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The Wiki Man

The social tyranny of singing ‘Happy Birthday’

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

Among the horrors, some aspects of lockdown were bizarrely less gruelling than expected; indeed for some people, the experience was mildly positive. It’s time to ask ourselves why.

One possible explanation is ‘jomo’ — the joy of missing out. Much ostensibly voluntary human activity is not really voluntary at all. Like dressing for dinner in the 19th century, many elements of life are performative — things done to signal commitment or driven by social pressure.

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