Tuesday, April 07, 2015
It was appropriate that yesterday, the day following a hectic Easter weekend with three worship services, I listened to an interview on CBC's The Current with Christina Crook, the author of a new book called The Joy of Missing Out. It is part of a veritable tsunami of thoughtful books about our virtual obsession with being "connected" through our devices without much consideration to who or what we are chasing for connection. The Fear of Missing Out drives us to relentlessly seek more information without savouring life as it unfolds around us. FOMA can actually rob us of joy and satisfaction as we are frantically seeking both.
There really do need to be the moments and seasons where we set aside the really valuable tools for finding our way through the day, in order to seize the day. Technology is wonderful, just not all the time.
Crook invites us into JOMA, and actually abstained from the internet herself for 31 days to address what she felt were unhealthy habits in her life. She wanted to get away from what she calls the "clutter and chatter." Crook struggled with the detox, but realized that the spaces and margins of life were important to her psychological health, for meaning and joy with her family and friends.
I think Jews and Christians call "the Joy of Missing Out" the Sabbath, --hey, it's shorter-- but JOMA certainly works as a term for our time. We would suggest that this Sabbath time is essential to our spiritual well-being.
Do you suffer from FOMA? Do you need more JOMA?