[TALKING TRENDS] 'Tissueship'
The author is a senior reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo
“Tissueship” is a combination of “tissue paper,” a piece of thin soft paper, and “relationship.” It refers to a one-time relationship, where you meet someone only when you need him or her and then cut the person off if you don’t feel the need to get in touch again.
In the digital era, tissueship is quite common. Online, you communicate with so many random people by replacing your face with an ordinary profile picture and introducing your nickname instead of your real name. You can have a chat with someone you don’t know to share information and then just block him or her if you don’t want to talk with the person anymore. This is average everyday life for young people.
“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends,” said H. Jackson Brown, Jr. There are so many quotes about an old friendship where individuals get closer and build a strong relationship. The older generations who grew up on this this sort of relationship feel uncomfortable with tissueship.
For sure, young people who prefer tissueship have their own problems. In these uncertain times, they feel that the manners they need to navigate society impose a burden on them. So they have a meal alone, go shopping alone and grab a drink alone.
The young long to get rid of the fatigue caused by relationships. The fact that the number of one-shot gatherings are growing shows this clearly. For instance, young people gather to go jogging together for a short time and then go back home without feeling any pressure to go for a drink or a meal. They have found their own way to stand in this world, rather than isolating themselves against others.
All we can do is watch them quietly and let them work it out on their own. But even pieces of tissue paper get pretty heavy if you pile up enough of them.
BY SEO JEONG-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]