Fomo for Jomo
6 minute read.
Ever feel like the cosmos is having a conversation with you through fragmented discussions? In the last couple of months, the theme between the ethereal and I has been the existence of an authentic self in a social media metric system.
We all know the necessity of promoting businesses and spreading the message using the viral megaphone tool that is Social Media. A strategy shared with millions of people who use the same megaphone for the same purpose.
I’M SO VALUABLE THEREFOR I’M FREE
I sat with friends to have these conversations, which we shared over an abundance of coffee, where the topic of depression, anxiety, competition, and feeling worthless, shone a light on a trend I’ve been noticing: you need to give free content. You need to give 80% of yourself so that you can get a 20% return.
Note this is different from the project management framework of the 20/80 rule, which is 20% of work that will generate 80% of results.
My dissident opinion:
Before you cast a stone, I am aware that the 80/20 rule is the Pareto Principle on which almost all marketing was founded. It’s a great model for event marketing, and a widely successful strategy in the context of large corporations with the resources to publish expert-based content and maintain it. However, for small businesses, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, it’s rarely the case. But why?
What I’ve found is that to be able to give FREE content, you need to have enough inconsequential material to offer. In most cases, any free content has either recouped its ROI, or it’s not that valuable that it hurts the business once it becomes a freebie.
The company may have evolved to another model of doing business where the material is no longer a core content, so its last hurrah is to be served free.
Once anything is free, it no longer has the same equity, and in an age of accelerated tech evolution, it likely becomes obsolete. When you're a freelancer, a startup entrepreneur, a mother with a side hustle, the material that you can give free is weight against the pool of disposable resources and time. For most of us, that pool is not an ocean.
I once collaborated with someone infatuated with this internet marketing sales model.
The irony was that this person rarely, if ever, had any free content of their own. What they did was regurgitate material elaborated by other people and white labeled in a newsletter; a counterintuitive move when you profess a message of authentic marketing.
Yet, for people like us whose purpose is to provide honest support to business owners and entrepreneurs, this irony was hard to consume.
The paradoxical bridge between the tailored business expert persona on social media and the reality that their expertise stood on the foundations of a marketing gimmick, was the equivalent of going out for a hike in heels.
I asked, how can anything be successful when it’s fake, puppeteer, not genuine? It was the blind leading the blind. We never collaborated again.
It’s so easy to quote “fake it until you make it,” which was an actual TED talk by psychologist Amy Cuddy in 2012. It was riveting with its full galore of feminist circumstances; however, this power stance was shortly rebutted by University of Pennsylvania researchers who tried to replicate her clinical study only to find opposite results.
Faking it until you make it backfires. From an ethical standpoint, it’s perpetuating a message of inconsistency which diminishes the fabric a ripple economy proven to benefit communities of young professionals, so how can faking it be making it?
Is this digital declutter possible? The other day I purged all of my emails. All 3,431 in inbox and 4,210 in the outbox.
Was I crazy?
Was I exorcising Rich Text messages?
Did I give up?
Nope. None of those.
It was a challenge to reach simplicity.
I once read that simplicity is curated and well thought-out, so I wanted to see exactly what I need. I’m glued to a screen for many hours in a day which meant I wanted a clear vision of the messages sent to me, metaphorically and literally.
When I shared this with my friends, they spat their coffee in laughter. So I asked one of them to look for that email that they sent forever ago with the prospectus I had edited. I think they are still looking for it.
Here are colleagues I consider successful in their field, educators who share their experiences and thought process on Social Media, so when I said I was decluttering my digital, they thought I had gone full Primal.
Coffee poured, and the conversation turned into a state of introspection about the lingering feeling of social media addiction, why it feels like our world is ending unless we advertised to prove our existence, and how it affects our perception of business and a balanced quality of life.
I started to question if there were any real methods of alleviating that pressure other than gallons of more coffee.
Was there a way of controlling the tool, or is the idea of control just a placebo of self-restraint? And placebo or not, will it lead to honest intentional living?
(I’m fully aware of the conundrum in this sentence).
Hyperactive and with a hint of narcissistic ambiguity, we argued well into the night, after all, we were the chosen ones to crack the meaning of life per click conversion.
Once we got to the significance of what the "the right amount of likes" means, riots broke.
Tip: never argue with an evangelist of Sprout Social even when the conversion rate of engagement is volatile due to algorithms we don’t control.
Thankfully we are a group of Buddhist, so we hugged when we shared how bots hurt our feelings, and when someone yelled in coffee stupor “Dude, Where’s My Audience?” Quoting Pink Floyd, if there was anybody out there? Why does our message go unheard?
We had a passionate discussion over newer features and the inevitable IG TV slaught of Youtube. Complete with a works cited segment.
It’s undeniably clear that the pressures of appearing to make it as a business on Social Media can at times distract you from cultivating the appetite which drove you to launch your brand. It feels like an #InstaPerfectIrony.
My friends and I began defining what real success looks like, and giving examples of times when we were influenced by someone in our life who faked it so well that it ended up hurting the relationship.
At best, social media is a fundamental tool for doing business.
It’s an excellent platform for inspiring others with similar experiences.
It’s fantastic for supporting healthy communities who are working hard at spreading a wholesome message. But it can also numb us from the reality beyond our thumbs. Social Media doesn’t take away that we still have to navigate a world of complex yet beautiful human interactions once the screen is turned off. It shouldn’t band-aid the need for self-care, and we don’t need to prove it either. Above all, it shouldn’t substitute the sincerest form of self.
JOMO TO BE HAPPY
I had a friend who was FOMO for life. This person was a compulsive Amazon shopper and Prime Day was their holiday , consuming content at the expense of meaningful conversations, and a master personality chameleon based on what was trending on Twitter. Fun for a few minutes but exhausting as an effort, not to mention the debt.
Yet I could not stop thinking about this friend. After hours of drinking coffee, I had a buzz from the caffeine and the idea that I needed JOMO. I was scared and vulnerable as I was also putting closure to a noxious relationship, but in the name of self-care, I went balls deep.
The Joy of Missing Out isn’t something new, but it’s rarely talked about because JOMO proposes missing out. In keeping real with the FOMO of JOMO, after consuming articles in The New York Times, Linkedin, INC.Com among others,
I shut everything down. I deactivated my accounts, erased my social media apps, and stepped away for three weeks. The most I had done since joining the internet on Myspace. It was so peaceful and liberating.
During my JOMO experience I had no specific goal other than cleansing and decluttering, and it was the best thing I could do for myself.
I regained the freedom that only comes from what feels nourishing and genuine to me, which is examining my views and purpose and calibrating the direction I want to go.
Detaching allowed me to design a new roadmap for my business, and reestablish a better pattern of marketing for myself and my collaborators.
I’LL BE BACK, BABY
When I came back to social, I had gained a better outlook on the type of feed I wanted to see, with a better rhythm for the kind of storytelling I hope to inspire my followers. Above all, with an improved perspective of my message as a business developer, having tested JOMO gave me the confidence to share the experience from a marketing and business stand-point.
Bottom line: the world won’t end. You’ll still have a business.
The 120 followers I had lost were regained with a sense of manifested intention. I can walk a client through the process of pausing to establish a better direction for their projects, without the existential pressures, and in full control of the authenticity rediscovered in the exercise.
It’s indisputable that social media is a brilliant source, with many people trying to propagate a message for better living, but let us be mindful that social media is also not just about me or you, it’s about the people we hope to inspire with our mission. So be social, engage, participate, and most importantly take all the rest you need.
Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling--
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won't go through it;
The anxious clamouring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favour of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out.
SOURCES FOR YOU:
Fake it Till You Make it TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
UPenn Research: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/power-poses-dont-help-could-potentially-backfire-penn-study-shows
NYTIMES " How To Make This The Summer of Missing Out"