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South Koreans are adopting pet rocks to cope with loneliness and overwork


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In South Korea, a unique trend of purchasing pet rocks has emerged among overworked young adults as a way to cope with loneliness and burnout. This trend was influenced partly by public figures such as K-pop stars and an actor, who showcased their own pet rocks, igniting interest among the public. The phenomenon gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding to its popularity as people sought companionship in these low-maintenance ‚Äúpets.‚ÄĚ

 

Pet rocks offer a form of stress relief and a sense of companionship without the responsibilities associated with traditional pets like dogs or cats. These rocks are often personified by their owners with names and sometimes even decorated. Owners find solace in caring for these rocks, attributing to them a listening ear for their worries and day-to-day experiences.

 

The resurgence of pet rocks in South Korea is also linked to the increasing number of single-person households in the country, reflecting a broader social shift towards solitary living conditions. The appeal lies in the minimal commitment required, providing a sense of comfort and presence that counters feelings of isolation without adding the burden of care associated with living creatures.


 



 

Image: AI-generated

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