Hell hath no fury like enraged Twitterers. Sure, most of the time it’s armies of bigots ganging up on those they don’t like or fanboys freaking out over people with different opinions on comic book movies. But when it’s the righteously aggrieved who are pouncing, that collective anger can be a thing of beauty. Case in point: The business magazine Fast Company socialed out a piece on a new study about the rise of freelancing. And they said it was a choice, not a hellscape that will probably lead to a grim future. Big mistake — if not a bigger mistake than “choosing” to become a freelancer.
The piece in question, entitled “We Studied Freelancing For Five Years: Here’s How Work is Changing,” looked at the findings of a study that found 3.7 million workers are now freelancing rather than working on staff. What they didn’t look at, or maybe even notice, is the high number of those 3.7 million who will happily complain to anyone who will listen — especially on Twitter.com, a popular social media site — about the lack of financial stability, the disturbing ratio of pitching to actual paid labor, the late (and rarely sizable) paychecks, the hours spent on the couch or in bed worrying and crying, and, of course, the dearth of affordable healthcare. Nor does it specify how many were laid off from full-time positions or simply can’t find any.
So what did the study discover? While the piece contends that 61% of those evaluated went freelance “by necessity,” it also frequently says freelancers “decided” or “chose” a path of most resistance. Why? Because of things like technology and “lifestyle.” Because who doesn’t like being able to not afford to rent or food or medicine?
Luckily, social media — filled with people struggling to find work or make their name, but who till then have gobs of aggravatingly free time — was ready to fill in some of the key gaps in the study’s research.
Perhaps it will take another five years for another report that shows this article was not well received.