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People say weekends feel 'different' now and they no longer want to socialize, blaming the pandemic and the economy

Kieran Press-Reynolds   

People say weekends feel 'different' now and they no longer want to socialize, blaming the pandemic and the economy
  • TikTok users are going viral with videos about how weekends feel "different" post-pandemic.
  • In one clip, a woman said she no longer feels like socializing and wanted to spend her weekend with a slice of cake.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans rarely left their homes. Many were left isolated and adapted their lifestyle habits to fit a quarantined lifestyle. Nowadays, even as restrictions are rolled back, there are still lingering social effects.

More and more TikTokers are talking about how they prefer to spend their weekends quietly at home over socializing. A psychologist told Business Insider that the pandemic has "fostered a broader societal acceptance of spending time alone."

The discourse was largely kicked off by the TikToker Christina Kwong, who posted a clip on January 7 asking if anyone else feels like weekends are "different" now.


Anyone else just love to do nothing on weekends? Is it age? Or is everyone feeling this way? #weekendvibes #weekend #tired #fyp #gettingold #collective #friday #saturday #sunday

♬ original sound - Christina ✨ daily vlogs ✨

"Like, I don't care about having plans on Saturdays or Sundays anymore," the 32-year-old said in the video, which has been viewed over 820,000 times. "Even Fridays are just, like, I'm ready to go home."

Kwong added that she felt content with enjoying a slice of cake and sparkling water, and not needing to go out.

"Is this age or is it just a weird phenomenon that's happening amongst all of us?" she asked.

The video sparked a flurry of people agreeing with her in stitch responses and replies. Many commenters blamed the worsening economy and inflation for making going out a financial burden, while others said their social torpor was a result of the pandemic.

"If I leave my house I spend at least 100 dollars," one comment with over 3,000 likes said. "Everything is so expensive it's not fun anymore."

"It hit me a couple months ago hard," another person wrote. "Zero desire to go out drinking at bars."

One viewer wrote that having any weekend plans annoys them, and Kwong replied by saying it also makes her "irritated."

Young people are prioritizing recharging over partying on the weekends

Kwong told Business Insider she's been feeling this way for about a year. She said she used to love going on trips, new adventures, birthdays, and dinners, but now she "finds peace" in staying home and recharging.

She believes it's a combination of her aging and a natural result of how life feels after a pandemic.

"I think we're all tired from navigating a world of uncertainty within our lives and the reality we live in," Kwong said.

There have been an array of similar clips, from people talking about feeling like all they desire is to loaf on the couch and watch television to users vlogging their solitary weekends to fill the time.

In a stitch of Kwong's video with over 700,000 views, the user @thefriendshipexpert blamed the change on the concept of "learned loneliness." Citing an article from The Atlantic from 2023 that says there has been increased loneliness coupled with lack of socialization in the last few years, the TikToker argued that people feel more compelled to stay home and chill on the weekends now than before the pandemic.


#stitch with @Christina ✨ daily vlogs ✨Its long but its worth it.

♬ original sound - Danielle Bayard Jackson

In one of the studies cited, a March 2022 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation of 1,243 American adults, 59% of respondents said they had not fully returned to their pre-pandemic activities.

Viewers agreed with the results, though many said they weren't upset about being alone. Numerous viewers praised this shift toward a more "introverted world," and some said they loved using the weekends to recharge their social battery.

"I spend all my time now just working out, walking, exercising, working, reading, sleeping, watching & learning," one person wrote. "My life has never been more peaceful."

The pandemic has 'reduced social pressures,' a psychologist noted

Yasmine Saad, a licensed clinical psychologist, told BI that weekends feeling "different" now could be due to the pandemic and other global events and adversities that cause stress.

Saad said "cocooning," or the idea that people shield themselves from potential danger by staying home, is a natural response to the heightened anxieties of our time.

"The concept of 'chilling' has evolved into more than just a leisure activity," she added. "It's become a crucial part of coping mechanisms, allowing individuals to decompress and find solace amidst the turmoil of the world."

She said she's observed a "dual trend" in post-pandemic behavioral shifts. While some people have become newly social and active, others relish the rejuvenation that comes with alone time, especially in a world that increasingly values self-care.

"The pandemic has reduced social pressures, enabling people to embrace their preferred style of recharging, whether it's through socializing or enjoying solitude," Saad said.

This could suggest that people no longer feel the obligation they once did to hang out with friends on the weekends.

According to Saad, the intent behind someone's choices is the most important factor. If someone stays at home because of "excessive avoidance" or feeling like socializing is an obligation, they should reconsider doing so, she said.

"The goal is to engage in activities that internally rebalance and rejuvenate, without tipping into extremes," Saad said.

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