Five years ago, Luo Huazhong discovered that he liked to do nothing. He quit his job as a factory worker in China, cycled 1,300 miles from Sichuan Province to Tibet, and decided he could get by on odd jobs and $ 60 a month of his savings. He called his new lifestyle “lying flat”.
“I got cold feet,” Mr. Luo, 31, wrote in a blog post in April, describing his lifestyle. “I don’t think there is anything wrong. “
He titled his article “Lying Flat Is Justice”, attaching a photo of him lying on his bed in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Soon after, the post was celebrated by Chinese millennials as an anti-consumer manifesto. “Lying flat” went viral and has since become a larger statement on Chinese society.
A generation ago, the road to success in China was to work hard, get married, and have children. The country’s authoritarianism was seen as a fair compromise as millions of people were lifted out of poverty. But with employees working longer hours and house prices rising faster than incomes, many young Chinese fear they are the first generation not to do better than their parents.