After the first week of self-isolation, I was startled to hear the same sentiment from friends on different continents: The pandemic is scary, but one silver lining is the total absence of FOMO (fear of missing out). They said it was a relief to have stopped worrying that, somewhere, friends were having fun without them.

In lockdown, there’s no fear of missing out, because you know that no one is having fun, anywhere, with anyone. And the social media sharing of vacation and concert photos that used to foster FOMO has evaporated.

What we have now is something very different. Not FOMO, but ROMO: the reality of missing out. With FOMO, you worry that what you’re doing isn’t cool enough, or Instagrammable enough. With ROMO, you know it isn’t.