Lazy Culture: Harmless coping mechanism or unhealthy romanticization?

A group of friends chit-chat over lunch, happily talking about their day. “I got six hours of sleep last night,” is casually dropped into conversation. Suddenly, the whole group is comparing and competing their terrible sleep schedule.

This is a common occurrence at high schools. Everyone is aware of the proverbial ‘lazy culture,’ although some people may not know the name for it.

“I think (lazy culture) is mostly for comedy, or maybe as a gloat sometimes,” freshman Shrikant Patel said.

Romanticizing laziness is a problem among the recent generations, and it has been so ingrained into our minds that partaking in lazy culture is almost a second reflex to some. Our school life or mental health takes a toll on our day-to-day life, and sometimes it’s easier to joke about it.

“I believe it comes from humans’ natural instinct to compete, especially with teenagers’ social stigma largely inflicting negativities on participants,” freshman Ethan Julian said. 

Many use it as a coping mechanism. Sometimes making light of your horrible situation can help your mental state. It’s almost a form of gentle nihilism.

“It’s hard to say that I condone it, because it isn’t exactly a great thing, however, it’s something I’m very accustomed to at this point, and it’s a habit which I can’t break at current moment,” junior Max Whitley said, “I see it a lot, almost every school day. I don’t think it’s something that can be dissuaded or prevented entirely, since it’s just habit to a lot of people.”

I don’t think there is any single, nonobtrusive way to prevent this. People are free to discourage, not to monitor others’ conversations or intrapersonal competitions.”

— freshman Ethan Julian

However, sometimes it is just plain unhealthy. Romanticizing an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to one actively keeping one’s unhealthy way of living the way it is in order to one up their peers. It can also just damage one’s perception of their situation, saying that what you have is fine, especially when it obviously isn’t, can make one’s perception self-destructive.

In the end, lazy culture is just a tiny fragment of one’s psyche, but it can lead to a negative mindset that can follow a person for the rest of their life. You can’t change your lifestyle without first changing your mindset.

“We could prevent (lazy culture) by simply not doing it ourselves, if everyone stops doing it, it no longer becomes a part of society,” freshman Matthew Malak said.