Used to be that going out was all the rage. Now people openly humble brag about staying indoors curled up with their pets. There is no shortage of articles about staying in and enjoying it. Why is this the case especially considering how loneliness is increasingly becoming as a public health concern? Let’s talk about why Millennials are spending more time locked in their homes, often alone.
It’s expensive out there
The moment you leave your house you start losing money. If you’re driving, we’re talking fuel, if you’re using public transport, fare. Then there’s the fact that most of our hangouts include eating or some other kind of activity that costs money. Millennials have lived through multiple financial crises and are not hitting the financial milestones their parents hit at their age. Leaving the house is synonymous with losing money and that’s a complete non-starter for people who are already struggling.
Way too tired
In the age of hustle culture combined with rising costs of living globally, people are working more for less which leaves most people too exhausted at the end of the week to go out and party or something. Most people are working multiple jobs including trying to monetize things like their hobbies and when you combine that with the stress and exhaustion that comes from just keeping yourself alive, people have no energy left to go out and perform for people. It makes more sense to just lay sprawled on your couch in your old pyjamas, making zero effort for any company.
Millennials prioritize self-care more than any generation before them. Staying in can be an opportunity to power down, take care of yourself and re-energize. While it’s important to carve out time for family and friends, it’s important to learn to resist the tug of social obligations. That time alone, especially for single women is time free from being in service to other people. You can use that time to lose yourself in a mindless Netflix show while trying on some new face mask or use it to journal or do yoga in your safe space.
While there are some benefits to staying indoors, the sad truth is it’s an indicator that life has become increasingly bad for too many of us. We are overworked, tired and stressed out not just about our personal lives but also about global affairs like rising fascism and daily climate disasters. All those memes about snuggling cats in bed are likely just an attempt to put a positive spin on the grim circumstances of our lives. The situation is worse for people who work from home and are not religious. We don’t have communities and things like parks which were free public spaces are now being fenced off and charges introduced, or they are just grabbed altogether.
We are so atomized and isolated that loneliness is being classified as a pandemic and a public health crisis. One study found that loneliness and social isolation can shorten a person’s lifespan by as many as 15 years. Barring the collapse of capitalism and people taking global unified action on climate change, it doesn’t look like anything will be changing soon. Brace yourself for stormy days ahead. At least you’ll be indoors with your pet. If you’re lucky. Godspeed to all of us.
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