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FOMO vs. JOMO: How does kiasu culture stand up to the new-age desire for wellness?

The Peak team shares their perspective.

As Wi-Fi is available even on planes now – the traditional sanctuary for harried executives – taking time out for oneself is more than ever a deliberate choice. Missing out on some things allows one to have more energy and mental capacity for other things. It’s all about prioritisation.

Jennifer Chen
Lynette Koh
Watches & Fashion Editor

The two absolutely go hand in hand: just witness the many people on Instagram who take perverse pleasure in making others suffer serious FOMO when they are ostensibly in a JOMO state. After all, what’s a far-flung resort vacation if you don’t upload daily photos of yourself #disconnecting on a perfectly pristine beach and sitting by the pool doing nothing more vigorous than sucking down pina coladas?

There’s always the question of “but, what if?” Anxiety can be a very persistent beast, and not missing out might temporarily soothe it.

Goh Wee Tseng
Weets Goh

(RELATED: How important is cultural philanthropy, given that there are more pressing social issues to support?)


Denise Kok
Associate Editor

Both FOMO and JOMO are required for the wheels of capitalism to keep turning. Once one has successfully satisfied maximalist expectations, one can check into a remote resort that charges $1,800 a night for a chance to fully unplug.

 Adeline Wong

Jomo presupposes Fomo. You can’t fully appreciate the joy of opting out if you’ve never opted in. But that has never stopped each camp from getting green-eyed at the other – especially in parenthood. So FTWMs envy SAHMs for freed-up time for wellness, while SAHMs are peeved at that sentiment because they sacrificed their careers. One person’s Jomo is another person’s Fomo. Complicated, really.

(Previously debated: How much are you willing to pay for chicken rice?)

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash