize the moment outside of FOMO.
Local search is probably more visible than it has ever been since the advent of Google Maps. Yet, paradoxically, there’s almost no consumer-facing innovation taking place. There’s Google, Yelp, Facebook (somewhat) and a range of specialized vertical apps and sites, some of which have simply survived but aren’t thriving.
Little or no ‘horizontal’ innovation. Part of the lack of “horizontal” innovation in local is likely the result of venture capital not wanting to fund anything that goes up directly against Google. The company may appear to many investors now like an insurmountable juggernaut in local/mobile search.
Any new local-consumer startups, therefore, are likely to appear in specific industries or otherwise offer specialized use cases. Such is the case with Hotspot Law, a new legal search site that hopes to bring ZocDoc-style appointment scheduling to the legal profession. It also seeks to provide a more reliable and cost-effective flow of leads to consumer attorneys.
The legal vertical has a quite a few competitors, including Avvo (Internet Brands), LegalZoom, FindLaw and several others. Despite this, Hotspot Law founder Felix Shipkevich believes he’s solving two unsolved problems in the legal vertical.
“The legal market is in dire need of an upgrade,” argues Shipkevich.
Making direct connections with lawyers. “Once you’ve finished searching online, you have to start calling,” he said. “You don’t get to speak directly to attorneys, you typically talk to a gatekeeper.” He points out that this process of getting to a lawyer is time consuming for people who need legal help. “None of these [completing] platforms directly connect the consumer with an attorney.”
Shipkevich, who is an attorney and faculty member at Hofstra Law School, said he was inspired by ZocDoc and the way it enables direct connections between doctors and patients. Similarly, he wanted to remove the friction in lawyer-consumer matchmaking. Shipkevich explained that also sees Hotspot Law as a way to make “justice” more accessible to consumers.
Why you should care. Legal lead-gen is costly.Shipkevich believes that existing legal sites and ad solutions don’t serve lawyers particularly well either. “PPC advertising can be extremely expensive; in New York it can be $60 to $80 per click.” He adds that “Yelp is expensive. Sometimes it takes $2,000 to $4,000 to bring in a case.”
He wants to solve that problem with simplified reasonable pricing for lawyers who may be struggling to find clients. But he also sees Hotspot Law evolving into a platform to help attorneys manage existing clients. Currently the site only operates in New York, with plans to expand geographic coverage in the coming months.
For the time being Shipkevich will need to rely on SEO for discovery but over time he hopes to build a branded consumer destination. It will be very challenging given the current structure of local SERPs. One has to admire the ambition and chutzpah.
About The Author
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.
About one year ago, everything changed for me and for our community.
A tragedy that struck home so hard it shook us to our core.
A dear friend, brilliant mind, adored father, respected colleague … the list goes on, left us in a way that hits straight to the heart and wakes you up like very few other events can.
I certainly woke up that day. That alarm screamed as loud as it could and I still hear it to this day.
I know I wasn’t alone. So many of my peers experienced similar emotions, sensations, and reactions.
We Could No Longer Ignore the Problem
Sadly, this wasn’t the first tragedy we’d encountered that year – we lost other friends and colleagues as well.
But we knew we couldn’t stand to lose any more amazing people.
We couldn’t look away. We couldn’t just carry on anymore.
So we started talking.
I have been blown away by our internet marketing community. Many of us have never even met face to face and yet the comradery, the friendship, the support among us run rampant!
Never before have I seen a group of people come together so quickly and so openly as when we were forced to face this tragedy.
Groups were formed. Calls were made. Texts were sent. Face-to-face get-togethers were had. Columns like this one were created.
And the best part of it all? It didn’t stop!
We saw the need to stay connected. We recognized that we are a family that needs to support each other. And, perhaps most of all, we saw that we were not alone in our struggles.
It has been amazing to see the openness and honesty that has become so commonplace over the past year. I have seen people that once felt they couldn’t risk being seen without their mask on break down and lay themselves out in the most vulnerable ways.
I include myself in that list. I have become more able to reveal myself to the world around me. That has only been made possible by others sharing in that journey with me.
In leading up to this piece, I knew that I wanted to really find a way to focus on the positive changes that our community has seen because of Jordan Kasteler.
I wanted to honor him in a way that really brought some form of good to this incredible loss that we all experienced due to his passing.
Where Are We Now? Thoughts from Our Community
I reached out and asked a few people in our community if they would share some words of how they have been changed for the better as well as how they have seen our community as whole making changes to support each other over the past year.
Here is what they had to say:
“Working days, nights, and weekends was normal for me a few years ago. However, at that time I couldn’t say that I was really happy. I didn’t understand at the time that my work-life balance was completely off, and I now know that that could have developed into something truly horrifying.
I eventually reached such an emotionally unstable point that I hit a time where one week I was super productive, but the following week I felt hugely demotivated and absolutely miserable. (I know this is a familiar story with many others as well, I hear people telling similar stories and sharing similar experiences regularly.)
Over the past while, I have been working diligently to save myself from this emotional trap. This new focus has led me to investing more time into things that are not related to work and putting more time into the things that help to create a happier life for myself.
I can see that more people in our community are becoming more aware of the need to make this sort of a switch to their schedules and priorities as well, which is brilliant to see!”
“In the past year, I have noticed a massive shift in our community not being ashamed to reach out and ask for help, advice, or just a kind word. I feel like masks have been dropped, and people are not embarrassed to discuss what make them “real”; I love it!
I think many people used to feel they had to have public persona that was acceptable, and now they know we all have issues and it is OK to talk about.
I have a picture of Jordan out that I see every day. I moved past the guilt and the pain when I looked at it, and he is now a daily reminder to stay present with my friends as much as I can.
And, it is a reminder to me to stay focused on my well-being as well. I tend to overwork and do too much for everyone and end up exhausted. I take steps now to take care of me more than ever before.”
“Though I’ve been in the industry for years, I’m still a somewhat newer member of the SEO community. Call it fear of rejection, social anxiety, whatever, I’ve always been nervous to put myself in a position to be judged by my peers.
It really wasn’t until I was invited to an amazing Facebook group made up of a small close-knit group of industry peers focusing on supporting each other through the day-to-day struggles that I realized that nearly everyone shared the same fears, anxieties and experiences that I have.
What a relief it is to know there is a place where we share what we are feeling and have so much empathy! Finally I have a place I can turn to where people understand me.
Even if I don’t share as much as others, I have peace of mind knowing there are people there ready and willing to listen and help, where there’s no judgement, just open arms.”
“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress over the past year as a community. However, if I’m being completely honest, we still have a long way to go. I’m still hearing about issues of bullying. I’m seeing people piling on people they disagree with on Twitter.
While, thankfully, these are in the minority, the polarization and black-and-white thinking needs to stop. The judging and assuming needs to stop. The trolling and “mob mentality” needs to stop.
We need to stop fighting each other and start lifting each other up – treating everyone like human beings. Nobody is perfect, but I hope we will continue to see more people be able to let go of their hate and negativity to accept love and positivity into their lives. I know that will continue to be our aim with Friday Focus – to remind everyone that they are not alone in their struggles.
Ultimately, though, I am so happy to be a part of something so positive in our community – and it’s great to see so many others jumping onboard, too.”
Kim Krause Berg:
“It’s easy to assume that your peers are generally doing better than you, making more money than you, and are super successful in every way. It is only in the past few years that I realized this is baloney.
I respect people who remove their masks and show who they really are. We are people with lives and struggles, heartache, depression, and pain.
In the past year I have opened up more and made new friendships as a result. We have more in common with each other than we might think.”
“Over the past year I’ve seen an incredible shift in our community.
Social media itself breeds an environment where we see only the best of our peers and post the best of ourselves and being in marketing, needing to be on social media, needing to market ourselves on social media and seeing only the best version of those trained in presenting the best version of themselves – one can feel very alone in difficult times. Compounding that we face an often isolated profession where even sitting beside someone, we are focused on a screen and all they contain.
Sadly, we all know too well what that leads to, and over the past year we collectively recognized that we are human. That those around us are human. That others need support and perhaps most importantly, that we do too.
We finally heard the words spoken all too often after those tragic events, “If only they had asked for help.” And we took it upon ourselves to do so.
We finally knew to listen, to watch and to find out how those around us were doing, lest we face the loss of another friend who we would have dropped everything for, ‘If only they had asked for help.’
The community has grown it’s heart and soul over the past year.
There is still a lot to do. There are still many who don’t know where to turn. Many who don’t know who to talk to. But each time we reach out and each time we talk about challenges openly, share our own and listen to theirs … each time we do that, the community grows it’s heart a little more.
It has been a incredible year of change. While we will forever mourn the spark, the now burning fire keeps us all warmer.”
“One thing that has changed dramatically in our industry over the last year, is that as individuals, we’ve become a lot more vocal about asking for help when we need it.
I think most people are more than willing to help each other. They just have to know that someone needs help. Now that people are starting to open up more about their personal struggles, the community is able to better support them.”
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you – whether I know you in person, whether I know you online, even if I don’t know you at all –- thank you for being here.
Thank you for caring and sharing and being a part of the positive change that we are all working so hard at creating.
Keep being a force for good in our community.
Together we will make a difference.
This piece is written in memory, honor, recognition, and gratitude of Jordan Kasteler. For all that he gave us, shared with us, taught us and left us with. We are eternally grateful.
***PLEASE DO NOT STRUGGLE ALONE! Reach out, ask for help and know that you are valued. CLICK HERE for a list of phone numbers for Suicide Hotlines around the world.***