Supposedly 66% of Americans do not believe they have a good work life balance and frankly businesses aren’t helping, unlike France who encourages employees to disconnect digitally from work and gives 25 mandatory vacation days a year. Most working class americans are working long hours, weekends, and holidays, not too mention making minimum wage.
I’ve been a part of that statistic ever since I graduated high school, and because of labor laws protecting minors I still I had the chance to do teenager stuff even though I was working over 20 hours a week. Now as a “legal adult” I work long hours and get paid decent but I’m also too exhausted to do anything but sleep and work. Although I can take care of my basic needs, as someone who has a lot of dreams and wants to do well in life I find it hard to make time for productive activities or even fun activities. Of course work is a productive activity, I need money and everyone has to work crappy jobs before success, but as far as my dreams go I don’t want to be working at a supermarket my whole life so it can be a struggle convincing my brain that my reality now won’t be my reality forever.
As for having fun outside of work, it can be difficult because even though I have two days out of the week off, I find myself just catching up on all the tasks I got behind on while I was working. Employers are expecting almost 24/7 responses from their employees, leaving little to no time for things like family time, self care, fitness, and most importantly fun. Even at my job now, most people I work with are expecting to get called in begrudgingly on their days off. This is one of the key reasons I would like to start my own business someday, I could manage my time without having to cater to someone else’s needs. I read somewhere that modern culture has taken the role of work and put it as priority whereas in the past things like family were priority. I don’t know why that is and I’m not sure what to do about it but what I do know is I need to allow myself to make something other than work a priority sometimes.
Yes, I can blame the all work no play environment but also I have to take responsibility for the habits I’m doing, or not doing, to boost energy and fulfilment. 57% of those unsatisfied said that technology has ruined family dinner times, not only that but in my personal opinion technology is ruining Generation Z’s self esteem, motivation, and work ethic. Every single day I choose to scroll mindlessly through my phone, at the end of my night I couldn’t tell you one useful thing. I’m wasting literal hours of my day, hundreds of hours of my life on technology. A co-worker of mine and I were having a conversation the other day about her reading a book before work, she said “that’s just not something kids do anymore”. She is so right, eight year olds are getting the latest IPhone’s, babies don’t want to play with toys anymore they want our phones.
Don’t get me wrong I think technology is an awesome resource but we also have so much nonsense, mind-numbing material. Out of everything on the internet the amount of educational or resourceful information is miniscule compared to the dumb shit you see. If we took the vast database of knowledge we have on the web now and put it to education instead of prioritizing entertainment, I believe we would raise a much more intelligent generation. It’s all about balance something most don’t understand, you can most definitely watch all that netflix and youtube but is that really the only thing you can do? There are so many educational and interesting podcasts out there or even you can paint along with Bob Ross on youtube. Hey, maybe even push the bubble and read a book or take a walk or reorganize your house, there is so much to be done and frankly the balance seems to be in favor of the less productive tasks.
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