Have you watched the latest episodes of Suits? Wait, you haven’t watched Game Of Thrones in your life? You gotta be kidding me. The latest episodes of Insatiable have released, let’s bingewatch immediately!

Do these situations sound familiar?

We’ve all ditched plans every now and then in favor of staying home to bingewatch shows. Some of us more so from the anxiety of not watching a show that the entire planet seems to have. Well, the Fear Of Missing Out On Telly aka FOMOOT is a real thing.

I recently realized that FOMOOT is a phenomenon that I have been dealing with right from childhood, a time when all the children in my class had access to cable and would discuss shows like Pokémon – there I would sit, clueless amidst all the discussion.

Fear Of Missing Out On Telly is a real thing.

Now, with multiple streaming options, it only means there is so much more content to be caught up on. I have often feared becoming an outcast and found myself succumbing to pressure, investing all my free time in bingewatching popular shows. If I haven’t watched as many documentaries or shows on Netflix as possible, will that mean I will be looked down upon? If I don’t bingewatch shows on weekends, will I have nothing to talk about on Mondays? These thoughts were persistent and had started to shake the peace inside of me. The constant anxiety was unsettling and the worst part about the whole ordeal was that I was constantly looking at the screen.

Why the fear, though?

It stems from missing out on something exciting and interesting happening elsewhere. After all, people tend to post their best pictures on social media making it look like they have the most fun life ever. This often leaves one with the feeling of FOMO.

If I don’t bingewatch shows on weekends, will I have nothing to talk about on Mondays?

I wanted to break the circle and so the first thing I decided was to not watch a single episode of Game of Thrones. Go on, judge me but it was my way of taking a step back and reclaiming my sanity and sense of calm. I slowed down. That is one of the most important aspects of releasing yourself from the grip of FOMOOT. We belong to fast-paced lives and are constantly working more than we are required to. Watching series, movies, and shows are a form of entertainment, so one shouldn’t have to work hard, get anxious, and stress out about having to keep up with them. I was spending eight hours at work already, I shouldn’t start a second shift with shows; there was no ‘me-time’ or ‘free-time’ that I could spend on myself.

I couldn’t have it all and I needed to accept this. There is no way to watch all the shows and movies, socialize, commit to family and self, and focus on work. I am only one person and I cannot do it all. I accepted this which refreshingly made life and things so much easier. The other thing that the current generation needs to realize is to learn to do one thing at a time. There is no need to multi-task and make a mess of all that you try to do, especially when multitasking has its own set of disadvantages.

It’s my way of taking a step back and reclaiming my sanity and sense of calm.

I also went for a few yoga and meditation classes that taught me to be more mindful of the things around me. I learned to invest my energy correctly and pay attention to the nicer things in life. Instead of expecting to be a rockstar, I learned to enjoy some of the regular boring things in life.

Another big takeaway for me was to never ditch plans with friends or family for a television show. Television cannot replace human beings. Always remember people come first and then everything else; prioritizing that is important.

There was a time when I bingewatched Suits and almost felt like a lawyer. It took me a while to return to reality. Bingewatching had that effect on me where I entered a world of fantasies and found it difficult to return. Then comes the post-series depression. Save yourself from the entanglement of television shows.

These steps might seem preachy but one must learn to slowly but effectively incorporate them in to feel the difference. Enjoy the process, let yourself relax, and give yourself the gift of learning to let go!

  • Mrinalini Sundar

    Mrinalini Sundar is a lifestyle journalist with eight years of experience and has worked with renowned publications like Times Of India and The New Indian Express. She is currently freelancing for South Asian Magazines in Toronto and is a digital marketing professional. Mrinalini is a big movie buff and has interviewed the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Irrfan Khan and AR Rahman.