Is Staying In the New Going Out?
In a recent New York Times Sign of the Times piece, Molly Young explores how the traditional weekend staples are now available entirely on demand, creating “pathologically homebound behavior.”
“We no longer go out. And why would we, when the allure of staying in has reached irresistible proportions? Why risk a restaurant when you can order Seamless or sauté premade gnocchi from Blue Apron? Why go to a bar when you can swipe right? Why go to a reading when you can download a podcast? Why pay $15 to see a boneheaded Marvel rehash in theaters when the world of premium streaming content is at your fingertips? Food, entertainment, romance: The traditional weekend staples are now available entirely on demand.”
“The rise of city-dwellers staying in is hard to quantify; how do you measure the frequency with which people don’t leave their homes? But culture, as usual, offers a mirror. Of all the customs that seem dated on shows like “Sex and the City” and “Entourage,” one of the most glaring is how often the characters went out — to premieres, cocktail parties, restaurant openings (are those even still a thing?), art openings, clubs … events. Multiple events in one evening! These tableaux have been replaced by Abbi and Ilana of “Broad City” getting trapped on the Internet all night and the stylishly domesticated Dev and Rachel on “Master of None” barely leaving their apartment. We have memes about staying in (“Netflix and chill”) and phrases like “binge watch,” which suggest pathologically homebound behavior. We no longer dismiss the urge to remain warm, hidden, fed, cushioned and entertained indoors as a lamentable womblike regression. We may not brag about finishing “Making a Murderer” in two days, but at least we admit it.”
Images courtesy of the NYT