In a groundbreaking article published by BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen named millennials the “Burnout Generation”, sparking both controversy and widespread popularization of the subject.
We’ve talked about the definition of burnout. We’ve all heard the term pop up in our daily lives. But the question is: why now? Why millennials and the generations thereafter? It all goes back to the way we work.
In the past few decades, optimization culture exploded as the result of the 2008 financial crisis, the advancement of technology, and the “steady decay of stable, full-time employment”. People needed to fight more than ever for a role in the workplace, and with this people tried to conquer the system in order to get their foot in the door.
Children in the modern age don’t start their education in kindergarten, but in “pre-preschool” with unstructured daycare, learning the times tables as soon as possible, and overpowering, controlling parents with sky-high expectations for their children. As those children grow up, they are taught to push themselves to the limit and are taking on six clubs, 3 sports, and 7 AP classes to make the cut for their dream school.
Optimization doesn’t stop once you’re in adulthood. At this point, it is ingrained into our lives and systemized within society. With the rise of social media, there is a constant urge to be perfect and take on everything and anything to get us there. People are encouraged to watch movies on 1.5x speed (Thanks Netflix), measure our self-worth on our productivity, and put aside our mental health in order to cram in more labor.
Alas, there is always a solution. The spread of mental health awareness has paralleled the growth of burnout and other mental conditions and syndromes. There are more CEO’s being open and candid about their burnout and more people are seeking therapy than ever. Technology is also revolutionizing how society approaches burnout through services like LivNao.
LivNao is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to accurately calculate your mental health score and help you take the next steps to better self-care. Interested in joining our study?