‘Eating by myself, watching a movie by myself, singing by myself…’ Just like the lyrics of a famous Korean girl group SISTAR, having a meal alone and enjoying leisure alone are not so much of an awkward picture anymore. The number of single-households in our society has increased steadily, as much as to take up about one fourth of entire households. To fulfill the needs of these single-households, our society is going through many changes. Let’s find out more about lifestyle of single-households and how our society is changing accordingly.
Single-household refers to people who enjoy doing things by oneself instead of with others. Unlike in the past, when acting alone was considered as individualism and seen negatively, singles nowadays refer to those who enjoy one’s own way of life. Aside from social atmosphere that regards marriage as a success and living alone as a failure, single-households tend to focus solely on themselves and enjoy one’s own life as much as possible.
Peeking Into Spending Habits of Single-households
As the number of single-household is increasing, their spending habits are being brought into the attention as well. Spending habits of single-households can be defined as SOLO, which is an abbreviation of Self, Online, Low-price, and One-stop. First of all, ‘Self’ stands for single-household’s tendency of spending for oneself. With much of their spending being made on traveling, self-development, leisure activity and health, it can be assumed that single-households make most of their spending in regard of oneself. Also, many spending are made ‘Online’ for single-households. Through online shopping, they try to pursue the most efficient way of making spending. It also means that they look for ‘Low-price’ goods. When living alone, unnecessary spending can be cut down and it becomes possible to make a decent living with small amount of money. Yet it does not mean that single-households just cut down on every spending. Although single-households are penny-wise on cost of living, they spare no expense when it comes to spending money on leisure activities. ‘One-stop’ is the last habit of spending found from single-households. Recently, major supermarkets have released ‘one meal package’ for single-households. These are gaining much popularity due to their convenience.
Not Afraid to be Alone!
These days, it is not hard to find products or services made for single-households. Let’s take a closer look at some of the examples.
1. One-man Restaurants
One outstanding example is one-man restaurants. At one-man restaurant, you can enjoy a meal in relaxed atmosphere with partitions to block you from your surroundings. In the past, one had to withstand others’ look and sense of embarrassment that comes from the fact that one is eating alone. One-man restaurants unburden such pressure and enables single-households to have a relaxed meal. Also, as they have begun to serve dishes that are not usually eaten alone, such as stew or grilled dishes, one-man restaurants have also become popular among those who are not single-household.
2. Mini Sized Home Appliances
Unlike original home appliances that were made for general family of four, mini sized home appliances are recently gaining popularity due to rise of single-households. Electric rice-cookers that only make one or two servings have been released, as well as mini sized laundry machines that save water and electricity. Coffee machines, water purifiers, and vacuum cleaners are few other examples of mini sized home appliances. Saving both time and energy, these are steadily getting high in demand.
Alone, Yet Together
Many single-households may have heard of the question ‘Don’t you feel lonely living alone?’ at least once. Although living alone may have been their choice, single-households ought to feel sense of lonesomeness from time to time. As an alternative, share house is recently getting the limelight. Share house is a house shared by minimum of two people to as many as ten people. Some may question what’s the point of living as single-household when you live with other people in share house, but despite the fact that people share spaces like bathroom or kitchen, each own his or her private room with their privacy being secured. Share houses enable people to keep his or her lifestyle as single-household while compensating potential lonesomeness that can come from lack of social relationship. Also, share house offer lower price than other form of houses, which makes it more tempting. Like such, living ‘alone, yet together’ is rapidly rising as an alternative to single-household.
Single-household Culture as a Trend
Unlike in the past when single-households were seen with odd look, single-household culture has now settled as a trend in our society. As many Korean TV programs started to cover lifestyle of single-household, the concept of single-household has become more familiar to the public. Two outstanding examples of such are ‘Let’s Have a Meal’ and ‘I Live Alone’.
First of all, ‘Let’s Have a Meal’ is a Korean drama that combined the two latest keywords of ‘mukbang’ and single-household’ with its story. Korean dramas generally introduced picture of a family of four, which were regarded to be most ideal. Yet, as time has changed, new types of households were introduced in screen as well. ‘Let’s Have a Meal’ is one example of such phenomenon, with single-households being the center of the story. In the drama, you can find out about lifestyles, lonesomeness, and ‘mukbang’ of single men and women living as a single-household. It is a good example that shows how single-household culture has settled as a trend in Korean society.
Another example is an entertainment TV program called ‘I Live Alone’. ‘I Live Alone’ is a show that combined the concept of observation entertainment show with the concept of single-household. As can be assumed from its title, the program highlighted many types of single lifestyles by single-household men. Breaking out from the past prejudice that considered those who live alone as outcasts, the program realistically show how single-households live and enjoy their lives.
Like such, single-household is now settling as a new culture in our society. Unlike previous concept of individualism which referred to exclusion of social relationship, single-household refers to acting alone and retaining healthy social relationship at the same time. What’s important here is the requirement needed to keep single-household culture as a healthy individualism. Aside from merely enjoying consumption of individualistic goods and services, single-household will have to face the challenge of finding respective responsibility and spirit at the same time.
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