By Sagar S Jun. 29, 2019
Now that food apps can deliver lunch faster than it takes us to cross the road, and all the bars seem to have broken the button that reduces the volume of music, leaving the house has become too much of a task. Going out is no longer worth it.
For the last couple of years, an existential crisis has enveloped the second-youngest generation currently worth talking about — the millennials. FOMO or JOMO, that is the question. “Is travelling for two hours in the rain to meet a friend only two kilometres away worth it?” they asked, as Netflix already began autoplaying the next episode. “What’s the point of eating out at all?” they wondered, applying for a separate Zomato Gold account for each of their dogs.
Today, these young, ambitious adults — especially the ones who live in cities like Mumbai — would agree that there’s no point in asking the question anymore. Going out is no longer worth it. A new Fear of Going Out is slowly overtaking the original FOMO. Now that food apps can deliver lunch faster than it takes us to cross the road, and all the bars seem to have broken the button that reduces the volume of music, leaving the house has become too much of a task. Just imagine never having to be in one of those awkward situations where you accidentally make eye contact with a waiter and then have to explain to them that you don’t actually want anything. That’s a win for introverts all over the world.
There isn’t much to do outside that can’t be done in the comfort of our own homes, just feet away from our comfortable beds. The more energetic folk, who drank Complan when they were younger, can even order weights online, and convert their homes into mini-gyms, provided they don’t mind the occasional stubbed toe. No more feeling bad about yourself amid the Greek gods and goddesses at Gold’s Gym while you struggle to lift the smallest dumbbell. No more money wasted on useless gym memberships.
Watching movies online will always be better than going to the theatre because you won’t have to watch said movie with a child constantly kicking you in the back, and no longer will anyone force 3-D glasses on you. If I wanted glasses, I would’ve sat closer to the TV when I was younger. Plus it doesn’t help that the answer to the question, “What colour is the sky?” in a few years is going to be, “Psychedelic.” Since smog is in fashion, why bother circling that park near the highway like a lunatic when I can just smoke 20 cigarettes at home with the AC on?
Open spaces are getting increasingly less open, parks will soon be categorised as an endangered species, and shopping outside puts you at a 100 percent higher risk of suffering from sunstroke, or getting hit by a scooter than shopping for stuff online. That’s an actual, official statistic I just made up. Even employers are starting to see the benefits of their staff working from home, at jobs where it’s possible, at least.
There isn’t much to do outside that can’t be done in the comfort of our own homes, just feet away from our comfortable beds.
Of course, if you live in Mumbai, or a similarly expensive city, there are problems with staying home too. For starters, not everyone has the luxury of having their own place. Plus when they do manage to get even a matchbox to live in, there’s not much money left over to really go out, especially when the cab apps do that surge price thing (which is every single time).
So, maybe there’s a third option? Move away to a less populated place, maybe to a mountain, or an island where no one will sweat on you, and you can actually do some physical outdoor labour? Nope, sounds like too much work. It’s so much easier to put on some pajamas and turn up the TV. When you think about it, every party at home is a private party.
There are few negative side-effects to FOGO. Sure some studies say loneliness is one the rise, and other CCD-sponsored studies say no one goes to CCD anymore. Who cares? Sci-fi’s been telling us for a while that in a few dozen years we’re all probably going to be walking around with VR headsets, bumping into each other like a bunch of morons. Climate activists are always insisting that the date of global annihilation is closer than you think. Maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world to skip that recreational trip to the park, and stay at home instead and binge an entire season of Parks and Recreation.
Sagar has lived in Mumbai for most of his life. You can often find him complaining about potholes and local trains when he isn't out having a mediocre time.