When It Comes to Television, FOMO Makes Us Do Some Crazy Things

by Daniel Barna

Game of Thrones has become event television—the one show that feels like while it’s airing, everyone’s watching. But what happens to the unlucky few who happened to miss the latest episode that everyone’s talking about? Well, according to a new survey, some people are so terrified of being crucified for missing out that they’ll resort to lying.

To honor May 20, which just so happens to be International Streaming Day, Roku polled almost 3000 people and found that 38% of them had lied about seeing a show just to feel included. In fact, the “fear of missing out”—or FOMO, as it’s more commonly known—is so prevalent in people ages 18 to 43 that nearly half of those surveyed admitted to ducking out on important social obligations just so they can stream their favorite shows, while nearly 64% of those people admitted that streaming content has caused them to be late to a major function.

While that type of behavior may seem harmless, people’s desire to be up to date on the most popular shows becomes concerning once it starts to affect a person’s own hygiene—according to the survey, 14% of those polled admitted to valuing their ability to stream over the necessity of brushing their own teeth.

Jon Snow would not approve.

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