by Natanael Andrew Martin ( B27)

The act of “healing” is one of the recent cultural phenomena that has been spread throughout social media by predominantly Indonesian youths. So, what does “healing” mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary healing is the process of becoming or making somebody/something healthy again. With this definition, it can be said that the “healing” posted by many Indonesian youths means that they are recovering their strength and general health, particularly their mental well-being after a hard day’s work. Many different “healing” activities have been posted on social media, amongst these are: eating, walking around at nighttime, playing with pets such as cats and dogs, and many more. Despite the diverse number of activities considered as “healing”, there is one type of activity that is often done with the justification of healing oneself and that is going on vacation.

There are many posts of people sharing on social media such as X formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and so on about “healing” by going to vacation locations. Many posts of people “healing” themselves by going on vacation are trending, for example, there is a video posted by a TikTok account named Adndprmt about her “healing” by going on a picnic near a river with 830.4K likes and 34.4K shares. Another one was by another TikTok account named Mhmdirffn where he went “healing” at a famous vacation place at Puncak Bogor with 234K likes and 27.3K shares. Lastly, another TikTok video by firagintingg12 with 452.1K likes and 10.7K shares, the video shows a group of friends playing on a field with a title that says, “Let’s go healing with us”. These trending videos influence our behaviours, particularly young Indonesians. So why are Indonesian youth taking vacations to heal themselves and what are the effects of this new trend on Indonesian society?

Dhea a university student from Bekasi, west Java who was interviewed by Liputan 6, said that she and her friends were planning to go on a vacation to Pulau Seribu for “healing” as it was not too far from Bekasi. Her reasoning for why she wanted to go “healing” by going on a vacation was so that she wasn’t too overwhelmed and tired by the routines of work and university. She said that after she finished her vacation, she would feel like her energy had been restored which means that she would be able to go back on her routine of school and work. So, it could be said that Indonesian youth are doing these to relax themselves from work and school.

Healing is not only about vacations but also about mental health. According to clinical psychologist Nirmala Ika “healing” is the process of healing one’s mental health from past traumas and bad feelings. So why are suddenly Indonesian youths starting to talk about “healing”? It could be because of the powerful influence social media has on society, but what started the trend first? According to our world in data, approximately the average working hour per year of an average Indonesian worker was 2,024 hours in 2017. While there are countries with higher average working hours than Indonesia like China, India, Mexico, and Cambodia, there are plenty of other countries with even fewer working hours than Indonesia. Countries like the USA have an average working hours of 1,757, Nigeria with 1,827 hours, Russia with 1,974 hours, the UK with 1,670 hours, France with 1,514 hours, Germany with 1,354 hours, and Norway with 1,417 hours. These show that the average working hours in Indonesia could potentially be reduced, which might be the reason why people particularly the youth in Indonesia are starting to do “healing” activities as they are overwhelmed with work thus, they do more vacations to relieve their mental well-being from the hardship of work and schools. This means that the effect of healing on people is positive as it helps them to take a break and regain their energy for the next day. But at the same time, it could also pressure people into going to expensive vacation places that they may not be able to afford which can be quite harmful.

I believe the best thing to know on how to do “healing” is not by watching other people going on vacations to places which you can’t go to but rather focus on yourself; what makes you happy and what makes you feel at peace, by knowing this one can truly achieved what we call “healing”. This cultural phenomenon also affected me as seeing all the people “healing” themselves made me realize that I need to have a hobby that truly can bring me peace to heal myself from the hardship of university so that I may regain the energy to be more effective the next time I return. Predicting the future is something that can’t be done easily, especially for a layman such as me. However, I will attempt to predict what the outcome of this cultural phenomenon is for Indonesian society and our work culture.

From what had been previously written, it can be said that this cultural phenomenon has spread contagiously into the psyche of the Indonesian youth from Gen Y to Gen Z with the great power of social media that has granted many Indonesians a voice in the vast interconnected world of the web. Through it, many were able to discuss and share things about what “healing” was. Many of those “healing” posts were about their vacations, which influenced many Indonesian youth to do the same. I believe that the outcome in the short run would be more Indonesian youth taking breaks from work and school to go “healing” whether that be going on vacation or other leisure. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people are going to go “healing” as the trend dies off, but it will bring up a new discussion in Indonesian society which will be about how the amount of time and pressure can affect one mental health and the importance of working hours that aren’t too stressful. I predict in the future that once Gen Z gets older many will take this question seriously and start to make changes and reforms in the workplace so that the working hours become more flexible and less stressful.

In conclusion, this new cultural phenomenon emerges due to the pressure of modern work culture and the attitudes of Indonesian Youth, and from this Indonesian society and work culture may one day change.