A few years ago I had notifications on for absolutely everything. My smart watch and phone consistently nagging me with new messages, snaps, emails etc., and I really didn’t think much of it, it felt normal.

Fast forward a few years, I’ve given up social media for privacy and security concerns. And a added benefit for when I did was that my feeling of FOMO went away. I stopped think about what everyone else was doing, I stopped to think that I had to share every memorable moment with everyone. I stopped interacting with people I really had no reason to interact or communicate with. I started to pay more attention to my close friends and family. I feel like I’ve become more invested in my relationships, it’s more engaging to hear what my friends and family have been up, instead of being told somewhere else.

Last year I started my first professional job after University at Netlife Bergen. Where we use Slack for almost all of our communications, also with clients. When I first started I turned on notifications for everything, even threads I wasn’t involved in, just in case I could contribute in some way. I realized early that this meant that I would get interrupted frequently. We had a discussion at work about not needing to respond to everything straight away all the time. I thought it was expected that one should reply as soon as possible to not bottleneck the whole pipeline. But then again, I used the same logic I used when quitting social media:

If someone needs to get a hold of me asap, they will call me directly instead of e-mailing, messaging etc. and expecting a quick response.

I then turned off all notifications, expect for mentions and DMs, and added a more strict work hours schedule within Slack. This also affected my personal life. E-mails don’t get to notify me anymore, I need to actively check it. During work hours only my closest friends and family are allowed through with notifications, for everything else I check in manually. As of today I only have notifications on for incoming calls, Signal, SMS, calendar and reminders. And it works, I haven’t gotten any feedback telling me that I reply slower than usual or that I’m expected to answer faster. Should I turn off even more?

To sum all of this up#

I found that I don’t need to keep up with everything all of the time. I can take my time. I rather miss out of something than having the fear of missing out of something.

JOMO > FOMO