Gig Economy.

Who knew this would be a thing.

Back when I pulled out my papyrus to study economics, never did I dream that one day people would make their living by bouncing from one short term job to another. Benefits, pension, stability….these were the words that we lived by. Temp was just something you did to pay the bills until you got a “real” job.

Now….

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with the term, gig economy is one where workers are contracted for short term positions. Ie: temping. We just needed to find a fancy name for it so that it looks good with a hashtag. This is how many people now make their living.

#ihavenosavings

#whoneedsamortgage

#illbecomeaninternetstar

#easymoney

#whyworkinanofficewhenIcansleeptillnoon

But intersecting with the gig economy, we have the internet based cash flow. We all know that  google, and yahoo, and facebook treated their creators fairly well financially. But we also know that the internet has spawned influencers. Influencers get money and gear from companies, because influencing has become the new sort of advertising. If you want to sell something to the demographic that spends the most money on non essential goods, you need to have your brand gracing the channels of youtube, or the pages of Instagram.

How do you become an influencer?

Get a lot of followers.

How do you get a lot of followers?

? ? ? ? ? ?

This is where the game gets tricky. My daughter likes a youtuber who does exercise videos- she thinks the young woman explains the exercises well, has a sunny personality and is easy to follow. The youtuber has created a brand and receives exercise clothing and gear which she markets on her channel, as well as creating a line of her own goods. This is a pretty good use of the internet as a tool for marketing. She doesn’t do stunts or gimmicks or tricks. She basically sells her attitude. The only problem with this model is that her followers are of the fickle group who switch what they like fairly quickly, so I hope she is saving money for when she’s not the flavor of the month. Her product has a shelf life.

Shelf life.

That’s the problem with milk, and the problem with many of the people who try to make money off of youtube, instagram and blogging. You have a unique perspective, and people start following you. You’re trending- you see your stats rise….

And then they plateau….

Or they dip…

So what do you do?

?????????????????????????????????

You make outrageous statements. You attempt outrageous stunts. You attempt anything that will make you go viral.

More views.

More likes.

More followers.

More money.

The internet has created an environment where bad is now good for the wallet. Want people to listen to your music? Start a feud with someone. Want someone to buy your product? Have someone nefarious use it or wear it. Want for score a big sponsor? Do something outrageous, dangerous, stupid….

No publicity is bad publicity, right?

How much of the junk on social media can be traced back to money, and the want/need for it?

What do we think about internet based economics?

 

 

 

 

57 thoughts on “The New Economic Order

  1. What do I think? Well this is one of my pet topics, but I’ll try to keep it brief. 😉 I think that America is failing like Rome did. This gig economy is just one of the signs. Outsourcing all of our manufacturing was the beginning of the end, and automation and AI will be the death knoll for the working class, those who are now trying to survive on gig economy. It scares the hell out of me. Bad times are coming, so start saving up your money and maybe even bags of rice and dry beans and canned goods, people. Food is going to be the new currency.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think I feel old, and realize just how much I have become my own parents!
    Everything you wrote today falls in line with what I’ve been considering lately. Someone flipped a switch and the words that come out of my mouth regarding the world today have got to be my parents words on rewind:
    “I just don’t get it, what sort of a job is that?”
    “You can’t just jump from job to job, you need stability!”
    “How do you plan to have any money saved, or plan for the future as you get older?!”
    And my favorite…
    “So- what’s gonna happen when all this falls apart around you huh? What do you do then?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. with age comes a little bit of knowledge….we know that no matter what, there’s always a rainy day, and even if you prepare, you’re never prepared. You have to be able to take care of yourself

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are two issues you’ve brought up here, but I’m going to address the first one. The gig economy is primarily a product of corporate America trying to eliminate the overhead of full time employees. Benefits, especially health insurance, paid time off, office space, etc. are all big line items on a corporate balance sheet. Why did so many former employees willingly agree to give this up?
    Work from home. ✔️ Be your own boss. ✔️ Parlay your corporate skills into being a consultant and be able to take on new clients. ✔️
    Did this work out for the companies? Yes!
    Did it work out for the former employees? Mixed results. Some have done way better as entrepreneurs, but I’m sure some have struggled and failed.
    This opened up the concept of ‘being your own boss’ as a viable alternative.
    But the difference IMO between these former employees who actually have skills and knowledge gained on the job to offer and people in their early earning years is vast. Much harder to offer your expertise when you have little or no experience.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. That’s a great point. Kids right out of college have little knowledge of how certain things work. They like the quick change easy relief of boredom that jumping jobs offers. There’s a huge difference between working fir twenty years and then consulting and going from one menial task oriented job to another

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I think jobs will still be around but more hands on service, from construction to nursing. People will always be able to do more but change is the constant and whatever you do for work, keep learning.
    I dislike the businesses that hire lots of employees but dont hire full time. I also see businesses who treat so called unskilled workers like widgets.
    Support small businesses more, the big box stores don’t care about customers, or community – just share price and dividends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. But can you discount that larger stores are less expensive? I Prefer small stores fir certain goods, but everyday items like paper towels….I can’t pay 2 dollars more for an item that costs 1.49…

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  5. I think my biggest beef with the whole thing is the number of people that now think they can do one or two little things without much effort and they are going to be set for life. Most of those sitting back and watching have zero clue the amount of work and effort that goes into all (okay, most) of those accounts. I think most of it is crazy, but hey, whatever works for you. The reality is that not everyone is going to suddenly become some internet sensation overnight and to expect that, especially without the work, is pretty naive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is what I was thinking this morning as I wrote. People who think that making money off the Internet is easy. And expecting that they can be financially stable by hosting a channel that has them doing stunts. It’s one thing to use the internet as a marketing strategy…that’s smart. Another to think that you can get paid for nothing

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I won’t bother to go into how much time I have devoted to marketing in the last several months. There are times where I feel like I have 2 full time jobs and I don’t actually have a job. Anyone that this this stuff is easy is an idiot.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I will admit that I am looking into and trying my hand at making videos for crafters and showing how to use different tools or make interesting scrapbooks as a way to make some residual income. It is not easy. From the very beginning of having to get over the fact that I don’t necessarily like how I look when I talk (something I didn’t realize until I started making the videos) to the back of my mind fear that no one really cares about that stuff (although I know there are a lot of crafters out there), each step is a hurdle and since I can’t devote every waking minute to it, IF I ever make any money it’s gonna take a while. I know of a young man who gave up a job working for the IRS (that he got through a family referral) where he was making a good salary and had benefits to go and work as a waiter. While it is true he could make some money in tips, there are no benefits and minimum wage. He quit the IRS because it was boring. He says he sees his friends making a lot of money “online” and he wants to do that too. They just don’t get the whole bit about needing security when you retire.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Online influencers provide limited/no value and as such are, as they say, *cancelled* as often as they’re found. Everyone wants to be a star, but no one is a star. That’s my take on the whole scam.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. On kind of a side note, you know those video gamers who compete and win like $8 million dollars for League of Legends or whatever? A lot of them have to retire by like 21 because they are already too old! Slower reflexes? I don’t know, they may start getting beat by the 14 year olds. Talk about a short shelf life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here’s the thing about short term employment….for you, it’s a means to an end. You’re trying to get your foot back in the door, but you understand all the other basic housekeeping monetary budget stuff. But a 20 year old with little work experience? Do they just wander around with absolutely no intention of finding something they want to do? I think they think it’s an easy way to get quick cash, but have no plan. And you know I like a plan…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There need to be some realistic stats about how many individuals truly make a living off of monetized social media. I’d wager the numbers are tiny. As for the gig economy, that’s pretty much been my whole life. I’m just better at being self-employed than working for a company. Loved the papyrus line!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What on earth makes them think that?! That’s what I mean about realistic stats. I mean we grew up hoping to be rock stars and movie stars, but most of us didn’t really believe that would happen and we got real jobs.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. I learned something! lol Yeah, the whole gig economy and how people are trying to make money off whatever they can via the internet is kind of scary and disappointing. I have thought about all those long-term careers where you get a pension after being an employee for 20 years. Wonder how many of those will be around in the next ten or so years (maybe even sooner, unfortunately). Kind of sucks, really. Anyway, thanks for the interesting read!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s true that there is very little inherent stability in being an influencer, but they can create their own stability. An influencer is a small business owner who happens to use the internet to market her business. Small business owners have been around for a long time. An influencer might not always be the flavor of the month, but she might do well enough to get by for a long time with her core followers. A bakery doesn’t have to be the most popular bakery in the city to stay afloat. If she can’t, she can rebrand herself or branch out into other businesses. There are skills involved with being an influencer and those skills are transferrable.

    I find it very interesting that you contrast the unstable influencer life with a “regular job” implying that regular jobs are inherently stable. Many of them aren’t. With buyouts and layoffs, rather than being at the mercy of some fickle followers, the regular employee is often at the mercy of one person’s opinion. A regular job creates the illusion of stability, but without any guarantees, making it even more precarious than the influencer’s job (where she knows she must create her own stability).

    I don’t think that influencers (or people who are trying to become influencers) are lazy or misguided. I think they are responding to a job market where the “regular stable job” is harder and harder to find, especially for young people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a really great rebuttal. You bring up many valid points that deserve more space, so either today or tomorrow (I usually like my ideas to percolate overnight and I just read this an hour ago) so I’m going to see if I can formulate a valid response. Thank you!

      Like

  12. Sadly, I think this has become sort of like the dream some kids have of being professional sports players. So they neglect everything else, especially their studies “knowing” they will become rich and famous. Easy, except it’s not and the odds don’t favor you. Another unrealistic American dream that leaves many lives crushed in its wake

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to write about this tomorrow, sort of. I got a really interesting comment from a follower which was contained too many thought provoking points to answer her in comments…

      Like

  13. Until I read a couple of the later comments, I felt millenials (in particular) were getting a rough deal. The thing is, jobs which provide the type of stability most of us knew as commonplace – ones that came with pension, health care and the like – are simply too few & far between in these days of zero hour contracts. So, if the options are to work for yourself, using the tools available to you (such as the internet to market your business), or work like a dog for someone else, have no job security & no benefits – why wouldn’t you chose to give the former a try? I think there’s a misconception that millenials are not working hard. Some may not be, but many are. The difference is that they work very hard indeed to make it look easy *and* fun. And when you’re doing something you really enjoy, perhaps it is?

    Liked by 1 person

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