Let’s be honest here: we’re all screwed up as humans. The modern world moves at the speed of light, and we lose more and more of what really matters. We take pills to sleep and be happy. We talk to strangers about our feelings. We hide ourselves away online. We text instead of call. More and more, we’re disconnected from people and community.
So, here we are with another decade. What BS will come out of this one? Work-life balance is one from 2010s that circulated a lot. There’s always been this sort of crap in ever decade since the 1960s (if we’re thinking about being modern). Think of the 80s and 90s with fad diets and healthy food alternatives? Have your cake and eat it too! Get your stomach stapled! All of this is a shallow, pathetic attempt to have our modern cake and suffocate on it. We want to text, because it’s safer. We’d rather be online, because we can avoid confronting ourselves and can invent whoever we want. We talk to strangers (therapists), because we’re afraid of being judged by people in our life. We take pills, because it’s easier than accepting ourselves.
What work-life balance says is that work is conflict. No, it isn’t. Work-marriage. This and that. As though your work isn’t helping you? It keeps me busy and my mind productive. It keeps me from going into a spiral of depression. It keeps me sane. It’s not being a workaholic – it’s about giving me something to do in the endless nothingness that is living. If we didn’t work, we’d go insane! Didn’t being stuck at home during the pandemic teach us that? It’s all marketing. Business. Someone makes money off all of it. Life coaches, CBT, anti-depressants. They exploit our feelings of emptiness. We’re looking in all the wrong places for fulfillment, and there are people who have no problem taking advantage of that.
We all buy into this philosophy for the mediocre, desperately hoping that it will cure our existential dread. People use to pray to gods for the same reason, but they were silent. Now we get a response from businesses. We get affirmation from people who pretend to care about us. They don’t. We’re useful to them. We’re still just as empty, though. And we keep going back for more.