JOMO Photography (The Opposite Of FOMO)

Social media has much to answer for, and one of the negative feelings it’s created and feeds in us is FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out.

FOMO is a kind of anxiety that arises from fearing that other people (sometimes everyone!) are doing things more interesting, fun and rewarding than we are, and we’re missing out.

In the photography world the FOMO concept is most often linked with gear, as in someone else has a better camera, with higher ISO, more MegaPixels, and a faster, sharper lens, that is making better pictures, and garnering more praise from everyone, than you, with your inferior camera and inadequate images.

Which is of course fed by the manufacturers, and the websites that make money from you clicking through to buy the shiny new stuff their reviews drool over.

I’ve almost entirely withdrawn from social media, and this is one of the biggest reasons.

Now, instead of FOMO, I revel in JOMO – the JOY Of Missing Out. 


I’m very happy to be using my 10+ year old 6MP CCD DSLRs, and a handful of lenses often made before I was born, which in total cost me probably about as much as a strap on the camera on one of the FOMO driven crowd.

I’m delighted to not have a camera that has more switches, dials and settings than a modern luxury car, with an instruction manual thicker than a bible.

I’m overjoyed that I know how to set my simple cameras up to get the images I want (in camera, without post-processing), which makes them so fluid to use they’re near invisible.

I couldn’t have any of this if I wasn’t prepared to say, “I’m happy with less, it’s enough!” rather than always chasing the bigger, better, faster, more that we’re told everyone else has.

By letting go of that quest for all I don’t have (and don’t need) I can focus my energy and time on enjoying what I do have and love to the fullest.

How about you? Do you feel FOMO with cameras? How can you embrace JOMO instead?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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19 thoughts on “JOMO Photography (The Opposite Of FOMO)”

  1. Nice topic Dan and JOMO is definitely the way to go! I don’t feel FOMO with cameras but when I’m away I do have a feeling that I’m missing out on interesting and inspiring posts.
    That’s the problem with SM really, it’s in the moment and it goes away. A never-ending snowball of information. Thankfully here we have the brilliant Reader section where I’d only see my favourite bloggers. Same goes for non WP sites that are under my special saved photo tab.
    Concerning cameras though. I think it’s impossible to keep up with the industry at the moment. Soon we’ll have a 250mp cameras and that won’t be enough for some…

    1. Thanks Yuri, I think it’s a mindset that can apply to all sorts of areas of life, in fact anything where there are manufacturers developing new products and services. There will always be some who have that mindset that wants more, the “latest and greatest”, whether it’s cameras, cars, lawnmowers, food mixers, whatever! I sometimes wonder about how many jobs exist just to feed this whole system, that is ultimately unnecessary. What if no-one bought anything but the bare essentials of food, clothing, fuel, etc, for a year, and otherwise just made do with what they already had. How would the world change?

  2. Good post and could not agree more.
    I’ve similarly learned the pleasure and reward that comes from stopping trying to stay up to date on everything and upgrading cameras every year to a new model (with features I probably don’t need).

    Buy good gear once that lasts a few years and meets your needs, reflect on what you want to spend your time actually doing with it and curate a list of inspiring sources that keep you moving forward. Took me a few years to work that out though – we are so bombarded!

    1. Thanks Ian, yes I agree about being bombarded, but I think just being aware of that is a huge step and helps to resist and ignore it. I remember a few years back explaining the concept of planned obsolescence to a work colleague and she was absolutely gobsmacked that it existed. “But why would a company make something that would deliberately be unusable in a few years time because the battery or whatever was obsolete?” she asked, incredulous. Um, to sell you their new “upgraded” product! A part of me thinks I should just be using my Spotmatic F and Super-Takumar 55/1.8 from the early 70s and nothing else, and reject every camera every developed in the nearly half century since. If only film photography were affordable.

  3. Excellent post, Dan. I truly pity people today who were born into the internet age because very few of them realize what has true value in life since they live their lives vicariously through technology, or what provides actual joy. They tend to be very spoiled and self-centered, obsess endlessly over material things with no real worth, and live very unfulfilling lives as a result because what they have is never enough for them. There are a few who do, but for the most part they (referring primarily to people born in the 90’s or later, but even a lot born earlier) don’t appreciate anything, or even understand how to. It’s really sad. People could learn a lot from this blog entry of yours. As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Take care.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful input P. I know what you mean, everything is so easy these days. I saw a stand up comic a few years back with a skit around the phrase “everything’s amazing, but we’re still unhappy”. He talked about something like a mobile phone for example which would seem like sorcery to someone a century ago, it is a miracle we can talk to anyone in the world (and via video now too!) via a tiny device in our hand… But if our internet fails for a few minutes or the phone battery dies, then we’re furious with indignation, like some basic human right has been ripped away from us. It was, like much of the best comedy, very funny because it was so true and so well observed. We’re so spoilt, and we don’t even know it.

    1. Welcome to the Jomo club Sherry! I’ve been creative in some form for decades – music, painting, poetry, writing, photography – but never been in a position (or wanted to be) where I’ve had to try to “sell my art”. I’m very thankful for that.

  4. Oh, I really love this post! I can 100% relate. Over four years ago, I quit all social media (I only have Flickr now) and around the same time, I decided to sell my camera and just use my iPhone. It’s definitely challenging in some ways, and doesn’t give me quite the flexibility that an actual camera did, but I love the simplicity of it. I might eventually get a camera again because I do miss having a zoom lens, but so far that hasn’t been enough for me to take the plunge & purchase one. Like so many other things, upgrading camera equipment can be a never-ending burden. I chose to opt out of that.

    1. Thank you, I’m very pleased you related to this one! You’re right the upgrade parade becomes a burden because you’re never satisfied with what you have, you’re always thinking about the next upgrade. It’s not a good place to be, certainly if you want to enjoy your current equipment to its fullest.

    1. Thanks J! I’m guessing you’re fond of ferns, given your son’s name?

      My wife and I were talking the other evening about our past lives, and she was asking about what kind of girls I was interested in at school. I said it was never the conventionally pretty ones that got all the attention from everyone anyway, it was always the more quirky or shy or offbeat girls. “You’re like this with everything aren’t you”, she replied, “you never go for what’s mainstream, what everyone else does or likes. In fact you deliberately avoid it”… And it’s true! All part of JOMO!

  5. Yeah I quit that a while back as well. I still am on facebook in case someone from my family overseas needs to contact me…
    As far as cameras – or anything else, i joyfully drive a 2007 VW Jetta that has been fully paid for, for a while… and as of this year I live in a paid-for home because we have been very frugal. It feels great to not owe anyone any money.
    My guitars are basically “franken-guitars” – made with pieces of other guitars and their electronics – I do have one nice acoustic and one OK electric guitar that are basically unchanged, but tend to play the cheapos because they sound great and feel so good to play…
    But I’d be OK with trading my cameras for something newer like a K-1 – if I thought I’d get better images. But the truth is I won’t. This K200D I got recently has a super-sweet sensor that gives me files that are even better than the ones from the K10D. I mean, the clarity is just amazing. I don’t get nearly as excited by the K-S1 or K-50 files I get, and I haven’t seen anything from a K-1 – or any other CMOS – that has the colors and clarity that my CCD give me – for my style of photography.

    1. Congrats on the paid off car and home. We’ve been watching a series on Netflix called Tiny House Nation, which has rekindled my old interest in tiny homes from years back when I first discovered minimalism. It’s very very appealing to have a small house with some land, and have very low repayments, rather than £600+ something going out on mortgage/rent every month for decades with little to show for it at the end, plus as with most people, the larger the house, the more it fills up with stuff you don’t really need.

      Sounds like those CCDs are working their magic for you. You should start a thread on PentaxForums or something… ; )

      1. I saw that you found your way there already 🙂
        It started with me discussing that since I have the K200D now, I will be posting less on the K10D thread – but the K10D thread is where I know the people and interact with them. The CCD Club thread is an attempt to join the people from the K10D, 6MP and K200D threads (there’s no K-m thread as you saw…) People can cross post to that new thread and the other threads and hopefully we can keep the conversations going…
        Re: tiny houses – we got an advertisement just the other day about a lakeside tiny homes/premium RV community selling lots and tiny homes. They’ll sell a tiny home with the lot for pretty cheap (like USD 69,000). It’s in the mountains not far from where I live… and it’s tempting. But I couldn’t move to one permanently, I need space for my music studio…

      2. Oh what about an adjacent unit for your music studio? That’d be very cool. I think the whole tiny home thing is way easier and cheaper in the US. You have far more land, and the population density is apparently about 87 people per square mile, compared with nearly 10 times that (725) in the UK. I love this country, but it’s drastically overpopulated, and the countryside is disappearing by the day.

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