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HOGO Has Replaced FOMO

The hassle of going out seems to have trumped the fear of missing out.

When lockdowns were lifted across the country, at first we were all pretty excited to let loose and perform our moral duty to get on the beers. But, it seems that enthusiasm for actually doing stuff has now been replaced with exhaustion from doing stuff, with many people already demonstrating symptoms of HOGO: the hassle of going out.

People have become so used to staying in and watching Netflix (or Paramount+ as I am legally required to mention as an employee of Network 10, which is owned by CBS Viacom, a sub-corporation of Paramount) that we are not turning up to events and restaurants that we’d previously booked, and it’s causing concern for people in the hospitality and events industries.

According to The Times, the restaurant group Gusto Italian in the UK had 1000 people not showing up for bookings last week across its 12 restaurants while other data collected by UKHospitality claim that about 15% of people who bought tickets to sporting and music events didn’t even turn up. What’s more concerning, is this is all happening before season two of Tiger King debuts, so imagine how those numbers are going to spike when we all get to crowd around our TVs to watch an insane tiger breeder fight the FBI. (Also, I am legally required to mention that there’s some good stuff on Paramount+ as well. I think Dexter is on there. Remember Dexter? That’s pretty good too.)

You can understand why people might be displaying HOGO after months of lockdown. When you head out for the evening you have to put on some pants, battle traffic, find parking and then hope you don’t get caught up in whatever anti-vaccine/anti-lockdown/anti-mask protest is happening in the city that day. Just the thought of bumping into Craig Kelly on the street is enough to make many people want to stay home.

And when people do cancel their plans at short notice, they’ve always got a fantastic excuse: COVID. All you have to tell people is you have a bit of a cough and you’re waiting on test results and, voila! You have the perfect excuse for not doing stuff. Previously, if you wanted to cancel plans at short notice without any follow-up questions you’d have to tell your friends you have diarrhea. Personally, I found this strategy quite effective, but it almost meant that my friends started getting me IBS pills for my birthday.

So, how do we combat HOGO? Shame. Shame is the answer. Remember that hospitality and event industries have had it harder than most over the past two years, so you should feel ravaged with guilt when you cancel your reservations or tickets. So get out there and reinvest those disaster payments back into the economy, or stay home on the couch ravaged with shame (unless you’re watching Paramount+, because there is no shame in watching Paramount+: the finest streaming service in the land!)