Thursday, 22 May 2008

Addiction, oversharing, and the new economy

I felt liberated — finally, a job where I could really be myself! Never again would I have to censor my office-inappropriate sentiments or shop the sale racks at Club Monaco for office-appropriate outfits. But at the same time, I wasn’t quite convinced that the system of apprenticeship and gradual promotion that I’d left behind when I left book publishing was as flawed as establishment-attacking Gawker made it out to be. I’d been lucky enough, in my publishing job, to have the kind of boss who actually cared about my future. At Gawker, I barely had a boss, and my future was always in jeopardy. In my old job, I’d been able to slowly, steadily learn the ropes, but now I was judged solely on what I produced every day. I had a kind of power, sure, but it was only as much power as my last post made it seem like I deserved.
And as with the employment conditions, so (it turned out) with the social conditions. The quote is from a terrifying-yet-oddly-fascinating article to appear in the upcoming weekend magazine section of the NYT, by writer Emily Gould on her period as an editor at Gawker Media, "a network of highly trafficked blogs".

The whole thing is interesting to reflect upon as a topic for intergenerational argument. Does Emily's mother (or perhaps her grandmother) understand the world, the economy, the social circle in which she is moving, and its rules and opportunities and risks? Almost certainly not. Is that world an example of everything her (grand)mother warned her against? Almost certainly, yes.

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