Health and Wellness

South Koreans are fighting loneliness by adopting little stones

The Wall Street Journal spoke to 33-year-old Koo Ah-young, who adopted a pet rock after starting a new job in Seoul. She didn’t want to worry her friends or family about her deteriorating mental health and felt like getting a pet animal would be too much responsibility for her. So instead, Koo got a pet rock and named it “Bang-bang-i”, inspired by the Korean word for jumping in happiness. She told The Wall Street Journal that the rock has inspired her to get through hard times: “There was some sense of serenity, knowing that this natural rock had weathered a lot over the course of time to reach its current state.”

According to a July 2023 report by Korea JoongAngDaily, the coronavirus pandemic also promoted a pet-rock boom, and you can find hundreds of South Koreans showcasing their pet rocks on TikTok. 

While this story sounds outwardly cute, stories like this should radicalise us. Even though it’s important that people are being reminded to connect with the natural world, it shouldn’t replace real human connection. Capitalism isolates us significantly, but we must fight not to internalise capitalism ourselves. 

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  • Source of information and images “dazeddigital”

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