About a year ago, we first discussed the growing community of people who call themselves “DINKs.”
DINK is an acronym that stands for “dual income, no kids.” These are the childless by choice folks, who get married and could have kids, but choose instead to have a barren, sterile relationship focused entirely on their own superficial wants and desires.
The DINKs are getting a lot of attention these days, especially over the past week. On Monday, Business Insider ran a piece titled: “Meet the typical DINK: They have over $200,000 in the bank and aren’t paying for pricey childcare.”
The article tells us that DINKs are seeing their ranks grow, as a high cost of living and the climate crisis weigh particularly on people with children. DINKs are making six figures and want to spend their money on their pets and traveling.
According to 2022 American Community Survey data, around 5% of the country’s total population was cohabiting couples who do not live with a child under 18, and around 29% of the total population are married couples who do not live with a child under 18. Among unmarried couples, that figure is slightly up from 2019 when 4.4% of the population was cohabiting couples not living with a child under 18.
The US Census Bureau also finds that the aging population is increasingly childfree — as of 2018, over one in seven women were childless by the time they were between the ages of 40 and 44. That’s higher than the one in 10 women who were in the same boat as of 1976.
A Pew survey found that 44% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 said they were not likely or not at all likely to have kids someday — up from 37%.
This week, there has been a sudden surge in TikTok videos promoting the DINK lifestyle. Most of them follow the same format, which revolves around their increased ability to buy stuff. This is a theme that runs through basically all of the DINK propaganda.
For DINKs, snacks and Costco play, apparently, a central role in their lives. On their deathbeds, while they’re lying there alone with no one to mourn them or care that they’re dying, or remember them when they’re gone, if the hospice nurse asks them to pass along a final piece of wisdom, they will look up and with their final, dying breath, whisper: “Get a Costco membership. They have great deals on Cheez-Its.”
A person’s life has to revolve around something. It has to be dedicated to something. And even by their own testimony, it’s clear that when people choose to be childless, their lives inevitably revolve around pure, self-centered, unadulterated, unencumbered, consumption. This is what makes the rise of the DINKs so catastrophic.
If the DINK lifestyle were adopted by a majority of humans, it would spell the end of the human species. The rise of the childless by choice demographic is the rise of a group that has, in principle, given up on finding any meaning in life beyond the multiplication and satisfaction of desire.
So the DINKs will grow in number, but they will also grow in misery. They will live superficial lives, and die anonymous deaths. And, if they have their way, they’ll take civilization down with them. But at least they’ll get to spend more time at Costco.
Why It Matters (op-ed)
The growing popularity of the DINK (dual income, no kids) lifestyle is a concerning trend. Choosing to forgo parenthood in favor of a life dedicated to consumption and materialism is a self-centered decision that threatens our society’s future.
The recent surge in TikTok videos promoting the DINK lifestyle showcases a disturbing preoccupation with material possessions. This focus on consumption as the primary source of fulfillment is a shallow and ultimately empty pursuit.
A majority adoption of the DINK lifestyle would spell disaster for humanity, as a society without children is a society without a future. While DINKs may find temporary happiness in their materialism, they risk living superficial lives and dying anonymous deaths, taking civilization down with them.
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