Even if you don’t technically own or run a small business, if you’re like a lot of us today, you’ve sort of cobbled together a career.
You might work 3 different jobs; 2 of the 3 might be jobs you work on or at primarily in isolation, at home.
This is a reality that’s been set upon average (and by average, I mean working class people; people who don’t have absolute financial security) people; the market is demanding that workers adapt their perception of work/career to see it in this flexible sense.
If you’re like me, if you work 3 or even 4 different jobs … and much of the activity is solitary, it can be difficult. You’re put into a position of isolation. If you work a single job, the people around you in that workplace will see you on a regular basis; your challenges are the challenges of a singular group.
Working alone, though, you’re constantly shifting mindsets – and it’s done in isolation. It need not be an entirely “literal” isolation … for instance, my wife is sitting right next to me as I write this. It’s isolation, though, in the sense that she has no real clue as to what is entailed in my “careers”.
Primarily, I’m a psychotherapist. I take calls from people and set up meetings and I work with clients. That’s not a full time career, though. I also work nights on a crisis line … that’s not exactly the most serene job.
It goes further, though. Because the workplace is constantly demanding “up” qualification, I’m now literally working on a doctorate as well.
Tying things together somehow could help, but that’s more fantasy than reality. My website’s a testament to that … it gets hairy if you’re using the same web domain to: publicize yourself, post writing/research to academic colleagues, organize and fulfill the obligations of teaching children chess (another side-career).
This is the social reality, though. Fragmentation … so, as the article points out, if you become depressed, anxious … fixated, preoccupied … the solution is convoluted, or maybe even invisible.
That’s the social reality, though – this is what’s being demanded of us. We serve a system that long ago abandoned human need and has henceforth been propelling itself autonomously. We serve a social system that is inhuman, by definition. It doesn’t care we exist – but we must adapt to it … the alternative is to live a hollow existence (one void of work, and henceforth, meaning).
The fragmentation goes further than this article entails, though. The fragmented nature of our life now encompasses the social world. Mom, your friend from job A, a person you knew in primary school … and various other associated sit next to each other in a singular column on the right.
We never evolved to live this way; we’re not remotely equipped for it. Mental illness will rise forever, will become more epidemic until we are prepared to look at the connection between our genetic makeup/ancestral roots (how we’ve always lived), and what we now live – what we “serve”.
Mental illness, anxiety, desperation – if my formula for why it increases (social abstraction) is right, it will increase on a nice upward slope … until … ?
I suppose that’s the question.