Ahhh… Instagram. The premiere source for pictures of happy people sipping on champagne in VIP lounges, surfing in Hawaii, and living their hashtag best lives upon a mountain of likes and comments full heart-eye emojis.
We already know that social media can affect our mental and emotional health by hitting us with a wave of FOMO and unrealistic expectations when we scroll through it and see our high school classmates or an influencer (whatever the hell that is) enjoying a Piña Colada somewhere in the Caribbean, while we’re alone and miserable in our apartment.
But what happens when we go to the opposite side of the spectrum?
What happens when social media becomes a symptom of a toxic work culture?
We live in an age of easy-to-access information, and with that, a greater exposure of our own lives as well as the lives of others, including our work. And while it’s not panoramic beach photos, or the cabin of a private jet, there’s still that FOMO-inducing hype. The hype about how hard you work, how much you’re getting done, the impact you’re having, and how you’re #slaying it.
Forty years ago, the American (or more precisely, Western) Dream was to find a job, do your nine-to-five, climb the corporate ladder, see how far you can get before retirement, and then enjoy your pension. This notion spread across the globe and into GenX. And while this is obviously a gross generalization, today, it’s all about being a unicorn, self-made and growing.
You have to hustle to get there, you have to go against everything that comes your way, and your LinkedIn and Instagram followers expect you to come out on top to be part of the club.
Let’s leave the idea of working deep into the night, sacrificing sleep, meaningful meals and conversations with friends, time with family, and overall health.
Passion is a huge driving force, and an incredibly admirable trait in people who hone their craft and share it with the world. Work ethic and quality are important, in anything from being a busboy to a paramedic or a CEO, but working hard for the sake of working hard and getting a pat on the back is absurd and even counterproductive.
We all work hard. We all have obstacles. Instead of fostering a culture where wanting to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy our down time is frowned upon, or considered mediocre at best, let’s help each other achieve our goals without breaking our backs.
Let’s work smart, not hard. Let’s not be the one-human show, doing everything just to prove we can and that we’re worth it. Let’s not normalize the idea of status, when what we need is community.
There will be obstacles, there will be all-nighters to pull, but they should be the exception, not the rule. Some people have larger obstacles, and have to work harder than others to reach the same goal. A lot of GenXers and most Millennials in Latin America have never lived one year without a recession in their lives, and yet in Mexico the phrase “You’re poor because you want to be.” is still common to hear amongst the upper-middle and upper class.
And well, that’s pretty fucked up. And that kind of thinking is going to KILL US. And with everything else that we’re dealing with in this day and age, it’s time for a change, and it’s time to kill the hustle.
Iván is one of the Enterprise Coordinators at Fuckup Nights. He studied design at UAM in Mexico City and has a passion for nature and how we interact with public space and the outdoors. This has led him to become an amateur mountain climber and rescue worker. As an entrepreneur he has jump-started and failed different projects in the retail and service industries. He looks keep learning and is about to start a Master in Planning to learn how to create better cities and spaces.