What is cocooning?
Cocooning is the term when a person isolates himself or hides himself from the normal social environment and instead chooses to stay at home and socialize less and less. This behavior usually manifests itself when one perceives the social environment as disturbing, unfavorable, unsafe or even unwelcome. The rapid innovation and growth of technology has contributed to an increase in the number of individuals who co-account in their homes and socialize through the Internet rather than normal human interaction. Because communication and entertainment technology is very productive and can be found in many forms anywhere in the home, more and more people are living in physical isolation.
This term was popularized in the 1990s by a marketing consultant and writer named Faith Popcorn. She explained that there are three different types of cocoons: the socialized cocoon, the armored cocoon, and the wandering cocoon. The socialized cocoon is one that offers home privacy along with the ability to socialize through cell phones and other media, while an armored cocoon creates an invisible barrier to protect a person from outside threats like network firewalls and surveillance cameras. A wandering cocoon, on the other hand, travels when traveling, but provides a technological barrier that protects a person from the environment, like jogging with headphones to create a private soundscape and an excuse to ignore other people. This is how people often use smartphones.
While technology makes cocooning easier, it's not new behavior. In fact, it became a trend during the Cold War when people became involved in home entertainment such as home video games and recreational activities at home, which later led to the introduction of swimming pools and trampolines. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, a new generation of cocooning took place. Homeowners began developing their homes with media rooms or home theaters and converted bedrooms and kitchens for entertainment. This was partly due to fears that crowded public spaces would be more the target of terrorists than single homes. As a result, people wanted to recreate public entertainment areas in their own homes.