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Life after lockdown

That gnawing fear of missing out

Battmann/Getty Images

After a year on the sofa, I suddenly have something to do every night of the week, says Matthew Schneier in New York Magazine. With most pandemic restrictions lifted, the Big Apple is returning to its usual self: “crowded, busy, and competitive”. I recently got a promotional text “from the Pilates place I’d last seen during the Trump administration”. After one rooftop art-world party for “Vaxxed Important People”, an overcrowded lift got stuck as guests were leaving. “Four months ago: potential tragedy. Today: farce!”

But we’re still unaccustomed to using our social muscles. A “once and future party boy” went out four nights in a row, then needed to spend the fifth in a dark room. “I quarantined myself from oversocialising,” he says. And along with the social onslaught comes the “pangs of FOMO” – fear of missing out. No longer do we know that everyone, like ourselves, is just sitting at home: my phone’s “interminable scroll” is clogged with baby showers and delayed multi-person birthday parties I wasn’t invited to. Has everyone been “tending to their relationships” and going to Zoom drinks over quarantine while I was binging box sets? New York “runs on FOMO” and its “catechism” is simple: “Did you get invited, are you on the list, can you get a table?”

Read the full article here (paywall).