Work is now the only place people exert themselves

 We live in a world of work. It is expected that you go to work and you work as hard as you can. Since the industrial revolution work has become increasingly specialized and niche. This has meant that employers are looking for increasingly small numbers of specialized skills and employees are tailoring their lives to fit into these boxes. Many workers have, consciously or unconsciously, accepted that all their mental capabilities should be spent at work doing the narrow thing that they are paid to do.

The result of this is that we have a society that is made up of disconnected individuals. I look at other people’s jobs and can’t see the point of it, they look at mine and think the same.

We are increasingly making things for other workers to do in their spare time. Production only makes sense in terms of other people working- do you need to make mindless entertainment for people that have the time and mental energy for other things?

Many people can no longer see the point in self-improvement activities that they are not paid to do, or that don’t directly add to their cvs. This means that people now view themselves as walking CVs, it is no longer worth doing things for their own sake.

Why dress smartly, why learn anything non-commercial? Surely you work to earn money so you can spend money, they think. I notice this, particularly with things like reading and learning history. People constantly think about the payout- what is in it for me and my career.

Maybe this has always been the case to some extent, but the rise of lifestyle influencers has made this worse. There is an increasing disconnect between doing things because one wants to do them and for the way they appear. Go to any major city and you see tourists, most of them have no idea about the history of the place, they just seem to want to take photos to show off to their friends. I do not even think they enjoy being in these places, they don’t have time to.

We are losing the love of doing things for their own sake and it is being replaced by a superficial world of symbols and status games. This suits big business but creates a world of superficial individuals, who can no longer take enjoyment in small, free things; don’t have enough time for thinking, and can’t see the difference between how things appear and how things are.

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