As harsh as it might sound, I miss the unapologetic disconnectedness of the COVID era. Not the safety protocols that caused countless individuals worldwide to feel isolated, but rather the peaceful, quieter social existence.
By Adriana Lebbos
I don’t know if #fomo and #jomo are still trending, but one thing I know for sure is that my social life lately feels like a super long Beirut Beer ad. I'm not talking about the giggle fits with my besties. But my more significant social life.
The gatherings with acquaintances I don’t share much with, friends of friends with whom I don’t have anything in common, and old friends who didn’t stand the test of time. Random acquaintances who speak their minds over drinks at some casual outing make me wish I was lying on my couch watching a documentary about ants on Nat Geo Or Chef Antoine on Télé Liban.
The old days
Back in the day, it was all about being out and about. We’d only stay in if we were lying in bed connected to some serum bag. #FOMO was our most crippling syndrome. Through sickness and sin, we’d be out every single night. I wonder how we made it through university when we partied every night till 4 am and woke up at 7 am to attend class.
Now, one night of drinking gives me a week-long hangover and crankiness that can only be cured with too much sleep and junk food. So yeah, it was all about being out. With our close circle. And our larger circle. And their immediate circle and larger circle. The more, the merrier.
A friend’s birthday? That’s one week of celebrations. A friend of a friend’s birthday? Another week! School reunion? I will pick you up at 8! Oh, Maria is in town? Let’s meet! First day at the job? Let’s all go out. Second week at a new job? We need to celebrate this!
The great nowadays or the underrated joy of missing out
So yeah. Now that I’ve narrowed my circles until they started to make a point (pun intended), I have become a #JOMO fanatic. A flaking Nazi. Cancelling plans! That’s the best plan! (Smile of satisfaction).
-“Oh, I have a hangover/guest from (insert country)/allergy (to non-interesting discussions)/ intolerance to people with no sense of humor/ deadline next week.”
When in fact, I’m wearing my Starwars PJs and tucking my ass into bed, dreaming of my next sailing trip with total strangers so that I don’t even have to utter one word. Joking. I just felt the need to add some drama, haha.
Over the years, I have come to enjoy my company much more and appreciate my ‘me time’ much more; canceling a less enjoyable experience has become the norm. I don’t have to be a people-pleaser if the social event does not please me first. I’d instead put that energy elsewhere. On beauty sleep, for example! Haha.
This lack of energy for uninteresting social events has even worsened with the advent of social media. We get fed so many useless pieces of info on our social feeds that the social allergy can only worsen. And being more and more selective becomes a natural response, an offline ‘unfollow’ to the overwhelming feed that feeds nothing but my anti-social tendencies. Yes, you can stay on my ‘friend’ list, but please don’t show me what you’re up to. Because frankly, my dear…
Yeah well. That’s how it is.
Most of the time, when I get a meetup request on WhatsApp, I say yes. Because then, I feel like wanting to go. But when the day arrives, I am, more often than not, either super tired or simply not in the mood.
Sometimes, the suggested outing involves strangers. I am not an introvert, but I am certainly not excited to meet people I know I will never see again. Not a fan of those horrendous “Hi, I am xxx, what’s your name?”
“Hi, I am ‘OhDearGodWhyDidIComeHere’ I mean, I am Adriana.” “Adriana, quite an unusual name…” I will spare you the rest of the conversation because I certainly had to be less “me” and more of a courteous, polite social being.
I don’t like to make plans on weekends either because that’s when I become anti-social. I can be a social butterfly from Monday to Friday, but on Saturday and Sunday, well, I just can’t. I simply freak out when I read Saturday and Sunday in the same sentence as let’s/lunch/dinner/drinks.
So, if you guys are wondering if I have friends - joking… I know you know I do because most of my super interesting, funny, and adorable friends… are no one else but… you!
Otherwise, do forgive me when I bail.