‘Bed Rotting’: The Latest TikTok Trend Among Gen Z College Students

Move over, hustle culture! Gen Z college students are embracing the art of “bed-rotting” instead. Social media is ablaze with the trend of “bed rotting,” and you might be a participant without even realizing it. Nowadays, new trends seem to pop up incessantly, inundating our feeds.

TikTok, in particular, has emerged as a vibrant hub for the latest memes, dances, cooking experiments, and a plethora of other bizarre and entertaining endeavors. Indeed, the term “bed-rotting” or ‘soft living’ can be open to various interpretations, leaving room for ambiguity. It might imply neglecting to wash your sheets for an extended period, or perhaps the act of consistently leaving your bed unmade. The lack of specificity in the phrase can lead to confusion.

So, what does ‘bed rotting’ truly encompass?

In essence, bed rotting refers to the act of spending the entire day in bed. Unconcerned about the events unfolding in the world outside. It involves curling up in a cocoon-like state and pretending that the existence of the world doesn’t matter.

Considering the multitude of distressing issues prevalent today, such as the increasing cost of living, it’s unsurprising that soft living has become a term associated with this specific behavior. It reflects a response to the overwhelming challenges that people face.

Is this trend truly the way forward though?

While it’s perfectly normal to enjoy a lazy day every now and then, excessive indulgence in soft living may indicate an underlying issue. Dr. Jessi Gold, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University, addressed common concerns about bed rotting on TikTok and encouraging individuals to reflect on the reasons behind this behavior.

What exactly does it mean when someone refers to bed rotting?
Image Credit: oliviagobrien / TikTok

According to Dr. Gold, bed rotting is when one is so exhausted and overwhelmed by stress. So much so that they choose not to leave their bed as a coping mechanism. Many of us experience this at times, attributing it to fatigue caused by stress, anxiety, and inadequate sleep.

Dr. Gold suggests that it’s not always necessary to resist the urge to bed rot, but it’s essential to question the underlying motivations. Understanding why you feel compelled to engage in soft living can provide valuable insights into your mental well-being. Which can help determine if there are deeper issues that require attention.

It seems that the Gen Z community has sparked a general sense of laziness regarding work ethic – but is this the cause?

In recent times, a fresh dispute emerged between baby boomers and Gen-Z individuals when a Twitter user shared a captured image of a sign displayed outside a store. Subsequently, this screenshot was uploaded on r/antiwork, stirring up controversy.

The sign apologized to customers for the store’s closure, citing the store’s inability to adequately staff it. The corresponding post conveyed the following message: “I apologize for closing AGAIN. My 2 new cashiers quit because I said their boyfriends couldn’t stand here for their entire shift. Don’t Hire Gen Z’s, they don’t know what work actually means.” So what truly seems to be the problem?

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