More than half of South Korean men and women in their 20s and 30s prefer to spend time alone, a recent survey by an online job search portal revealed.
The survey, which targeted 1,593 male and female users of the portal Saramin between the ages 20 and 30, showed that 53 percent replied positive to the question asking whether they preferred spending time alone.
Over 73 percent of the respondents choosing to be alone said they were satisfied with life, which was higher than 64 percent from the 756 respondents who preferred to belong in affinity groups.
Most of those who favored being alone said they chose to do so because they could “do things in their way.” The second most popular reason was “guaranteed individual time,” followed by “to reduce financial burden,” “difficult to fit in with others” and “do not wish to be compared against.”
The activities most often done alone were dining, picked by 95 percent of the respondents, followed by shopping (84 percent), working out (84 percent), watching movies (75 percent), traveling (60 percent), drinking (48 percent), driving (43 percent) and going to karaoke (31 percent).
Newly coined words such as honbap (eating alone), honsul (drinking alone), honyeong (going to the movies alone) are becoming more common, according to Saramin. ‘Hon’ is the first syllable of the word ‘Honja’ which means to do something alone in Korean.
From the total respondents, 86 percent said the spread of the individualistic culture was a “positive” phenomenon.
Ninety-one percent of the total female participants replied favorably to the trend, while only 83 percent of their male counterparts thought the same.
In the multiple responses to the question why they thought the trend was good, 67 percent said “no disturbance from others,” followed by “autonomous activities” (55 percent), “less emotional effort” (53 percent), “individual characteristics are respected” (45 percent) and “overall efficiency” (43 percent).
For the spread of the individualistic culture, 44 percent of the respondents accredited the manifestation of individualistic values as the key factor. Twenty percent picked stagnating economy, 12 percent selected the increase in the number of unmarried people, 9 percent said the increase in the youth unemployment and 5 percent said the changes in the definition of a family.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)