There’s a crop of influencers romanticizing the workday. Is that a good thing?
Such is the world of #ProductivityTok, or the suite of young adult content creators whose job is to teach America’s next generation of workers how to live to work. The genre harks back to what Cybernaut’s Fadeke Adegbuyi dubbed the “study web,” a network of Tumblr, YouTube, Discord, and Instagram influencers who encourage students to study with aestheticized livestreams and high school hacks.
Here, the personal and professional blend. The goal, it appears, is to strive constantly, so even self-care is a means to an end. “One never exits a kind of work rapture, in which the chief purpose of exercising or attending a concert is to get inspiration that leads back to the desk,”
In other words, relaxation doesn’t exist in the “study web” unless it serves a clear purpose. You go on vacation because it rejuvenates you ahead of a busy season. You work out because the endorphins make meetings more tolerable. You read, but never for pleasure.