People often think I’m joking when I mention that my schedule on the weekends is pretty empty. Sure, I might visit family, take in movie, or do some work, but for the most part I leave my weekends unscheduled and open. I do this not because I want to take advantage of sudden opportunities, but rather, I say “no” to opportunities all of the time so I can do as I please. When I do attend something, I feel more invested and excited instead of obligated.
Anil Dash, a writer and entrepreneur, echoes this sentiment in his article JOMO, short for, Joy of Missing Out. He argues that rather than focusing on the fear of missing out (FOMO), which drives us to say “yes” to any and all events and is encouraged by seeing what everyone else doing on social media, we should take more control over our social lives.
"I've been to amazing events. I still am fortunate enough to get to attend moments and celebrations that are an incredible privilege to witness. But increasingly, my default answer to invitations is "no". No, I'm not going to go. And when well-intentioned hosts inevitably point out "You're going to regret not coming!" I won't say it out loud, but I'll probably think, "No, I really won't."
Being the one in control of what moves me, what I feel obligated by, and what attachments I have to fleeting experiences is not an authority that I'm willing to concede to the arbitrary whims of an app on my mobile phone. I think more and more people are going to retake this agency over their feelings about being social, as well. That's a joyful thing."
If you're job searching or trying to advance your career, it's easy to stretch yourself (and your wallet!) thin by attending as many events as you can. What if you miss an important opportunity, contact, or a really good time? The truth is, there are plenty of events to attend, so why not try to have more control over what you say "yes" to?
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by Allison Jones