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Slobbing Out, Giving Up, And Going ‘Goblin Mode’

At some point in the stretch of days between the start of the pandemic’s third year and the feared launch of World War III, a new phrase entered the zeitgeist, a mysterious harbinger of an age to come: people are going “goblin mode.”

The term embraces the comforts of (laziness): spending the day in bed watching [the TV] on mute while scrolling endlessly through social media, pouring the end of a bag of chips in your mouth; downing Eggo waffles over the sink because you can’t be bothered to put them on a plate. Leaving the house in your pajamas and socks only to get a single Diet Coke from the bodega.

“Goblin mode” first appeared on Twitter as early as 2009, but according to Google Trends “goblin mode” started to rise in popularity in early February 2022. “Goblin mode is kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself,” says Juniper, who declined to share her last name. “I think that’s the kind of energy that we’re giving going into 2022 – everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”

But as the pandemic wears on endlessly, and the chaos of current events worsens, people feel cheated by the system and have rejected such goals. On TikTok, #goblinmode is rising in popularity. “I love barely holding on to my sanity and making awful selfish choices and participating in unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms,” said another with 325,000 views.

Many people tweeting about goblin mode have characterized it as an almost spiritual-level embrace of our most debased tendencies. Call it a vibe shift or a logical progression into nihilism after years of pandemic induced disappointment, but goblin mode is here to stay. And why shouldn’t it? Who were we trying to impress, anyway?

Possible Preaching Angle:

The world seems to be unraveling as people give themselves over to apathy, selfishness, and hopelessness. Let’s remember “the hope we have” (1 Pet. 3:15) and “shine as lights in a dark world” (Phil. 2:15) and keep up self-discipline and godly behavior while we wait for the Lord’s return (Phil. 3:20).


Adapted from Kari Paul, “Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’? The Guardian (3-14-22)

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