TikTok’s ‘Bed-Rotting’ Trend Is Actually Upsetting Some People

Imagine having a problem with rest.

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One thing about TikTok I personally love is the tendency of its users to give a name to a thing we’ve been doing since the beginning of time and making it less embarrassing. 

At the moment, TikTok is working its magic to destigmatise rest, and thank you TikTok for this gift. A newly named self-care practise, bed-rotting, has entered the lexicon to describe those those times you’ve taken to lying in bed, whether it’s to unwind from the work week, watch Succession under your doona, or just lie on your tummy like a pancake to process the existential confusion that is being alive. 

Ultimately, it’s literally just being in bed, which TikTokers are embracing in a way that makes it seem intentional instead of shameful. In many ways, this is what self-care was originally about — staying across the basics like eating and rest, so that you can come up against the world with your batteries fully charged. In a world that doesn’t really are about you, especially when you’re a marginalised person, that’s still a radical idea.

It’s such a radical idea that there are people who have taken upon themselves to have a problem with the trend. “You should never be at home. That’s what I tell young people,” said Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School Of Business. “Home is for seven hours of sleep and that’s it,” he reckons, adding, “The amount of time you spend at home is inversely correlated to your success professionally and romantically.” You heard this man. Inversely correlated! 

The New York Post also decried bed rotting as a trend for “lazy Gen Zers” and added that it may involve also “stuffing their faces with sugary snacks”. For shame.

Of course, as we learnt during the pandemic, being at home is not great for the economy, and what is even the point of being alive if our every action isn’t being devoted to being a perfect economic unit? Also, bed rotting isn’t even the type of self-care that can be marketed to sell us something, like an overpriced face mask or hydrating serum.

Interestingly, no one was complaining that Gen Z spends too much time being domestic when they were setting up their aesthetic workplaces or posting their morning routines, so you have to wonder: is putting your head on a pillow just threatening to the economic order because it’s good for you and also free? Whatever the case, there’s never been a cosier way to rebel.