An expression called "after work anxiety" has become popular these days. It originally means to feel anxious about work, even after you've left the office. But in today's China, its meaning has evolved into "feeling anxious about what new skills/knowledge to learn when off work".
Entering the Beijing subway, sometimes you can see advertisements with slogan as "the world is punishing those who do not change", "people who keep learning would get rewarded in every age". These kind of values seem to have been accepted by most office-workers in first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou...
Meanwhile, new online learning platforms/apps are exploding in popularity. We've all got some friends or colleagues who continue to attend online courses after a day's work, with contents ranging from theoretical college subjects to practical skills, including how to deal with workplace relationships, write reports or make nice PPTs.
To give a simple example, English learning apps are so prevalent that you can always spot someone immersed in reading English on the subway after work.
Maybe the "after work anxiety" is also what we call "peer pressure", which has followed us from school-days into the workplace. It is said that there's even a chain of contempt according to what you do after work (superiority decreases gradually):
Learning skills/Preparing for a test
Earning money through sidelines
Watching drama series/Playing games/Watching short videos
But really? Is idling around or staying mind-absent even allowed when one is alone nowadays?
Wait, don't worry. Actually there have been several studies showing that enough idle free time is likely to result in artistic creation. If not, staying idle and doing nothing, is absolutely beneficial to both mental and physical health. For those who are energetic and extraverted, they may choose to go to a party or hang out with friends — which is also good for them, and their social relations.
Dear readers, so here comes this weeks' Chitchat topic:
- Chitchat topic -
Have you experienced 'after work anxiety'? How do you look at this 'syndrome'? And what do you usually do after work?
Share your stories and we will publish some of the best next Monday.
Editor: Shang Zhen
Click here for audio and translation of the story