As an advocate of influence marketing, I understand the value of social media. However, my personal usage is far below the worldwide average (source: Statista) of 147 minutes per day (2 hours, 27 minutes). My Tik Tok usage is zero, but I am on top of what is trending #quietquitting.
TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app with over 1 billion monthly active users, continually has been scrutinized over its data practices. As a result, my usage is zero because I refuse to download the social platform on my smartphone. The latest eye opener for me is privacy research revealed the web browser used within the app was built in functionality to track every online keystroke made by its users. In addition to my concern about TikTok’s utilization of data, from what I have read, a majority of the content I would find juvenile/irrelevant, plus numerous critics of the app have expressed it is a time-consuming black hole.
What is #quietquitting? A trending phrase first posted on TikTok back in July which went viral gaining millions of views. People were voicing a concern for optimizing their work-life balance, avoid burnout (a.k.a. rise & grind) and get more fulfillment outside of the office. Leading career coaches believe the pandemic exacerbated the stress and overload of work people perform above and beyond their job description. In addition, people wanted to spend more time with family, friends and their hobbies thanks to experiencing working remotely; versus outright quitting their jobs, #quietquitting TikTokers posted about shutting their computers off at 5 PM, only doing the assigned tasks they were paid for versus working more hours than required. Accordingly, they were leaving the office to enhance their personal lives. Gallup workplace and well-being research revealed a large group of respondents felt they were not engaged – they show up for work, do the bare minimum and not much else. Note: 54% of the respondents in this category were born after 1989.
My take. Work-life balance is paramount, but is best achieved via prioritizing one’s time management both in and out of the office. #quietquitting followers, thanks to a leading social platform are just being vocal venting their employment frustrations, plus validating why they are not going the extra mile for themselves or the organization that signs their paychecks. Are we on the cusp of a mediocrity labor movement?
Pre-social media, I actually experienced #quietquitting decades ago when I was in Corporate America. In every organization I worked there was a subset of people who mastered performing at a mediocre level as they watched the clock strike 5PM. I used to describe these workers as people who showed up daily just so they could collect their paychecks. Maybe I should sign up for TikTok and post a new hashtag to see if it goes viral:
Very interesting. I think income inequality and the enormous disparity in pay and mega bonuses between Ceos and workers many of whom really have overworked with sacrifice of personal time, long commutes, and far less pay, bonuses etc. have contributed. The benefits of working remotely for those lucky enough to be able to do so has opened Pandora’s box. It has taken a pandemic to even address a living wage.
I remember those days of clock watching. We would refer to those employees as “retired on the job”.