The birth of ROMO

Till the time when everything was ‘normal’, there existed a phenomenon that was quite common and that which caused stress. Termed as ‘FOMO’, and acronym for ‘Fear of Missing Out’ which describes a perception that others are having a better life, experiencing better things and are having much more fun and you are leading just a regular life. This phenomenon has existed for many years, but with the advent and excessive use of social media, this phenomenon has gained too much importance. FOMO usually occurs when a bunch of your ‘social media’ friends post some photos of some event without you (usually displaying the positive aspect while hiding the negative aspect), you tend to measure your life on their scale and you consider your life to be very ‘normal’. You feel like you are missing out on all the fun. Over the years, FOMO has manifested itself due to ‘posts’ on Facebook and Instagram.

But wait, times have changed. COVID-19 has practically faded the phenomenon ‘FOMO’ which concurrently gave birth to ‘ROMO’, an acronym of ‘Reality of Missing Out.’ Not only this pandemic has paralysed the world, it has also erased the feelings of missing out on fun considering the fact that everyone is locked indoors. With ROMO, you know that it is not cool to go outdoors and have fun with friends while breaking the rules of isolation.

ROMO gives a feeling of despair while losing out to go on to even the simplest of things. Like going out for dinner to a nearby restaurant, missing out for an ice-cream treat at park, going out for grocery shopping or even simply just going out for a stroll. The usual feeling of ‘getting bored’ is now substituted by different conflicting feelings such as – ‘Will I die?’, ‘Will my parents be alive?’, ‘Will I ever be able to go out for a nice dinner?’, ‘Will I be able to enjoy life as before?’. Apparently, such questions keep on running across my or anyone’s mind.

Isolation and quarantine has practically crippled the entire world. Everything around us seems to be on hold – like we are waiting for some kind of a miracle to lift the veil of such darkness. Events like religious festivals, sports tournaments, summer parades at my school, convocation at my B-School, to name among a few, got cancelled. It is very heart wrenching to see that life is just pacing forward and we are actually missing our present and that is a very harsh reality. Family members waiting to receive their ‘chemotherapy’ sessions, pre-final year students waiting to get back to their college and grand-parents waiting to visit their children, and we all are waiting, running desperately to reach the end of the tunnel. Our present is fleeting like sand sifting through our fingers, waiting for everything to end.

It is rather funny to think that just a few months back, we all had the opportunity to make choices, deciding where to go and which options need to be thrown out of the window. But think about now. Do we actually have any opportunities to even think over?