Others around you will insist on asking you things – ‘What’s the rule of six again?’ ‘Is your face mask a Liberty print?’ ‘Have you booked the hairdresser?’ They must be given some indication of your displeasure – so like a vampire disturbed from a 200-year sleep, you have taken to hissing as a response. It might be a bit pantomime, but it’s really freaking people out, so… every cloud.
The new FOMO
FOMO has mutated. ‘What have you been watching?’ is the social benchmark against which we must all measure ourselves as integrated members of society. ‘Can everyone please stop telling me to get Prime????’ ‘How is it possible that you haven’t watched Your Honor???’ We are both the accuser and the accused.
You’re walking EVERYWHERE – mostly in the hope that your phone will approve of how many steps you’ve taken today. That health app you barely knew existed is now your life. The phone will know if it’s not enough. The phone will judge you. ‘Oh. Today you only took 3,454 steps. Yesterday you took 7,399. Wow, OK, so you WANT to be unfit.’
You’ve been muting yourself on Zoom. Now you’re muting yourself in life. The only person you talk to is yourself and you know that’s definitely questionable, but communicating with others just feels so… tiring. What is there to actually say? No one’s actually done anything. For ages. The Beatles were still together when we last went to parties.
Your snack combinations are really an art form now. Cheese and marmite in a hot cross bun? Honey on peanut butter on a spoon? Turkey slices spread with Philadelphia? You’re like the Salvador Dali of snacks. The misunderstood Van Gogh, who everyone laughed at but is now considered a genius.
Once you eschewed plan-making. Plans brought you out in anxious hives. Now you’re a planning fantasist of the highest order. Oh, the holidays you’ll have – the Grand Canyon, Bora Bora, the Palawan archipelago. How about a Grand Tour? A gap year? ANYWHERE BUT HERE. None of this will happen of course – but you’re a plantisist now. You dream big, talk big, google A LOT of tented desert camps and island tree house hotels….
Everything is about numbers and dates. How many weeks until those dates? How many things change on those dates? The rule of six. What’s the R number now? What percentage of protection do the vaccines provide? How many weeks until your first jab? Your second jab? How many shots are you going to drink on 21st June? Your brain is like Carrie Mathison’s terrorist wall in Homeland, connecting and collating information like a human calculator. Menacing, yet impressive.