What's the point of living alone

Living alone as a lifestyle: loneliness has many names

The trend towards living alone may not be new, but at least it now has a name. Thanks to a hashtag that appeared for the first time in South Korea three years ago, the model of life is called "Honjok". The term can be translated as "one-person tribe". When you consider that it is becoming increasingly difficult in industrialized nations to live in a relationship or with family, as well as affordable housing and precious leisure time, this may not be new.

However, after the USA, Honjok is now also being used in German. The latest counseling bible is called Honjok - the art of living alone and comes from Crystal Tai and Francie Healey (Ullstein-Verlag). As coaches and trend scouts, they naturally point out the difference between being alone and being alone.

Pessismism about this would also be bad for business. After all, with Honjok as a chance to find yourself and fulfillment, luckily you get much closer to a Netflix series near apartment clearing than with black painting. Those who are alone for a long time not only soon know the streaming services by heart, but can also run the risk of becoming quirky or even depressed.

Synchronized dance ballet

In short, more and more people live and live alone. Even the "West" apparently favors this desired or unwanted lifestyle, even with its currently existing social welfare systems. It is now assumed that in a third of all households nobody waits for you when you come home.

Korea as the motherland of Honjok, which has long been celebrated in neighboring Japan, may be politically divided into two parts. However, there is a commonality between communist permanent lockdown in the north and unleashed capitalism in the south that cannot be denied. In the north, the social pressure to meet countless norms as perfectly as possible in private life not only leads to the state-prescribed synchronous dance and military parade ballet.

Ornamental Hermits

As one sees in the south at least since the K-pop phenomenon with its industrially manufactured test tube stars as a symbol of a capitalist high-performance society, both social systems do not necessarily pursue the goal of self-realization in a community. Death by work!

The historical hermit or the profession of jewelry hermit, which was particularly fashionable in England in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the landscape parks of the nobility are far removed from today's realities. The absurd prices for the tiniest of apartments alone speak against marriages that were previously concluded at a young age, starting a family and the traditional Asian way of life. In addition, there is pressure to perform up to the highest student suicide rates in the world and working hours that sometimes suggest a camp bed in the office.

All of this ultimately leads to the fact that today we are dealing with a generation of late twenties and early thirties who have never been able or wanted to enter into a love relationship in their lives. When then? In general, all social contacts are a bit difficult.

Wedding alone

In addition to the art of living, eating, traveling and sleeping alone, this naturally leads to interesting pop-cultural phenomena such as the manga scene, which also covers the erotic needs of adults. There are hourly hotels where you can actually hire young women or "school girls" to talk to. There are men who, for money, give women their best friend to go for a walk. In this way, you also learn about a real relationship in the event of an emergency.

Lifelike, made-to-measure sex dolls are booming, as is the "wedding alone" phenomenon especially for women. Here, for example, an all-round service is offered with a specially made wedding dress, photographer, limousine, wedding ceremony and banquet for one person. The offer to provide a temporary husband is refused in most cases. "I'm dancing with myself!" (Billy Idol)

Act of feminism

Korean women in particular also interpret Honjok as an act of feminism. Above all, they escape the pressure of families and men who traditionally dominate a partnership. Incidentally, a western study says that only those who can live well alone can have a good relationship with a partner. However, the West also tends to be more and more lonely. (Christian Schachinger, October 13, 2020)