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Cocooning is the name given to the trend that sees individuals socializing less and retreating into their home more. The term was coined in the 1990s by Faith Popcorn, a trend forecaster and marketing consultant:
- Cocooning has been in our bank for thirty years. That's how early we discovered cocooning, and cocooning is about staying home, creating a safe place around you, the gardeners being the barrier, between the garden and the alarm systems being the barrier, filtration systems for water and air, working at home (...) every inch of it you have, you have some of this (...) how many days can I work at home? That's cocooning.
Popcorn identified cocooning as a commercially significant trend that would lead to, among other things, stay-at-home electronic shopping. Since Popcorn coined the term, the trend has continued. The creation of the internet, home entertainment technology, advances in communication technology (cellphones, PDAs, and smartphones) which allow "work-at-home" options, and demographic changes have made cocooning an increasingly attractive option. If a reasonable amount of progress has been made when one is cocooning, one may expect the subject to have a breakthrough and emerge like a butterfly to enjoy life.
William A. Sherden in The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions (ISBN 0-471-35844-4) takes a skeptical view of Popcorn's ideas about cocooning, among other things, and concludes she was simply wrong on several key issues.[clarification needed] Columnist Joe Soucheray was critical of the term as early as 1994; the first incarnation of the web site for his Garage Logic radio show noted that although some insects engaged in cocooning, it was "not practiced by humans." A chapter in the book Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk has a character named Lady Baglady, who produces a short story called "Slumming", in which cocooning is mentioned as an ill of modern society.
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