Either it’s because I personally experienced the Great Recession, the launch of social media and the iPhone, and my worldview expanded greatly as one does in undergrad all at once, or it really is a new phenomenon that your employer has no loyalty to you, so one must rely on their own. With social media, these themes are just further perpetuated and there’s a pressure to start companies.
I’ve already worked my ass off at my day job, and just want my hobbies to not turn into side projects or “side hustles”. I don’t intend on starting companies based on them.
Agreed with you until this point. At least the junk TV I know also involves (be it consciously or not) comparing yourself, this time with celebrities instead of acquaintances.
Mostly though it just takes time to build a life, and a you, that you love enough that you win most of those comparisons to celebrities. Think about how most celebs are basically slaves in various ways: slaves to public opinion, to the Hollywood social hierarchy, to the crappy contracts under which most of them are laboring, and especially to the fear of not being famous/loved/accepted tomorrow, of being replaced by one of the thousands of others who (maybe just as tragically) would jump at the chance to have that person's shitty contract and precarious perch on the ladder of fame. Slaves to the empty holes in their souls that they have been filling with the quest for fame probably their whole lives. Ah, but to the extent that you spend time on social media, seeking approval from strangers, you are (or your avatar is) kind of a micro-celebrity and would tend to be plagued by all those same problems! So yeah, that ruins it. All the more reason to get the hell off of there, ideally permanently!
>Cats have done the seemingly impossible: They’ve integrated themselves into the modern high-tech world without giving themselves up. They are still in charge. There is no worry that some stealthy meme crafted by algorithms and paid for by a creepy, hidden oligarch has taken over your cat. No one has taken over your cat; not you, not anyone.
Your writing here is now in the quote collection along with a number of other HN comments over the years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)
In fact, it's useful to consider that many, if not most people do the job that they do not because they enjoy it or find it fulfilling, but because if they don't, they and/or their family will starve in the street.
If you have a job/career that's intellectually stimulating and personally satisfying, you already have it much better than a whole lot of other people.
And if that's the case for you, celebrate that!
While it may seem like if you aren't spending every waking moment focused on being able to write the most beautiful or performant code, or trying to found the next unicorn, that you're wasting your life.
And depending on who you are, that may be enough.
But I guarantee you, that when you're lying on your deathbed, you won't be thinking about how many patches you submitted to open source projects, how optimized your code is, or how numerous and helpful your StackExchange posts were.
It might surprise you to know that a very large number of people's primary interests/focus have absolutely nothing to do with how they support themselves.
In fact, there's a whole big world out there that has absolutely nothing to do with technology.
I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do, but as someone whose identity was strongly tied to my career for decades, while it was certainly worth it in many respects, my world could have been much richer and fuller if I'd taken the time to metaphorically stop and smell the roses.
So if you feel like you need to be "always on" and permanently focused on the next professional challenge/opportunity, maybe you could step back once in a while and consider not just what's good for you professionally, or will make you more competitive in the marketplace, but what gives you joy as a person.
For a lot of us, that's building technology. And that's a good thing.
But technology isn't the entire universe, and if you limit your focus and interests really narrowly, you're going to miss out on the beauty and the worthy challenges in the wider world.
Even more, having those non-work related interests/experiences can, give one a broader perspective on your professional life that makes you better and more useful/productive/engaged in your professional life.
I suggest taking Bill Shatner's advice as a metaphor. Or don't. It's your life and that's (as it's always been) up to you.