The New Social Norm: Why Staying In Is the New Going Out

Avery Emberly

Updated Monday, November 20, 2023 at 12:00 AM CDT

In a world where the concept of 'hanging out' has evolved dramatically, individuals from various generations are finding solace and contentment in the comforts of their own homes. The traditional idea of socializing, which often involved going out to clubs or social gatherings, has taken a back seat, giving way to a new era of home-based leisure.

One might wonder why this shift has occurred. The reasons are as diverse as the people themselves. For some, the companionship of a pet or the simple pleasure of being at home is enough to ward off the specter of boredom. A 19-year-old inquires if staying home equates to dullness, only to be met with the assurance that it is anything but. Contentment is found in the little things, and for many, the home is a treasure trove of such joys.

For those in their early thirties, the desire to connect with others persists, yet the avenues to do so seem to have dwindled. The sentiment is echoed across generations, with GenXers and Millennials alike feeling the economic pressures that have shaped their social habits. The aftermath of the 2008 Great Recession, for instance, has left an indelible mark on the way Millennials perceive and handle their finances. The cost of going out can be prohibitive, leading to a deeply ingrained habit of staying in.

Even the concept of a midlife crisis has been redefined by financial constraints. Medical costs and the burden of bills have transformed what was once a period of existential exploration into a pragmatic struggle for survival. The idea of splurging on a crisis of identity seems frivolous, if not downright impossible, for those grappling with the economic realities of modern life.

Interestingly, this shift in socializing habits is not without its lighter moments. Couples find humor in their detachment from the current club scene, reminiscing about the past while acknowledging their contentment with present circumstances. There is a recognition that while the frequency and nature of social interactions have changed, the value of these interactions remains undiminished. A select few still choose to hang out with others, albeit less often and with a smaller circle of friends.

In this economy, the question of whether to go out or stay in is answered with a resounding preference for the latter. The reasons are many, but the outcome is a collective nod towards a lifestyle that prioritizes personal comfort, financial prudence, and the joy of simple pleasures.

As society continues to navigate through economic ups and downs, the trend of staying in as the new going out is likely to persist. It represents a cultural shift that embraces the idea of finding happiness within one's own space, surrounded by the familiar and the cherished. This is not a retreat from the world, but rather a redefinition of what it means to be socially connected in a time when the value of home has never been more appreciated.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


Lol. We hang out at home. With the cat.


our daughter (19) asked me if I'm ever bored because I'm home a lot. I was like, bored? No, I'm never bored. I'm always content with it.


I am about to turn 33. Gonna say, I wish there was somewhere to meet up with people. No one wants to do stuff anymore. Just stay home.


My room. It's pretty dope.


we have bills to pay. We don't hang out we just survive.


I’m a GenX who was super poor all my 20’s and Millenials had the 2008 Great Recession etc- so for them? Same. Leaving the house means you spend money. You don’t HAVE money, so you stop leaving the house. It becomes ingrained habit and it takes a lot of effort to leave the house after that.


Actually had a solid laugh the other day with the wife while driving around talking about night clubs... We remembered back in the early 00's and lineups around the block for certain clubs. And we were trying to think where all the "kids" hang out now, and we didn't know. And then we laughed like, why the f*** would we know, why would we want to know? lol


Going to hang out? In this economy?


I hang out with people. It’s just a lot fewer people a lot less often.


Midlife crisis is too expensive. I’m about to be 37 and believe me, the couple million in medical costs I had at 17, 19, 20, 23, and 28 are what I get to claim as my midlife crisis

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