Do you know the latest trend on Weibo? The term 摆烂 (bǎi làn) – literally “to let rot” – has generated hundreds of millions of views on social media platform Weibo in recent months and seems to be the latest buzzword. The slang describes a young generation that abandons its goals because they seem too difficult to achieve, and seems to have its origins in basketball, where teams voluntarily retire when they lose a battle.
Perhaps this movement is the result of an endless pandemic, lockdowns, lack of travel, or simply a great fear among young people. Feeling that they cannot change their lives because the situation is out of their hands, many of them have decided to adopt a passive lifestyle.
However, this does not mean that they live off their parents. The movement simply describes the desire of youth to live a simpler life where work is not the center of their existence. This movement could be seen as the opposite of the “996” phenomenon, which means that workers have to work six days a week from 9am to 9pm. Netizens joke on various social media platforms with memes and the slogan: “Someone has to be a loser! Why not me?” – has become the most popular “Let it rot” slogan.
It remains to be seen whether the “let it rot” trend will continue or not. Right now, China’s young people are focused on their personal happiness and aspirations. This movement should not be taken lightly and should be considered by companies looking to expand their teams. Investing more in motivating Generation Y (Millennials, born in the 80s) and Generation Z (Zoomers, born in the 90s) could be the right approach and give companies an edge over their competitors.
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