28: Millennial perfectionism, Marie Kondo, Elaine Welteroth, helicopter parenting, and instagram
Let’s talk about Kondo
Less is more. If you optimize your personal space, then the rest will follow…you hope at an intangible, unconscious level. This idea, Sophie Gilbert in her article “Millennial Burnout is Now Being Televised” appeals to millennials because of the expectation upon us to seek perfectionism. Apparently, our generation demonstrates more perfectionism than earlier generations—the 2017 study specifically says “recent generations of young people perceive that others are more demanding of them, are more demanding of others, and are more demanding of themselves.” Especially since the hallmarks of adult life: graduating on time, owning a car or a home have become so much more fraught for us. What with the initial 2000s-present teetering of the economy and the trillions of dollars of student loan debt.
Technology and helicopter parenting are the real sources of millennial burnout, according to Mark Thomas in his Medium article, “The Origins of Millennial Burnout.” He posits we need a “radical shift.”
He and Anne Helen Petersen, author of the viral Buzzfeed article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation” argue that such burnout will not be solved by self help solutions like “anxiety baking” and life hacking.
This burnout phenomenon, implicating millennial perfectionism and our pursuit of modern trappings of success reminds me of a recent interview featuring Elaine Welteroth, former Teen Vogue EIC and journalist—her solution is what she believes God’s purpose for her life is and is what she uses to detach and unloop, un-dopamine fueled technological feedback loop herself from the stakes that people, followers or not, plant or don’t plant in her identity by liking or not liking, by hearting or not hearting, by thumbs-up ing or not thumbs-up ing.
Petersen herself in that article wrote “I never thought the system was equitable.”
“I knew it was winnable for only a small few. I just believed I could optimize myself to become one of them.”
A clip of that interview housed on Elaine Welteroth’s instagram page has 56,796 views and 249 comments last I checked.
And was in response to a question posed by Natalie Manuel Lee “Do you believe that what you do is who you are” for the show, Now With Natalie on the Hillsong channel.
What preceded what I described of Welteroth’s soul-vibrating response was the statement “absolutely not.”
These researchers, writers, and influencers have propelled me into a single impetus of a thought: you’re gonna have to Kondo your life.
As you likely know, the Kondo method created by Marie Kondo, an “organizational consultant” whose book about that method, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has sold over 11 million copies encompassing 40 countries and is the basis of not only a culture-perfusing Netflix series but probably also record rises in stock at donation centers and over 229,000 submissions to the “konmari” hashtag on Instagram.
The crux of the method, presumably the book, and ostensibly the show is that you’re supposed to ask yourself whether the objects you’ve hoarded or allowed to clutter/purposelessly infiltrate your space “bring you joy.”
I’m going to go a step further.
@ me or don’t but here goes.
You may need to do this with your inner life as well.
Your physical space should be clean—I think we humans are generally in agreement on that.
But what about your perceptions, your ideas, and the expectations others have of you.
#konmari those things.
I think that would solve or at least ameliorate errand paralysis
Internet and social media black holes
The effects of helicopter parenting
The dependence on extrinsic motivation
Social, familial and/or technological rewards
The glorification of working or overworking
That boredom is a problem
Kondo these things.
Let’s even extend this to minority burnout.
But wait. Wait.
The root and roots and trees and seeds and branches and fingers of minority burnout seem to be injustice which yes, hinges on the perception and expectation of the individual but is a relation that involves others.
So for this one we and when I say we I mean as a group; I’m not referring to every existing individual—are going to have to Kondo our interior lives so that the world necessarily becomes Kondo’d, i.e. cleaner, less burned out, less overworked, less paralyzed, less dependent, less unjust.
Let’s #konmari ourselves:
Intellectually—what books aren’t you reading; what hobbies aren’t you trying because we have to excel or don’t attempt in the first place; it’s ok. Be bad at archery—just make sure no one’s within a five-mile radius of you.
Spiritually—this is not a spiritual or religious space per se so I’ll leave that to you to explore.
Emotionally—maybe you or I have been avoiding therapy for years knowing full well we will probably not be empowered to have fair relationships without it; maybe you’re someone who doesn’t think you’re emotional and physical selves are inextricably tied—they are; says science and more irrefutable sources so stop with the full fat ice cream binging that occurs subsequent to like any organic chemistry exam you take; try 99% fat instead.
In moderation of course.