Young Koreans don’t step foot out of the house

Thế hệ 'ẩn sĩ' Hàn Quốc: Những người trẻ không dám bước chân ra khỏi nhà, sống khép kín không tương lai, không ước mơ

More and more young Koreans are choosing to live a reclusive lifestyle, turning their backs on society because they can’t find work in the hyper-competitive labor market.

Kim Jae-woo (27 years old), who graduated from a university outside of Seoul, has applied for jobs at more than 150 companies. But only 15 companies called him for an interview, according to Chosun Ilbo.

Initially, Kim wanted to find a permanent position with a salary of 30 million won/year. But out of desperation, he ended up applying for even contract jobs that paid less than 2,000 won/hour.

Thế hệ 'ẩn sĩ' Hàn Quốc: Những người trẻ không dám bước chân ra khỏi nhà,  sống khép kín không tương lai, không ước mơ

Kim cut off contact with friends when all attempts to find a job failed. “Friends asked me what I was doing, I didn’t know how to answer them and ended up becoming a recluse,” he said.

Kim usually plays games more than 6 hours/day. After browsing job sites and reviewing resumes, he spends the rest of the day watching TV, surfing the net, or fiddling with his cell phone.

“I feel useless in this society. The dark period seems to have no end”

Young Koreans give up trying, choose to live separately.

Half a million young people live in seclusion

An increasing number of young Koreans are living in seclusion because they feel unable to live up to society’s high expectations.

This phenomenon originated in Japan in the 1990s as “hikikomori”.

Hermits often cut off all contact with friends, after failing to find a prestigious job or failing to meet other expectations demanded by a highly competitive society.

According to a study by the Seoul Institute, 2.9% of Koreans aged 18-34 are living in seclusion. These people only leave the house to go to the convenience store, the rest of the time they lock themselves in 4 walls with electronic devices.

Half a million young Koreans lock themselves in their homes.

Three out of every 100 young Koreans are in this situation. And 32% of them are said to have lived in seclusion for more than 3 years.

The study found that 41.6% of young people living in seclusion had no contact with the outside world due to their inability to find work, while 17.7% had difficulty interacting with others.

Another study last year by the National Youth Policy Institute found an even higher number of hikikomori, accounting for about 4.7% of young South Koreans.

The land of kimchi has about 10.89 million people aged 18-34. Thus, this country has about half a million young people choosing to turn away from society.