Hustle culture and its toxicity

Illustrated by Joamir Salcedo, a Thrive Global affiliate and artist

In the midst of our new “normal state” of quarantine, many people have taken the initiative to engulf themselves in developing new business ideas, excessive exercising and working on “getting to the bag.”

While this deserves celebration to a certain degree, what about the other percentage of the world that is just trying to figure it out day by day?

People are left feeling crushed by society’s expectation of hustle culture and forced to suffer mentally while feeling the pressure from social media and even the people they are physically around.

Alexzandria Godinez is a junior social work major who doesn’t agree with hustle culture.

“I personally don’t like the fact that they are pressuring us to do more with our lives,” Godinez said. “They make us feel bad for not having multiple sources of income and it should never be that way. Some of us are students and we already have massive workloads so the pressure that we aren’t doing enough makes us feel 10 times worse which leads to depression and overworking ourselves.”

Mirroring Godinez’s sentiments is an article published by Psychology Today.

“When the hustle culture drives you, you unwittingly relinquish your personal power and become a slave to internal and external pressures such as deadlines, work demands or pleasing friends and loved ones,” Psychology Today said.

Many people have taken to social media as a platform to boast about their accomplishments and motivate followers to do more. This in part causes a rise in mental health strain while also an unneeded comparison to highlight reels and fabricated lives.

In a recent tweet on March 13 by musician Rosanne Cash that brought much attention to productivity during this time, she stated “Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote King Lear.”

Since that Tweet, a multitude of celebrities have come out to parallel the tweet implying that people should have the work ethic of Shakespeare throughout this unwarranted break while it also created a subtle twitter conversation.

Beyond this comparison to the great playwright, it’s important to refrain from comparison to others that you see on social media and work at your own pace only if you feel up to it.

Recent graduate Justin Fitzpatrick feels motivation ultimately has to come from yourself.

“People showcase a piece of themselves that’s only good,” Fitzpatrick said. “Hustle is an intrinsic value. You have to want to go after your future. Not be pushed into it because of a skewed viewpoint of someone else.”

Don’t allow society’s need for toxic hustle culture to influence you to neglect your values and health. It’s important that we use this time of quarantine to rest as much as possible and cater to your mental health and make the most of this situation that is out of our control.