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Living Single

April 16, 2013

Here is an interesting article in the Busan Haps called “The Trend on Korea of Living Alone” by James Turnbull. I think it is called the sharehouse phenomenon in Korean.

What I especially found interesting in the article was that Korea has one of the world’s highest rates of growth for single households, according to the Samsung Economic Research institute, and even higher than in the U.S. and Australia. Only 7 years from now, in 2020, it is expected that nearly one in three households will be single households. Statistically, that means that many of you and/or your friends may be living alone in the future.

I have been living single most of my life, which I much prefer, but I do enjoy spending a couple of months living with my family in Canada every summer.


Students: Read the article above. How do/would you feel about living alone? Is this a welcoming trend for Korean society? What are the positive and negative aspects, both for individuals and society?

58 Comments leave one →
  1. James(T) permalink
    April 17, 2013 12:35 am

    I have been living alone for almost 3 years. I can’t help living alone because my uni is far from my hometown. At first I was excited being alone and being free. However, after a year I was getting feel loneliness. I really didn’t like the darkness everytime I get home at night. Also, in the morning, I just go to school without having my breakfast. I often miss my mother’s dishes so much. I personally think it is not a welcoming trend for Korean society. As the way I felt, living alone has both positive and negative aspects. For individual, it is less stressful to live alone being apart from others like parents, especially when they are strict. However, they are getting lost their emotional fellowship with their family members. For society, the more people live alone, the more crimes would be happened and people are getting lonely and would become depressed. On the other hand, many type of business such as self-laundry shop, home cleaning services, fast food for the people live alone will be developed and it will bring positive effect on economic system in some ways.

    • Chiodos(T) permalink
      April 19, 2013 4:22 pm

      You nicely described your emotions when living alone.

    • Dreamcatcher C2 permalink
      April 19, 2013 4:30 pm

      I understand how lonely and difficult it would be to live all by yourself. But, I am a person who have almost always live with parents, and want to tell you that there are countless of negative things about living with parents. I think because you are not living with your parents now, you only miss the good things about living with them. Don’t you think so? 🙂

      • Christine(T) permalink
        April 19, 2013 11:08 pm

        I agree with both of you guys cause I have both experience which is living with family and alone. Living with parents might have many negative points such as curfew and their scorn. However I think their love and concern can compensate the negative aspects of living with parents. It’s not comparable to everything. And one more thing, you can save your living expenses when you live with your parents!

  2. James C1 permalink
    April 17, 2013 3:06 am

    I have always been a kind of person who likes to do thing by myself all alone. However, in Korean society, doing things alone means that he or she is not competent or something like that. I have always not liked those people’s views, so I pretended I like to be with other people. However, in recent time, I have changed my mind to not care about other people, and that made me very happy. I go to a theatre to watch movies alone, to have special food, alone, and all these things, I really felt comfortable doing these alone. I don’t need to care about other people’s circumstances, I can change the plan however I want, It has been really nice. On the same principle, I think It would be really nice to live alone in the future.
    ( I am actually seriously thinking about not getting married thesedays.)
    However, in society level, I think Korea is not ready for this kind of life style. Most Koreans are community-centered people. They feel very lonely when they are not with others, and they think being alone is a shameful thing(That’s how I used to think when I was young and I think most adult Koreans still think that way).I think If this trend goes on, many people will get depression or something like that in very near future. As one Korean member, I am pretty sure that the biggest reason why people would live alone is money (and maybe distorted individualism). They will never overcome their loneliness. Depression caused by loneliness would be a big issue in that day. They were supposed to spend surplus money(surplus that comes from living alone compared to living more than 2 people) for their hobbies or their development, but few years later they would not care about those and get lonely. Even person like me ( who’s not community-centered) sometimes gets lonely like once a month. I don’t think average community-centered korean people would be able to handle this kind of life style.
    Also, economically, It would be a loss because there will be less children to work. If this trend is not to stop, the children that will be born have to many old people’s lives. Small number of young people would have to support majority of old people. It is pretty sure that It would be a huge damage economy.

    • Brad(C1) permalink
      April 18, 2013 11:52 pm

      Your opinion are really interesting, in that you mentioned economical aspects =)

    • Betty(CR2-Todd) permalink
      April 19, 2013 10:30 am

      I agree with most of your opinion. but in some part.. you are out of point. I think low birth rate has nothing to do with this issue. Not all people who are living alone don’t want to marry.Many of them try to marry. Low birth rate is caused by other reaseons; living cost, education policy etc.

      • James C1 permalink
        April 19, 2013 3:02 pm

        Living alone is almost about money and distorted individualism. Individualism has influenced Korean culture so long that It is starting to affect out lifestyle. Living alone is one of these results. Living alone means almost same as not getting married. I think you are only watching trees, not the forest. The guys whom you are referring to(The guys who are living alone but trying to get married) are not the majority of Living-alone people. Tho above article said one out of Three home would be single household. What could that mean? Do you really think that single household can reach 33% with only single living guys with plans to get married?

        Of course low birthrate is not directly related to this living-alone trend, but I am pretty sure this affects massively to the birth rate.


    • Adrian+C2 permalink
      April 19, 2013 4:11 pm

      Most of your arguments are persuasive but some of them seems hasty generalization. First, the money(I assume that money in your text means expense) is not everything. The distance between residence and workplace(or school) is one of important factors. Moreover, there are other personnel reasons and social conditions such as divorcees and live-alone elderlies.

      Second, even most Korean people are community-centered, not everyone feels lonely when he or she is alone. In fact, this social phenomenon has gradually circulated in South Korea since late 90’s. This isn’t unusual at all. With advances of IT and an excellent information and communications infrastructure, Korean people enjoy Internet-based club activities. I don’t think that people would feel lonely when they are enthusiastic about their activity.

      Finally, loneliness might cause depression, but living alone doesn’t cause depression all the time.

      No offense, and I hope my a few arguments would be a chance to think diversely. 🙂

    • Dreamcatcher C2 permalink
      April 19, 2013 4:35 pm

      I’m a bit similar to you. I prefer living by myself, and spending some time alone. However, I have never tried going to the movies alone and eating out in a nice place alone!! I think you are so brave!! Compared to you, I realized I am a social person…. because I like to do those things in a big group.

    • Christine(T) permalink
      April 19, 2013 11:14 pm

      I agree with you too in respect of living my own life. I think balancing point is really important! Sometimes you need to be yourself and sometimes you don’t. Having a good time with others can make you feel less lonely and vigorous. But you don’t have to recognize other’s glances when you spend your time alone. People in korea society are usually too aware of others.

  3. Mary C1 permalink
    April 17, 2013 12:24 pm

    I do agree with living as a single is depend on a person’s favor. So I do not think living alone is not the specific unusual phenomenon. However, I do not think it is such a welcoming trend for korean society. When it comes to a personal situation, living alone could not be the discussion topic, however, in terms of the society, the government, living as a single could be a big problem related to the national power. Most of the people who live alone are working hard for a better life. They usually regard the achievement is more than the marriage. And the former kinds of happening affects on the growth of the domestic economy through the personal success. Besides, there could appear the flexible notion of the marriage compare to the oppressed idea of the marriage in the past. However, being a single may lead to the weakness of the national power due to the low birth rate. More over, there need numerous welfare budget to maintain the personal demand. In the past, there were enough people who can manage their parents. On the otherhand, singles have to prepare the winter years by themselves. It leads to the growing cost of taxes and it will make the resistence from the nation.

  4. DavidChoi permalink
    April 17, 2013 12:48 pm

    I have been living alone for about 2 years, which is not that long but I am satisfied with it. At first, I felt free in that it seemed like no one can interfere in my life. However, as time goes by, I came to realize there are lots of drawbacks of living alone. Frist of all, the cost of living is higher. I had to get my living myself. If you get married or live togrther, the cost of livinf per person can be lower.
    Second is loneliness. I often have dinner with my friends on the weekend, not on weekends.Sometimes, it had me skip a meal by myself.
    most of the time, I take a meal alone, which makes me feel loneliness.
    This can be a welcoming trend in Korean society, because they want to have their own private comfortable place both for mind and body.The positive aspect of living alone is they can have a time for relaxaiotn, but one the other hand they can feel dull and gloomy sometimes. The society needs to recognize this social change.

    • transformer(c2) permalink
      April 18, 2013 12:12 am

      You and I have a little bit different opinion. I don’t think the phenomenon is a welcoming trend for society, because people can make better output through collaborations with each other and this phenomenon could interrupt those collaborations, However I can’t agree with you more than about the thought living alone could raise the living cost.

  5. James(T) permalink
    April 17, 2013 12:59 pm

    I have been living alone for almost 3 years. I can’t help living alone because my uni is far from my hometown. At first I was excited being alone and being free. However, after a year I was getting feel loneliness. I really didn’t like the darkness everytime I get home at night. Also, in the morning, I just go to school without having my breakfast. I often miss my mother’s dishes so much. I personally think it is not a welcoming trend for Korean society. Living alone has both positive and negative aspects. For individual, it is less stressful to live alone being apart from others like parents, especially when they are strict. However, they are getting lost their emotional fellowship with their family members. For society, the more people live alone, the more crimes would be happened and people are getting lonely and would become depressed. On the other hand, many type of business such as self-laundry shop, home cleaning services, fast food for the people live alone will be developed and it will bring positive effect on economic system in some ways.

    • James(T) permalink
      April 17, 2013 1:09 pm

      I’m so sorry that I left 2 comments. Last night, my Internet was bad so I thought I failed to leave assignment.

  6. Micheal(T) permalink
    April 17, 2013 6:59 pm

    Now I live in dormitory, but many of my friends are live alone in their rented room. In fact, I was also supposed to live alone. I think more people are living alone and the number will increase. Why do many people recently want to live alone? I think it is natural. This is because Korean society has continuously followed Western culture – especially American culture – from foods to ways of thinking. Generally, many American people become independent from their parents after high school. Thesedays, in Korea, as more people marry late or not, the number of people living alone increasingly rise. I think there are some benefits and drawbacks. First, when people live alone, they can feel comfortable since there is no one who scolds them like parents. Moreover, as the article shows, new product areas can be developed and this can vitalize the economy. Conversely, it can cause people to pay no attention to their family because the opportunities to meet each other are less. If it gets worse, it can be possible to damage Korean traditional culture. Furthermore, living alone means they are single. Thus, it might have an effect on birthrates drop.

  7. JWJWJW(T) permalink
    April 17, 2013 10:31 pm

    According to the article, more and more Koreans are living alone nowadays. In my view, it is not a welcoming trend because it is strongly related to the low birthrate problem. Korea has very small territory, but it has lots of intelligent people. Then Korea has become one of the influential countries in the world, so it can be said that the power of Korea is dependent on Koreans’ ability. Thus, I think that the trend of ‘living alone’ influences to Korean society negatively. In addition, it can be negative for individuals in Korean society. As more people live alone, they are going to be an very individual people and not communicate with others. Then the number of people who are lonely will increase, and it can be lead to the suicide problem. As many people know, Koreans kill themselves a lot when we compared them with people in other countries. Loneliness can be one of the reasons why people commit a suicide, and the suicide issue will be a more serious problem in Korea.
    On the other hand, it also has some positive effects. In the individual perspective, each person don’t think about others much, so he/she can do what he/she wants to do anytime. Then people are going to enjoy their lives when they live alone.
    To sum up, I think that living alone has a lot of disadvantages both socially and individually, and it has few advantages. I hope that all people will enjoy communicating with each other, and any problems can be caused by living alone won’t make trouble in Korea.

  8. gdlabel(T) permalink
    April 17, 2013 11:00 pm

    Through the article above, I really feel sorry about the phenomenon. Since the image of living alone is rather negative for Korean people accustomed to family units, that is regarded bad culture from individualized western culture for me. However, according to the research, this phenomenon looks like an unavoidable reality in Korea society.
    Because the fundamental cause is directly related with low marriage rate and birthrate, which is a serious problem of Korea right now, this individualized society couldn’t be helped and resolved without settlement of the fundamental cause. These days people are only interested in living alone and afraid of financial burdens of raising a family because of bad time of economy.
    So individuals become selfish to live through this kind of society and finally we have nothing to do but be caught in a vicious circle.
    Therefore, we have to learn priceless love from family relationship and realize that the group is more important than the individual. Although sometimes a group life even ask you for an effort or devotion, your family will be helpful in your life, and protect you, and also make you learn many things that are not in individual life.

  9. transformer(c2) permalink
    April 18, 2013 12:01 am

    It is very stressful, I think, that living alone. Before entering university, I lived with my family. At that time, I wanted to be free and to be alone. However, After I was leaved alone, it was hard for me to live. I had to do everything by myself, doing the dishes, cleaning a room, doing a laundry and so on. Everyone will agree that doing something like together is more efficiently than by oneself. Also, I felt loneliness when I went to bed and ate breakfast on my own. I should chat about the very daily life with someone, But I couldn’t. That is the most stressful situation. And the phenomenon is also harmful to country. Human could amplify the synergy with each other. If the situation should continue, the national competitiveness would be decrease because the effects never happen by oneself. For this reason, Korean government have published many public policies related to solving the phenomenon. So, I think that the growing number of single household is bad for both Individuals and society.

  10. bianca c2 permalink
    April 18, 2013 12:17 am

    I have been living with my roommates for 3 years. Since the space is not that big, I do not have privacy at all. However I do not have problem with that. I could share friendship with them and have special memories while living with them. It is good to have someone instead of family because I easily get lonley. I like the idea of the sharehouse in the article. I love the traditional korean house, Hanok.(That`s not the point anyway..) I can have my space and friends. Peolple who live by themselves always needed that kind of house. Still, there are not many sharehouses in Korea right now. The negative side of the sharehouse is that Korea is conservative country so maybe parents will not like their son or daughter living with other students. Other than students living alone, people who did not get married would be a good target for sharehouses.

  11. Clock - C1 permalink
    April 18, 2013 3:59 pm

    In this semester, I am living alone in Kositel, which is a combination house between study room and hotel. There are all of the necessary things in a room like wardrobes, a bed, a desk, a small refrigerator, a toilet, and a shower room. A kitchen and facilities for laundry are for common use, even though it is very small room, which is suitable for people who live alone, so there are many rooms in one floor. As the price per a month is similar to dormitories, it is also reasonable. For these reasons, I think that living alone is not bad, and like me the more people who live alone are, the less people who think of this trend as a queer situation are, which will be a matter of course. However, in this trend, there are some positive and negative aspects for individuals and society. A positive aspect for individuals is that with low price, anyone who lives alone can live without burden such as feeling diffident by house owners. Moreover, as society gives people privacy room, it can make a society that admits the diversity of individuals. In contrast, individuals can fall in individualism, and cause egotism because as people live alone, they can do all of things as they like. Finally, it can destroy social cohesion.

  12. Beginner(T) permalink
    April 18, 2013 4:04 pm

    My hometown is Busan and now I live in dormitory. So, after I graduate school, I have to and expect to live alone in my own house because I think that will let me free from small room of dormitory life. Also, I can have my own space for my hobbies and it will protect my privacy.
    Entering the university, I realize that living alone is becoming a general trend in Korea All of my friends whose hometown is province and lived apart from their family are living alone or share house with another friend. Almost of them said they content with their single or sharing life and living single has many positive aspects than negative. For example, especially when they share room, they can reduce living cost by also sharing household items and making food together.

  13. Brad(C1) permalink
    April 18, 2013 11:41 pm

    Reading the comments above, it will be certain that there are many students who have already lived alone. I also have lived alone in China for one year. First time, I was happy to escape from our parents – my parents was nice, but at that time I was so defiant to them. However, as time went by, I missed my family who always tried to understand for my part. You will know that Korean are so family-oriented, so that most people isn’t familiar with living alone. Thus, living alone can cause some people, especially students who have lived with family for long times, to be depressed.
    I think that young people like students need their family, in that when they establish their identity, they – Korean – can’t do it without their family because most of Korean grew up in collectivism, especially familism society. Though our society gradually changes into individualism, famillism is still dominant in our society, so that those who are separated from family will feel a sense of alienation, when they observe those who are different from them
    The trend of living alone can or can’t be an welcoming flow. That’s because it depends on people’s characteristic. However, it can entail more negative aspects than positive things because of our society’s dominant system. For example, regarding positive aspects, this trend makes young people independent from their parents. Also, there are those who don’t fit with their family and prefer living alone. In addition, new customer market for singles can thrive in our society, as the writer of the article writes. On the other hand, as regard to negative aspects, those who are not familiar with this trend but become faced with living alone like students for their school, can be a social misfit and have depression. Furthermore, in more serious case, it lead to a suicide and a crime.

  14. misskim(T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 1:29 am

    Read the article above. How do/would you feel about living alone? Is this a welcoming trend for Korean society? What are the positive and negative aspects, both for individuals and society?

    I think living alone is needed in some senses, but it has more negative aspects than positive aspects, especially in our society. Long time ago, people in Korea used to live in a big family. However, as the nuclear families appear, people tend to live seperately and it was getting smaller and smaller that people even prefer to live alone these days.
    I think this trend and phenomenon doesn’t really fit on our country and it is somewhat results of accepting foreign cultures without filtering out.
    Even though our society was much more used to living under pressure than freedom, people tend to pursue and eager to it and even pretend to have a frank and open mind.
    So I believe when people decided to live by themselves, they dreamed of freedom most, and then they started to realize how it is difficult to live alone as time goes by.
    Those who live alone get a lot of stress from loneliness because they have to eat and do everything alone even after a long and tough day.
    At this point, some people are required to take mental as well as medical treatments because of the unhealthy life style.
    So I think living alone gives disadvantages to both individuals and the society we live in.
    Also, because it is too costly, most of them have hard time taking all the responsibilities of the living expenses that some eventually give up living alone and join their family agian.
    For these reasons above, i think single faimily trend is not a welcoming trend in our society yet and i think people should try to think about “what makes them happy most” carefully.

  15. Julie(C2) permalink
    April 19, 2013 10:35 am

    Since I entered the university, I have been living alone for 3years. Actually, I wasn’t think I was living alone. Because I was at the dormitory last two years and I had a roommate. This year, I moved to the detached house, but I still have a roommate. We shared the kitchen, the veranda and the bathroom, but we have each room. Though my roommate and I are the close friend, we never enter the other’s individual room. I think the share house is one of the best types of housing. I am living alone and also not living alone at the same time. I am talking with my roommate about many things and having a meal together. That’s why I don’t feel any loneliness even though I don’t live with my parents. However, I think living alone is not welcoming trend for Korean society. Korean people still think the affection between people which is called in Korean 정 is very important. Even though people are living alone with having their own place and time, many of them may feel loneliness and depression without any conversation at home. This point is the positive and negative aspects of living alone for individuals. For society, there will be a lack of small houses but a surplus of big houses. But the business for people who are live alone in many fields will be more developed.

  16. Lemon tree -C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 10:52 am

    When I was freshman, I had to live in dormitory. I lived with my roommate but hardly she came to the room. So it was almost like living alone. At that time, I was really lonely. In my experience, people who live alone can lose their health. Because when you live alone, maybe you don’t care about your meal. When I lived in dormitory, I almost skipped breakfast and ate instant food, fast food etc. I think it is one of the most negative aspects for individual. On the other hand, you can get free and there is no interference from your parents. Maybe it is the best thing. These days, people are getting more selfish. I think that living alone can encourage ‘egoism’ and ‘individualism’. It is the important social problem. But living alone encourage ‘job creation’ so it can work for economic revival. These days, many new businesses for single are created like breakfast delivery and cleaning service and so on. I think these businesses are getting more various and growth. It is very good effect for society.

  17. Betty(CR2-Todd) permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:02 pm

    I often think, someday I want to have my own house and live alone. If I live alone, I will enjoy my life without parent’s interference. But It would be late because of money problem. Several years ago, I lived in dormitory apart from my family. However that didn’t mean real independent living alone because I spent money from my parents. I think, the most important point in being a real independent adult is economical independence, not living alone. For this reason, I don’t agree with the writer(who wrote the article above)’s opinion that he doesn’t respect person living with their parents as a adult. If someone lives alone with parent’s support, the person is still under parents’ control. It means he/she is still an adult child. On the contrary to this, even if someone lives with their parents, he/she can live an independent life.
    I’m not sure whether living alone is welcoming trend or not. Although it has advantages (new market, new communities) there are many problems about it. I think Korea society is not ready to this trend, emotionally and systematically. Korean society already has suffered mental illness caused by rapid social change and individualism. Living alone trend may lead more serious mental illness which could be caused by loneliness. And Crime rate will be higher because of crime targeting woman living alone. Also, as the article said, social security net should be prepared for elders who live alone. Most of them are poor and they need care. I often read articles that an elder living alone was found 20~30 days later after his death. This kind of accident happens frequently. Government should concern these problems and make policy. As a result, living alone trend will raise social cost.

  18. Lia (C2 T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:50 pm

    These days, living alone is one of trend life style that people favor to live. When I was freshman in university, I eagerly anticipated living alone in my own sweet house because I have never lived alone. Living alone seemed to be unconstrained and fantastic for me. The most positive thing of living alone is that it gives a lot of freedom because nobody interferes to private life. The more people live a free life, the more people have to be responsible about their behavior. Therefore, living alone can help people develop responsibility from simple chores to complicated work. In addition, living alone influence to develop new businesses for singles such as smaller fridges, washing machines and furniture as was argued in the article. In contrast, living alone has definitely a negative point. People easily feel loneliness because they don’t have a living companion in the most comfortable space. Additionally, the social atmosphere will be desolate and soulless life because more and more individuals become focus on their own self. Furthermore, living alone is one of the causes of declining rate of child births. All things considered, living alone is depending on how individuals regulate both positive and negative point and how government respects people who prefer single life.

  19. Seven C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:54 pm

    My perspective on living alone is very positive.
    I have been living in a dormitory for 6 years including military service period mingling with my roommates. But now I am tired of living together. I am not saying I don’t want to live with my family, I mean living with other people can be unpleasant. Each person has different lifestyle and preference, so living with other people often make disharmony. Of course there are lots of strengths of living together such as sharing house chores, decreasing loneliness, reducing living cost. But the most problem of living together is there is no privacy. In my case, there is only one room in my dormitory so that my roommate can see me whatever I do. There is no minimum privacy at all. Most people have a tendency that do not want to be invaded their privacy. If so they get stressed.
    But I don’t want to say this is a welcoming trend for Korean society. Koreans have kind of a sharing culture. They share not only food, but also happy, sad event and affection with people. If this living alone phenomenon is continued, this lovely custom will be disappeared.
    From the perspective of society, this phenomenon can increase housing shortage which is Korea’s chronic problem. Then government should provide more places to live.
    In a way, it may create a bigger market for single residents. Industry for single resident is getting popular. It’s not unusual to see products for single residents anymore. Rice pot for single, single table in the restaurant and so on. It can be positive to society economically.

  20. Ronie permalink
    April 19, 2013 2:41 pm

    This trend has not neen too much special for me. I have an experience of living alone and many of people around me are living alone near university. I think the main reason of the trend is the distance between their home and university. That is because it is almost impossible for them to commute from home to university. Although the growth of the number of people living alone is not remarkable to me, I prefer living with family members. Living alone can make me lonely and someone who lives alone may must have many problems. For example, money, food and other supplies that can be satisfied in regular form of households.
    I consider this trend neither positive nor negative. Because living alone has either positive or negative facts. It is important for people to decide to live in a form suitable for him or her. It depends on one’s life style.
    As I talked, living alone can affect individuals and society in some cases. For individual, living alone trend can increase the individuals financial pressure. To get a new home or rooms, people have to spend additional money. Also, the homes or rooms which have reasonable area and are comfortable are usually not cheap. The trend lead applying for a leave of absence especially for university students. Due to the expensive cost of living, the students cannot help working putting aside their study. As the number of those students grows up, getting a room would be so-called ‘War of Getting a Room’. I am not good at economics but I think these increased demand could lead rises of rooms near universities or other popular areas.

  21. Chiodos(T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 4:17 pm

    Q. How do/would you feel about living alone? Is this a welcoming trend for Korean society? What are the positive and negative aspects, both for individuals and society?

    I really do prefer to live alone, or with roommate. My family members are caring but one of the conservative thinker. The article mades me agree no more except one misconception. It can be because of a financial difficulty that young people does not live seperate from their parents. However, for the most part, that’s what parents want their son or daughter to believe. The real reason always lies in parents disagreement on living out. Thesedays in Korea, parents don’t let their son or daughter do something by their own. They think 20 year old adult as a child who still needs their help, the one who can get hurt easily by the society they now encounter. Though this might be true, this extra caring make young people weaker than ever. Moreover, I am mainly skeptical toward the opinion that our country has one of the high increase rate of single living. It COULD be true as society always changes day by day. However, still living with parents are dominant throughout the korean society. (continue)

  22. Dreamcatcher C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 4:26 pm

    In my opinion, living apart from family can help us keep the relationship with parents much better. I have lived with my parents for most of my life, and I found that as I live with my parents, we often have to argue with extremely trivial things and not like about what each others are doing. Crashes occur because we live together.
    But I have a experience of living all by myself for half a year, and found myself more focused and organized in my life when I lived alone. So, I am for the ‘living alone trend’.
    Compared to western countires, Korean young adults live with their parents longer because, according to the article, we are in the situation where it is hard to deal with the residence costs. If sharehouse trend spreads, young adults can become independent from their parents. In this way, they can reduce the crash occuring becasue of the different lifestyle and patterns. They can meet regularly and go out to eat at nice places often and build their relationship in healthier way. They can repect each others lifestyle better.
    Having to pay double residence cost is a big loss and waste socially. Also, becoming too individual can make us become more selfish and difficult to get along with others in teams. However, this living along trend would give the society good effect because young adults can focus on their personal development and work by having their seperate place, and not becoming depedent on their partents anymore.

  23. jenny C1 permalink
    April 19, 2013 5:11 pm

    I read the article and think about living alone. I have never been live alone. If I live alone, I will feel happy and convenient. Because there are my family members, I didn’t have room only for me. So, if I don’t live with my family members, I have an enough place for me and I will dispose my things where I want to put on anywhere. As the reason, other people want to be the situation. According to the graph in article above, a present of single-person rise sharply. I think this is a welcoming trend for Korean society. I agree with this trend as individuals. As mentioned above, I think living alone is convenient. Although people can feel lonely, they feel relaxed easily. I always live with my family thought twenty years. My home usually is noisy. I always have exposure to noise. So, I would like to live alone. However, for society increasing those who live alone is not good. The more people live alone, the more birth rate decrease. Later, it can occur when we didn’t have baby.

    • jenny C1 permalink
      April 19, 2013 5:19 pm

      sorry, I want to change last sentence. this sentence isn’t explained as my intention.

      Later, it can occur when we didn’t have baby -> One day we couldn’t see babies at all

  24. Adrian+C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 7:14 pm

    Living alone is not a new phenomenon. It has already spread since late 90’s. It might be strange for some Koreans because most have strong community spirit. Historically speaking, Korean culture was agriculture-based. In past days, above all things, community spirit was the most important value of our tradition. There were only few people who lived alone. Most of them were lepers or aliens.

    However, with the advances of technologies and industrial changes in state level, the more Korea has been westernized, the more Korean has been individualized. A birth rate is plummeting to an all-time low while a divorce rate and the number of single-elderly is soaring. In my understanding, this social phenomenon is natural consequences of 21st century.

    Personally, I’m very familiar with living alone. I had been abroad for several years and I have lived in Suwon since 2010.(My family live in Seoul) Sometimes I miss my family but I sort of enjoy this loneliness. I can fully utilize time by myself. No one can interrupt this time. If we start living alone in younger ages like college-bound, we can be more independent.

    I think living alone is not welcoming for community centered people, but we’d better accept it as a part of our life than miserable thing. We sometimes need to look deep into ourselves, and capitalize on it as a motive of maturity.

  25. Suffle_C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 7:48 pm

    Is this a welcoming trend for Korean society? What are the positive and negative aspects, both for individuals and society?

    I think that living alone is welcoming trend for Korean society, especially young people. Almost young people live with their family since they are born. They do not think recognition of what are the positive and negative aspects. Before I lived alone, I also did not think. After I entered the university, I could live alone. I finally could get free when I was 20 years. I was really really happy about spending a lot of time with my friends, and I did not need listening to mother’s endless nagging. But other problems came up. I had to make my food, clean my room, and do the laundries. All of these were mother’s responsibility before I lived without my family. From that moment, I realized how difficulty housing was and my thanks to mother. Living alone enable to experience many things which I could not think. Now, Korean young person depend too much on their parents. They lacked the spirit of independent. So, people who came of age should be independent of their parents.

  26. Lora (T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 8:11 pm

    From old times, the family is the nucleus of the community in Korea and it is based on Confucianism. Confucianism is deep―rooted in our society even now. However, Korean society is changing and now our society is overflowing with individualism. Something to notice here is that it’s a little different from individualism in Western countries. Although Korean society is becoming individualism so more and more people tend to live alone, people still think important to get along together, especially family. That’s why I don’t think this phenomenon negatively. This thought, of course, that people are living alone willingly. People gradually want to live alone and if it would be a common phenomenon, our society also will be changed suitable for that. It is natural that society changed by people and also people changed by society. Nobody can do will stop the world changing and after all this time, living alone can be one of the common phenomenon in Korea. Therefore, people need to try to adjust in new society well.

  27. Yeonny + C2 permalink
    April 19, 2013 9:32 pm

    I’ve never lived alone, because I live in my family house, so I don’t know exactly how I feel about living alone but I tried to picture what it would be like to live alone. And I think that living alone keeps me from worrying about various things more than living with someone who is not familiar or friends. Actually, I saw some of case that two or three students lived together at first, but after all there were many problems in due time. In our society, as time goes by, the average age of marriage is getting higher every year. As a result, single households are sprouting across our society. Also the US already has these forms of share houses and they are prevalent across the US. Share houses give me to have my own space and I am free to use the dining room or bathroom at the same time so it was very efficient. Therefore, I think that these share houses should be more constructed in our country.

  28. Karen C1 permalink
    April 19, 2013 10:23 pm

    living on your own can be very comfortable since you are not dependent on anyone and you do not feel any sense of control. You can do with your time whatever you want to and do not need to explain to anyone where you are going are where you will be back. If you are not a stickler for cleanliness, you do not need to bother about keeping your things in order, tidying your room every day or doing washing-up after every meal. Another good side of living alone is the fact that you can listen to your favourite music and no one will complain that it is too loud. Moreover, the choice of TV channels you will watch depends entirely on you and you do not need to make any compromise and watch, for example, a football match in order to have a chance to watch soap-opera later. And, being the only user of the bathroom, you can enjoy long baths or showers since no one will rush you. A very important advantage of living on your own is also the fact that you learn independence and responsibility because you must remember about paying bills on time or about doing shopping. Since there is no one you can count on, you learn to take care of yourself.

  29. Christine(T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:17 pm

    I felt impressed when I read this article. Even I am only a 23 years old, I agree on this single trends in Korea. Many friends of mine are singles who live near the university, even though their house is enough to commute to school. And I think I am the evidence. To speak strictly, I have not been solo. However I lived in dormitory when I was in highschool for 3 years and I live in dormitory now. I was single in most of my adolescent days. When I live alone and with my friends first time, I was so unfamiliar with that atmosphere, so I felt awkward at that time. I felt so much lonely cause I was just a child who are at the age of being given love from family. But things are really strange. After this time(3 years), I matured and knew about real love of family and how to deal with my life’s trouble wisely in terms of relationship, study or myself. This is the biggest positive reason of living as a solo. It gives people time to think about other precious things in their lives and more private time to arrange things(mentally, physically).
    In addition, it gives definite positive aspect of new consumer markets, as the article says. As this trend becomes more higher, the busineess to get these kinds of consumer will become bigger. This can be another way to make a profit for many people.
    Negative point is that the bond of family is going to fade in these days because of single life. I think this bad point can be removed by individual’s effort.

  30. rainbow(T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:18 pm

    Some of my friends said that they don’t want to marry and live alone. Then I asked “How about when you feel lonely? You don’t want to raise your own child?”. They answered it doesn’t matter. They said they can adopt children or raise pets. Like this, the rate of people who don’t want to marry is more and more increasing. In the past, living alone seems negatively to other people, especially for elderly. Most parents forced their offspring to marry in a young age. However, times have changed a lot and people’s way of thinking has also changed. Now in Korea, it is more acceptable to live alone. Also, many young people live alone away from their families. I think this is a good way to be independent for young people and they can raise responsibility. In contrast, living alone is related to the decrease in marriage rate and it leads to decline birth rate too. Korea is already low fertility society so this would be an undesirable result for society.

  31. perfect guy (Cr2) permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:36 pm

    I think living alone is good to know own personality certainly. Because many korean students depend on their parents about money, household, cooking and so on. Many students become to think these works of parents are natural. And we are living with forgeting these worth. And also we don’t know our ability to doing house works. Living alone makes us know our own independence and responsibility.This checking helps us try to develop.
    If we know this teaching through living alone, we will more understand parents and get wisdoms to live world and learn our own characters. We can also know what is really need to us and what have to changed now. So living alone in life will good experience to us.

  32. Misty(C1) permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:52 pm

    Sometimes, I think Living alone is being free from care. In my case of short-term’s dormitory experience, Living alone keeps me from worrying about various things. There is no a nagging person. Nobody touch my business. I can organize my own time properly. However, What is stated in the above article, Living alone may bring freedom, but not necessarily buoyant health or better sex. In respect of the health, There exist risks. For example, Cooking for one’s ownself is atrocious for someone, It usually lead to skip one’s meal. It is not good for one’s health. Another example, mental helath, Loneliness is hard to bear. How someone deal with homesickness is problem. In my case and In case of someone I knew, sense of loneliness becomes doubly acute. In respect of sex, of course, may not a stable relationship in comparison with couple.
    In respect of society, I think it is welcoming trend because I believe we have to accept diversity. And What is stated in the above article, New products for single can be sold, so It is good for economy. But also It can be dangerous in various ways. First, Single can be a sitting target for the burglars. We often see lots of these kinds of news. Second, To put it bluntly, someone was alone in one’s own world. We can’t live alone. We need to communicate with each other. That is the way we can enjoy a normal life in emotionally. Third, There exists Living alone unavoidably. For example, senior citizens who are living alone are suffering from financial hardship, loneliness and etc. The government needs to draw up measures to support senior citizens who live alone.
    Korea has one of the world’s highest rates of growth for single households, according to the Samsung Economic Research institute, and even higher than in the U.S. and Australia. It is a inevitable fact of trend. We need to system that supports who are Living alone.

  33. Alice(T) permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:56 pm

    When I was high school student, I always wished to live alone from my parents after entering university. It was my yearning of my 20’s independent and confident woman’s image to live in my own way in the case of playing all night long with my friends and living a wild life. Unfortunately, entered at nearby university from my home, my dream of live alone broke away. Still, I am so envious of my university friends who live almost dormitory and few rented room because they do not need to worry about a time of last bus or coming out of the presence of boy/girl friend. However, seeing the real life of being alone, my yearning for solitary life has little bit changed from just longing to pity and concern of living alone. As much as its benefits seen externally, there were lots of weaknesses to live alone such as, most important point, loneliness, massive households and fixing every meal things like that. What if any of households is not done during manic examination period? How about returning to home where only an air of silence filled without someone who greets me? This is because Korean society expresses concern about living alone. Not only personal difficulties, social tendency to see living alone as a problematic issue is also exist that is the social climate almost university students enduring like expensive rent, lack of living expenses and as a result, endless part time job and shortage of study hours. These constitute vicious cycle that any students can not overcome but have to resolve.

  34. lullu+C2 permalink
    April 20, 2013 12:00 am

    I feel serious from that article. Even though we don’t have any obligation to marry, too many single households will have negative effects on our future. it leads to the lack of house because land is limitted but demand of houses increase by the growth of single households. In addition, this phenomenon also intensifys egoism rather than now by losing the duty relating to one’s family. So I am worried about this trend.

  35. Nellyboys - c2 permalink
    April 20, 2013 12:29 am

    I live alone near the University, but I don’t do any part time job and receive money from my parents. On Friday, I am going home, until 11 p.m. I really don’t feel I am good because I leave alone. It’s because I have dependency on parents for money. For that reason, I think Share house is really good idea for university student. Once I search share house around this Kyunghee University, there was not share house yet.
    To have one-room, it is convenient but also expensive. Students must have deposit. Deposit is very expensive. For me, I could not make deposit, so I stayed Gosione once. Also students have to make their own meal and it means food also would cost alot. It is not only matter that food costs a lot, serious problem is students have their meal alone. Adult can sleep alone, study alone and clean their room alone, but now eating alone. Eating alone part gives most loneliness. Students who eats alone will get sick soon.
    I also felt freedom when I got a room for my freshman time, but not too long. I prefer living together even though there could be a little argument and inconvenience.

  36. Cookie (T) permalink
    April 20, 2013 12:34 am

     As the article said, Korea has the world’s highest rates of growth for single households, I have experience in living apart from my own family, which could teach me a sense of responsibility and independence. Sometimes, it was a difficult and lonely time to manage household affairs alone and study all at the same time. However, living alone can give people more free time alone, and for society, new customer market for singles can thrive, as the writer pointed out. That’s why I personally think it is a welcoming trend for our society. The problems(I mentioned above) depend on the person’s personality and how to think.
     The thing is, they should not think of their single houses as ‘refuge’. In addition, it is unsound for young people to blindly follow this trend. If they just want to escape from their family members or pressures of communal living, the concept of living alone will be recognized as an negative idea. For society,

  37. Amy(C1) permalink
    April 20, 2013 3:14 am

    I really want to live alone, since I have not been lived alone at all. First year in university, I had to live with my roommate. And now, I have been living with my sister for 3 semesters. For these reasons, I always imagine living alone in my personal place.
    I think that living alone has a variety of benefits. If I live alone, I could escape from my sister’s scolding. I could have liberty, eat what I want, sleep when I want. I can reduce the pressure about paying for my family. And I could have free time.
    Also there are few problems. Living alone is just happy at the moment of first, but as time goes by, we may feel lonely there is no one who can understand, comfort, and support me.
    Right now, I would like living alone rather than living together, but I’m also imagining living with my own family in future. I wish everyone enjoy their own life, and find ‘right’ someone, then enjoy their family life.

  38. Leblanc (C2) permalink
    April 20, 2013 9:48 am

    Until now, I have never been living alone. I like living with other family members because they take care of me and a home is full of energy. Of course, living alone has a positive side for individuals, but there are more negative aspects for individuals and societies. First of all, people who live alone will feel lonely more and more over time. If conditions worsen, they can suffer from depression or insomnia. Second, living alone can weaken national competitiveness. The people living alone usually work hard and sleep in their spare time. In addition, they are likely to delay marriage because they put their success first before anything else. Therefore, they hardly able to meet other people and naturally delay child birth. Furthermore, they will give birth to only a baby, so this is a big problem to societies such as aging society. Finally, living alone can affect health. People who live are usually skip a meal or eat instant food. These habits are very bad for health and can cause diseases such as adult diseases. People can’t live without attention and love. Although living alone is the freedom of the individual, you will know the importance of family and other people over time.

  39. kelly +C1 permalink
    April 20, 2013 2:20 pm

    Recently, the number of people living alone is rising rapidly. I tend to feel lonely when I have a lunch or dinner alone and have no parter who can tell my worry or pleasure thing around me. They frequently have lunch or dinner alone and do not have a parter who can communicate with. So, I feel they are so much lonely and sometimes gloomy. According to statistics in “The Trend on Korea of Living Alone” by James Turnbull, the number of single person has been rising since 2000. the rate of share for smaller households has also been rising since 2000. by expecting, the rate of share for smaller households in 2035 is about twice as high as the rate of share for smaller households in 2000. In my opinion, this is not a welcoming trend for Korean society. This trend have a positive aspect because it can give feeling of freedom for individuals. However, I think this trend have more negative aspects. For society, Korea has a little land, but due to rising of the number of people living alone, more and more house for them. So, in Korea, too much house are built. For individuals, it can sometimes give freedom, but give feeling of lonely to many of people. So, it can cause mental depression and suicide. For these reasons, I think this is not a welcoming trend.

  40. Emily Jeong permalink
    April 20, 2013 8:07 pm

    Nowadays more people are choosing to live with friends or alone rather than with their families. because school, working place or they want more free time.
    Most people in korea have spent approximately more than eighteen years with their family which is enough of their life time.
    Over eighteen years people have disciplined to be one of fair ones who fit into a society well – they have taught not to hurt others.
    Therefore their childhood or adolescenthood is only a part of preparing to be a member of society which means children need cares and supports from their parents. However, the roles of parents disappear when their children are ready to be considered as adults.
    In addition, an individual’s independent lifestyle has more benefits than being domesticated at home.
    One of benefits is that people can learn how to manage more difficult and various problems. As the people feel more uncomfortable, they will figure out how to repel their negatives and promote positives.
    It’s inevitable that people have to go through lifelong learning and living alone is definitely a part of it.
    An extended free time is another advantage of being independent.
    People will need to find how they are going to use their times wise and more efficient when they are left alone. For example, they can have cultural activities such as going to art galleries or theatre. These activities enhance their views on world.
    so, living alone or with friends is a good way of learning. Not only can people learn how to hold a responsible for what they have done, they also can construct much better planning for themselves. I think this trend is likely to have a positive impact on their life.
    For these reasons, I think this is welcoming trend.

  41. choco(T) permalink
    April 21, 2013 3:33 pm

    living alone can be considered in my present situation exactly. I has lived alone since I entered university. I think it has positive points and negative to live alone. Becoming a independent gives freedom to life style. I can stay awake till late and make my own schedule not affected by home schedule. Therefore leaving tied life, I can enjoy the sense of freedom. When I decide schedule, independence for life attitude is developed. In addition, handling problems related in living, I can learn responsibility and get necessary experience. However living alone has negative aspects. Opportunity to learn important wisdom from parents and friends can be missed as living alone. It is also dangerous to think in only oneself’s frame that whether right or not. Moreover freedom which is given to independent makes one person live arbitrarily. Nothing to restrict is sometimes the most frightening thing that do not keep person from wasting money and doing bad things. If one person can live restricting oneself excellently, It will be great opportunity to set up own life.

  42. Kitty C1 permalink
    April 22, 2013 3:01 am

    of course, living alone has both positive aspects and negative aspects.
    to live alone or to start a family is liberty of own choice. to someone, living alone would be free and
    feel comfortable. because he has no one to care. to man, he could less burden of family to support and to woman,
    she could enjoy her life without restriction of family. but on the broad point of view, it is loss.
    it causes decrease in poplulation of course and also obstruck development of economic.
    I think to living alone is quite selfish attitude but no one can’t criticize this. because no one can’t starts a family for others.
    it is just their choice. rather than criticize them, to encourage them is right I think.

  43. Kurtz C1 permalink
    April 23, 2013 3:38 am

    For several years ago, House prices in Korea has been up and down.
    Because it is South Korea’s unstable economic situation. Sharehouse is a result as one of economic changes in South Korea.
    The economy is not good, So marriage rate is dropping. In other words, the proportion of single will increasing. Because it did not collected the money deserve to go led home. But there are positive response people who seem to live single.
    The positive side is that you can enjoy a free life. And basic living expenses can be saved. Because single’s cost less than two people’s costs.
    The negative aspects that cause the aging of the population. The increasing proportion of single means that the birth rate is also reduced. Serious aging of country is falling competitiveness of the country.
    And weaken the quality of life. Marriage is one of the greatest blessings of the divine. The couple can lead a life that was much more stable than the single.
    If your financial is not abundance or not eat and drink heartily, couple is possible to overcome the situation better than single.

  44. C2 hong seok permalink
    April 30, 2013 9:51 pm

    I Think it is in the end. Because these days korean society change very fast so we should be accept that. Also it will be economical to people. And some people like it. But human is social animal. So It is not good way people live a lone. And it connected marry and childbirth. So our society will be decreace population. There are other good point about that but i think it can’t satisfy human’s feeling and emotion

  45. Isabelle-C2 permalink
    May 15, 2013 9:06 am

    I am one of the single households. I’ve lived alone for five years. As I enter a university, I couldn’t commute from my house. It takes two and a half hours to get to my school from my house. The positive thing for me is FREEDOM. When sharing living room with family, there are little space for me because there are six people in my family. I always care about their convenience. I couldn’t insist my privacy there. However, as I started to live in ‘one-room’, the whole thing from kitchen to veranda is mine. I should clean all of them, of course. But I can decide what to do such as listening to the songs loudly. When I have free time, I usually clean the room, cook for meal, and take rest. I am the only one in my room so a lot of ideas are coming up in my mind. Sometimes I feel very lonely – like I am the only person in the whole world. If the radio says nothing, the empty room is full of silence. That’s why I don’t want to get back to my house early. I am very eager to keep finding something new and exciting outside. These are perhaps two sides of the same coin.

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