The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: What is ‘Bed Rotting’?Reading Time: 4 minutes
It’s a little like ‘wasting away,’ but as a self-care strategy.
This week, all children and young people are rotting in their beds, but it’s not due to illness, disgust, or unemployment. It’s the ‘new’ trend of just not wanting to do anything, because that takes effort. (Relatable.)
I may be a crusty old bastard, but I feel a kinship with Generation Z when it comes to ‘bed rotting.’ These young people are making doing nothing into a lifestyle and I am fully onboard. Bed rotting is big on TikTok and the practice is part of a larger movement that includes JOMO (joy of missing out) and an appreciation for all things cozy.
Bed rotting differs from ‘hiding from the world’ or ‘suffering from overwhelming depression’ in the intentional way it’s practiced. When you’re bed rotting, it’s not that you’re unable to face the world; you’ve chosen not to. It’s about happily saying ‘fuck all that‘ to the outside world and instead choosing to lay down, eat your favorite food, binge a TV show, and pet your cat instead. Whether it’s done for a few hours after work or school, or for days at a time, bed rotting is not being lazy. It’s practicing self-care.
In a way, bed-rotting is an aspect of JOMO, or ‘joy of missing out’ in which one experiences fulfillment from consciously rejecting the demands and expectations of the outside world. The quietness of Gen-Z is also seen in the rise of coziness. Gamers are making best-sellers out of ‘cozy video games’ like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing , and online spaces like Reddit’s ‘CozyPlaces’ board are full of people fetishizing the coziest and most comfortable places on earth. Who wouldn’t want to bed rot here, am I right?
On the opposite side of the spectrum from lazing around in bed all day: young people’s constant quest for physical beauty, the latest expression of which comes in the form of AI-powered TikTok filters. Old timey filters have been around for years, but If you’ve ever questioned the manufactured reality they create, you haven’t seen anything yet. The next generation of video filters use artificial intelligence to create seamless, idealized images that are only loosely based on their source photos, but look legit.
Put your face through the ‘Bold Glamor‘ filter on TikTok and you’ll end up with a sharpened chin, smoother skin, brighter cheeks and more. Because it’s AI powered, you can move, speak, wave your hands in front of your face, and do basically anything and it will still look vaguely ‘real.‘
While TikTok doesn’t reveal the secret sauce behind its filters, it’s believed to be using Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) to rebuild faces in real time, pixel by pixel. How seeing themselves and others as ‘flawless’—but only on their phones—will affect young people’s self-esteem and mental health isn’t really knowable at this point, but some experts fear it will lead to body dysmorphia and depression. We should probably just let children play around with it anyway, because what the hell, right? At least AI will be making us pretty before destroying whatever is left of society.
I’m always impressed with how younger people carefully consider the world around them instead of grimly enduring it like people who are over 30. This week that consideration has led to the ‘color person trend,’ a way of classifying the people you care about with specific colors. Your purple person is ‘someone that you can trust.’ Your orange person is ‘someone you haven’t known long but they make you so happy without without even realizing it.’ It goes on like that for black, teal, red, and every other color that exists.
The idea is you tag your friend who fits the color so they know how they feel about them. A nice, if confusing gesture. In adult terms, the trend is meaningless, pseudo-deep like astrology, and will be forgotten about after 8th grade. But for right now, for the kid who’s into it, it’s important, and it’s cool. So I’m trying very hard to check my cynicism.
To most gamers, the fun of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is in discovery and exploration of the game’s sprawling world and seemingly endless sandbox opportunities. Fully completing the game takes an estimated 200 hours. But speedrunners play games differently. Their goal is get to the ending as quickly as possible. The average gamers can expect to spend about 55 hours just finishing Tears of the Kingdom‘s main plot. Japanese YouTuber/speed-runner Zdi6923 has completed the new Zelda game in under an hour. As for how he did it, the spoiler free version is ‘he used glitches and exploits to get to the final boss fast.’
For a more in-depth look, check out this week’s viral video from Linkus7. ‘How Speedrunners Beat Tears of The Kingdom in UNDER 1 HOUR‘ breaks down every glitch, exploit and error that lets you finish this epic game insanely quickly.
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