Dubai Diaries: Why I don't have time for JOMO

Is a gripping OTT content bouquet justification enough for most of us spending sleepless nights with eyes wide open?


Ambica Sachin

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Published: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 2:53 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 2:57 PM

You look sick. Are you alright? My eyes light up and I spend the next few minutes animatedly informing the hapless well-wisher all about my sleepless weekend. But a few hours later, I undo all the goodwill I had gathered that morning by admitting to the same colleague that one of those nights was actually spent glued to the screen till 5am watching an OTT series that had me hooked from the word go.

What is it about this medium of entertainment that holds us in its thrall while we are hard pressed to sit still even for half an hour in one place without fidgeting under normal circumstances? Great content is a given today with the sheer number of OTT platforms at our disposal, that offer up a democratic medium for talented artists, be it directors, actors or film technicians. But is a gripping content bouquet justification enough for most of us spending sleepless nights with eyes wide open at the drama unfolding in our living rooms?

I believe the pandemic has exacerbated our need to be digitally engaged constantly. The enforced stay at home phase instead of disengaging us from what is not relevant has conversely instilled in us a desperate demand to be wired constantly. We are all looking to keep ourselves engaged, by perpetually seeking an adrenaline rush. The absence of physical engagement meant we turned to the easy option at home; our devices.

Along with very many other deeper socio-economic implications, I believe the pandemic will also be held accountable for making us prisoners of our own virtual worlds.

Too many of us forced to stand still after being constantly on the go found it easier to be mentally engaged 24/7 — whether it was by scrolling through the Gram in the middle of the night or catching up on the ‘what next’ thriller series during lunch time or even turning to regular Zoom sessions with our near and dear ones for succor. Social media addiction got an impetus during the pandemic and the invisible but deeply felt shift in our inner equilibrium is a by-product we have to live with. For many it is the need to be on the go to make up for our perceived lost time, for some it is a sense of being deprived of a huge chunk of their productive life.

Currently I have two shows on standby each night depending on how the day went by. Modern Family is always dependable fare for some senseless laughter and stress free pre sleep ritual. Then there is Suburra, a grim battle for survival between organised crime, corrupt politicians and the Vatican in Rome, anchored by some solid performances and catchy melancholic music. It’s not even the need for a conversation filler that compels me to watch these relentlessly once I log out of each workday. It’s a distraction for sure but more insidiously it is a need to keep your mind constantly engaged so no other thought can creep its way in. Don’t think JOMO is going to hit me any time soon.

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