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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Being busy the current status symbol

Is being busy all the time the current status symbol in the U.S.? It seems like everybody is busy, busy, busy, but it seems like everyone should have a lot more free time on their hands than they did years ago. Things that once took a lot of time now is a push-button and done due to technology.

I realize being busy didn’t just happen in the last few years, but it does seem like I notice it more even compared to my childhood. I remember a time when it seemed like being able to have stuff in addition to leisure time was a sign of success. I can remember when weekends were a more laid back time than the week when people got to relax and revive from their week of work. Evenings weren’t so hustle-bustle either. These days, it seems everybody is always busy doing something. If you ask someone, “How was your weekend?” It is usually answered with, “It was busy.” If they have a space of time where their plate seems calm, instead of feeling relief, they feel anxious as if they don’t know what to do with themselves.

I’m not just talking about job-related busyness, but it seems like people have to fill every moment with an activity. People are always on-the go. A woman told me a few years ago that she was so busy, the way she got her Christmas tree up was to hang a few ornaments on it every morning before work. It took her several days to get a finished tree. Personally, one of the joys in life for me is putting up a Christmas tree. If I was that busy, I’d certainly take a look at my life.

It seems that people who are making a comfortable living but aren’t constantly busy are a strange animal to most people. They want to know how they do it even though they probably wouldn't change if they told them. They act as if it’s almost impossible to not be constantly busy in this day and age. It’s as if one would have to write a book on not being busy with a lot of complicated steps in order to explain it. Personally, the things I enjoy most in life once a comfortable life has been met is peace, low stress, not being on the go all the time, and spending enjoyable time with family.

So, is “being busy” the current status symbol? Do most people here participate in the busy life?


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:45 PM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

I don't know if l would say being busy is the new status symbol. But the busiest of those occupy the space of not really dealing with the problems or challenges, but instead throw money at the problems/issues. Try to enjoy peace is tough if you don't like yourself. So this could very well be the reason why people are so busy.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know if l would say being busy is the new status symbol. But the busiest of those occupy the space of not really dealing with the problems or challenges, but instead throw money at the problems/issues. Try to enjoy peace is tough if you don't like yourself. So this could very well be the reason why people are so busy.
Perhaps you are on to something. There has to be an underlying reason aside from just the love of busyness.

There is nothing more sad or glorious than generations changing hands- John Mellencamp
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 06:44 PM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

I do think that there is some perceived “coolness” about being busy. It’s like a high school popularity contest or something.

I for one am not part of that. I actually think I should fill my schedule up more because I don’t have much of a social life. I also love having “me” time, and I have no problem saying no.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 07:47 PM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

Probably inefficient time management
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I do think that there is some perceived “coolness” about being busy. It’s like a high school popularity contest or something.

I for one am not part of that. I actually think I should fill my schedule up more because I don’t have much of a social life. I also love having “me” time, and I have no problem saying no.
Another good possibility. You sound a lot like me. I have no trouble saying no either.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe lack of response means my area is the only one with the busy crowd. I guess not many here can speak to it.

There is nothing more sad or glorious than generations changing hands- John Mellencamp
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:36 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

There are many more opportunities to be busy, many more things to do. People who can afford to do so, can enjoy all sorts of wildly varied entertainment - so they do.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

Busy in my life has been either top-down (job) or bottom up (family), the employer I work for is a reactionary one whose data-driven desires and need for positive public perception lead them to making decisions that last only weeks or months where a healthy non-reactive decision should last many years.

Because I can intentionally slow this process down in my position, I am at times looked at as "without the passion" yet it seems I am one of the few that successfully sees a project to full fruition and completion and am often given tasks other fail to complete. People in my business like to talk calm, very few give the outward appearance that they really understand it.

Family busy was because school and activities are a part of family life... life used to be busy in a different way called contributing to the family, now in my children's adult life money buys things to fill the gap although my oldest daughter is now realizing the value of time to breathe, but it took her leaving big city to do that.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 10:46 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

it's called the 'rat race'.

it's ultimately about money and having 'things'. society tells us we need to have these 'things'. bigger house. really nice car(s). a boat. vacations to Europe.
the busyness you speak of is in some way related to the above.

not that any of these things are bad in and of themselves. if fact all these things are good when taken individually.

but let's face it. we are a materialistic society and we've fallen into the trap that we should have these things.

I call it the 'formula'. when we look around us and see starbucks at every intersection and traffic and the hustle and bustle and the mania and craziness everywhere, we think it's real.
and in a way it is, but in another way it's not. it's an artificial construct and a creation of the formula. because in a hundred years it will all be gone.

we are swallowed up in the rat race, and there is very little getting out of it.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 11:02 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

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Originally Posted by southbound View Post
Maybe lack of response means my area is the only one with the busy crowd. I guess not many here can speak to it.
Well, I've been busy taking naps so....

Some people do love to talk about how busy they are. It might be true or it might be a way to deflect people from asking them to do anything.

I have a friend whose brother drives from Texas to visit her a couple of times a year. He always has to schedule his trip around her schedule which consists of: hair appointment, nails & pedicure, dog's vet appointment, her various card groups etc. It's just plain nuts and she's absolutely serious about keeping to her schedule. Because everything on it is so ****ing important.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 11:11 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

I think there's multiple factors.

For one, people weren't supposed to be working this hard by now, at least according to Keynes (the guy from Keynsian economics). He predicted a 15 hour workweek back in the 30s as productivity improved to the point that everybody could be comfortable with that much effort. That didn't happen, of course: stock market crashes, world wars, Reaganomics, and "greed is good" culture have actually increased the hours people work since the 30's in many measures. And that's without even going into inflationism, which has scaled living costs out of line with increases in income - this makes something like a 15 hour work week totally out of the bounds of possibility.

For another, productivity has actually stalled. For decades. All of the new tools and new processes and new organizational structures aren't working to make us more productive. So there's more and more stuff to do (capitalism needs growth), but it also takes longer and longer to do it.

Additionally, there's convenience culture. When I walk the dog for example, I'll stick in my fancy airpods and listen to a podcast or a book while I walk in the woods. There's a hesitation to just do nothing, or do less than what you could do because in-taking media is so convenient. I'll actually feel guilty sometimes for just doing one thing even though multitasking is ineffective. I have a pile of books, articles, podcasts, and stuff to get through. So when I'm not busy at work, I'm busy with that.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 11:20 AM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

Staying busy all the time may be more a sign of discomfort with one's self, and less a sign of status. Being busy can distract you from your life's real emptiness and meaninglessness which would become apparent if you spent some time in reflection and contemplation. Some people can be both busy and fulfilled, but most who are so busy seem - to me - to be living lives of active desperation. If you want to be busy, first find things that bring joy and meaning to your activities.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Staying busy all the time may be more a sign of discomfort with one's self, and less a sign of status. Being busy can distract you from your life's real emptiness and meaninglessness which would become apparent if you spent some time in reflection and contemplation. Some people can be both busy and fulfilled, but most who are so busy seem - to me - to be living lives of active desperation. If you want to be busy, first find things that bring joy and meaning to your activities.
I had considered such because it is the opposite of how I am, and I don’t care for all the busyness. I am perfectly comfortable in my own skin. My mind doesn’t go crazy if I have some down time.
I also don’t have that “guilty” feeling if I’m not constantly busy. To me, a day when I’m snowed in can be a real pleasure. For some, it’s torture.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:13 PM
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Re: Being busy the current status symbol

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I had considered such because it is the opposite of how I am, and I don’t care for all the busyness. I am perfectly comfortable in my own skin. My mind doesn’t go crazy if I have some down time.
I also don’t have that “guilty” feeling if I’m not constantly busy. To me, a day when I’m snowed in can be a real pleasure. For some, it’s torture.
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