Who needs friends? Young Koreans increasingly happy to enjoy leisure activities alone
For reasons unexplained, an increasing number of young Koreans are becoming more comfortable with going out to the town on their own. According to a recent survey, over 74% of Koreans in their 20s said they feel absolutely fine going out by themselves, and having a friend with them was not a necessity for an enjoyable time.
Personally, I love the time I get to spend alone, and going to a movie by myself and enjoying a nice meal and/or drink after sounds like the perfect way to spend a mellow evening. Apparently, Korea is a place where I would fit right in. Since 2007, the country has seen a 13% increase in the number of people who enjoy solo leisure time - now over 58% of the population are said to do. These activities include watching movies, eating at restaurants, and even singing their hearts out in private karaoke booths. The "weirdo" label is no longer automatically attached to those enjoying alone what others do with friends, and that seems to be a direct result of the increase in number of individuals who don't care what others think of them. And many of these individuals are young adults. Last year, 10.1% of all moviegoers watched movies alone, and 37% of them were in their 20s. The younger generation in Korea, like everywhere else, seems to know what they want without concern for any type of judgement. If you're renting a karaoke booth so you can sing alone for a few hours, you definitely don't care what others think, and more power to you!
On the other hand, it's probably not just the confident ones who choose to go out alone. The other side of the coin are those who are loners not by choice but by their lack of social skills or disinterest in developing relationships with real people. For example, in Japan, many in the younger generation are satisfied interacting with the virtual world, where they have relationships with whatever and whomever exists in it. For that reason (and others), Japan too has seen an increase in individuals who take part in leisure activities alone. Also, having a smartphone in one's hand probably makes it a lot easier for him/her to sit alone at a restaurant.
Regardless, enjoying your alone-time should be something everyone does once in a while. But if you're lucky enough to have friends you love, make sure you spend time with them too!
"Time for some solo karaoke . . ."
"Put in the song . . . "
"I'm so lonely!"
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