As Tech Layoffs Continue, Influencers Are Being Blamed
Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.
In a TikTok video that went viral this week, user @nicolesdailyvlog showed her 29,000 followers what it’s like to get laid off by Google. The video, which includes a text from her boss and lots and lots of tears, is part of what’s known as day-in-the-life content — diary-esque footage that often showcases the mundane aspects of everyday life. Some are skincare routines. Others show people simply going around doing errands or cooking breakfast.
The response to these “work influencer’s” videos has been largely mixed, with some finding inspiration to join the tech world and others criticizing them for glamorizing their jobs. You are, after all, just watching a product manager at Meta film themselves eating a free breakfast. Or an account strategists at Google showing off a Harry Potter-themed conference room. In other words, despite their intention, these videos don’t garner much good will among those who work jobs that don’t have a designated nap room to take naps in.
Which explains why the latest addition to this oeuvre of mundane internet content has been met with more vitriol than compassion. Sure, the tech world is reeling from mass layoffs. But it’s tough to feel sympathy for tech workers that are getting laid off when they’ve spent the last few years romanticizing corporate life.
Just look at the #careertok tag on TikTok. It has over one billion views and most of the content is meant to highlight the ways in which a tech job is really just a day-in-the-life of someone who’s gone off to summer camp.
This is even evident in @nicolesdailyvlog’s account. Though her layoff video is currently pinned to the top of her profile, the rest of her content shows her enjoying Google’s pop-up hot chocolate bar and showing off the L.A. office’s decor.
And to her credit, the content was working. Each of her videos prior to her being laid off have comments from people asking how they can snag a similar position.
Of course, some people have been somewhat kind in their responses to the news of @nicolesdailyvlog’s lay off annoucement. One person suggested she went viral because of “how ridiculous” the layoffs across the tech sector have been. Adding that, “it’s giving dystopian.”
But the vast majority of the comments are more pointed. One user said that day-in-the-life style videos contributed to the layoffs, as they seemed to expose how little work people accomplish. Another noted the inherent irony of the tech layoffs, since the “work influencers” were the ones advocating that people quit their non-tech jobs and “learn to code” so they could make more money.
It’s also important to note that it’s simply more accessible to finger point at people posting content that hasn’t aged well than razzing the executives who ultimately made the decisions. You can be sure the CEOs of Microsoft, Google and Meta, aren’t reading the comments.
That said, the pushback, though at times acidic, shows no sign of stemming this brand of day-in-the-life content. There are already plenty of day-in-the-life “laid off edition” videos circulating TikTok, in which people lament the job application process as they find ways to fill their new free time.
Other users have shared how they started their day with yoga or chores and went to bed in tears. And others still have adopted the “get ready with me” style video, where people apply makeup and recount how they were laid off.
Even @nicolesdailyvlog will probably continue to mine this life experience for content despite the current criticism. As she said at the end of her video: “I don’t know what’s next for me, but I’ll be vlogging my journey.”And so, the unending cycle that is performing one’s life for the internet continues.
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