Forget FOMO, homebodies, rise up!
Young people are turning their back on drinking and putting partying to one side, as one TikTok trend celebrates the joys of staying in
image Youtube / Kali Uchis
words Lucy O'Brien
POV: You’re sitting at home, dressing-gown on, glass of your favourite drink in hand, Earl of East candle ablaze, when you get a text from a friend inviting you to a last minute motive.
Suddenly, the night’s agenda has changed; you now have to find an appropriate outfit, plan your route to the event, prepare yourself mentally for a night of socialisation and interaction, and remove yourself from the comfy environment you just spent half an hour carefully curating. And yes, sometimes these impromptu nights out can turn out to be one for the history books – that’s the fear that motivates you to put your reservations to one side and and power ahead with your last-minute party plans.
But a growing number of people are owning the fact that they would have just as good a time – if not a better time – staying in rather than teetering out for a night of ill-advised fun. Yep, staying in may well be the new going out - at least if you ask the homebodies in their early twenties who are choosing to embrace the joy, rather than the fear, of missing out.
At the time of writing, #homebody has amassed over 411 million views on TikTok, with videos flooding our FYPs depicting young adults illustrating how they like to spend their Friday and Saturday nights: at home, by themselves. There’s no shame or embarrassment to be seen; these Gen Zs are filling their weekends with some essential self-loving and wouldn't have it any other way.
We could argue that this tendency to stay in over going out is a response to many things - from a cost of living crisis to the growing acceptability of sobriety among young people. But we have other thoughts. Rather than the merely practical, what if something more philosophical was at play?
What if this invitation to slow down and sit with ourselves is a response to the gnawing anxiety that many people go through when they're in their twenties. It's a decade that's supposed to be the best one of your life, but the expectations to make the most of it can just be way too much. How are you expected to find yourself and work out who you are all while making a huuge group of friends? Or see the world but still settle down? Find a career while not taking life too seriously? Play the field yet find a soul mate? Yeah, we're getting some mixed signals here.
The homebody trend is all about pushing back against this kind of pressure and accepting that we like what we like. After all, when it comes down to it, many of us feel at our best when winding down, cosying up and watching our favourite comfort shows. We don't think anyone could say they feel their best after five overpriced vodka tonics. And, as it turns out, most people are in agreement: a 2023 study found that only 21% of people (compared to the other 79%) felt sad or disappointed at the thought of missing out on an event or occasion with friends. This year, we're done hiding it.
Though it might seem surprising that a generation who spent crucial years cooped inside during the pandemic aren’t rushing to the nearest warehouse to gurn until it gets light outside, the homebody trend comes with plenty of positives. It poses a much-needed opportunity for self-love, a chance to take a break from the grind, realign with your values and take a much needed break.
And while there’ll always be a place for going out out and feral girl summers, for many, going off the rails just doesn’t give us the same satisfaction as a good night's sleep and a well-oiled, therapeutic self-care Saturday routine.