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It seems like every week there is something that frustrates the WordPress community. Sometimes it’s the direction WordPress is going. People have been yelling and asking to speak to the manager of WordPress for weeks now about the changes that have been happening. Sometimes (weekly) it’s MasterWP because “our opinions are presented as fact,” although we pay others to write rebuttals and disagree with us. Sometimes people don’t want to do anything but yell with no solutions because they have never heard of this age-old invention.
Do you know what I think the community should do?
The community should take a page from the book of the very popular band, BTS, and take a freaking break.
Stay with me now. Bangtan Boys, or BTS, is a Korean boy band that has skyrocketed to worldwide fame in the last few years. This past year alone they have performed at the Grammys, done two very spontaneous major American city tours, and visited the White House to denounce anti-Asian hate. After going to both concerts, watching the Grammys, and buying their very expensive merchandise/latest album, fans such as your writer here wondered: What they would do next? Do you know what they did?
Glamorizing “The Grind.”
Sometimes when we are at the top of our game, we feel like that’s a reason not to quit. (Tom Brady.) You decided to take on multiple projects at work, and although it has affected your sleep, your eating patterns, and your relationships, you keep telling yourself: “Soon I’ll be able to stop, I’ll be able to break.” But then you realize… soon never comes. This is something we in the community must stop doing. We have been under fire for “glamorizing tech” in the last few years, but what I think should be more ridiculed is glamorizing “The Grind.”
The tech field has been known for some as the ultimate source of burnout. If you are not coding 80 hours a week, building three projects a day, and networking with the top people in your field, you have been taught to consider yourself a failure. In the WordPress community, add the fact that if you don’t agree with the people in your field, your point of view is wrong, you should not have a platform, or you are a troll.
So, you join in. You have nothing positive to say about anything and you wonder why you now have the aura of a 97-year-old who is yelling for kids to get off their lawn.
Take a break. No seriously, you are too young for this.
If you are still breathing, you really are too young for this. Look, I love healthy cynicism as much as the next person, but it is often a symptom of mental exhaustion. Irritability, apathy, and extreme tiredness as well. If these things are consuming you to the point that they are all you can act on…
Rob wrote last week about how vacations make a business stronger. This is not unique only to tech. EVERYONE EVERYWHERE should be taking vacations (but maybe not all at once). Vacations and breaks give people the chance to relax. They take your mind off work. And most importantly they are good for the body and soul. They also give your mind time to think over major things.
Are you really going to transform your entire business from WordPress because you don’t like headless? Do you have that much time and money?
Are you really going to insult the developers in your open-source community because they made a suggestion about your product?
I am relatively new in the community, but I’ve been in sales for years. So, correct me if I am wrong – but are these the best business models these days? If so, I’ll be both happy and amused to be wrong.
WordPress will still be here when you return. We just celebrated 19 years of WordPress; it is now legally able to vote in the United States. If you take a few days off to manage your health, your mind, and your body, I Nyasha personally promise it will still be here. Although I am not sure who will own who by then.
No more code wars into the wee hours of the day. No more neglecting your families. No more harassing people online because your favorite WordPress plugin was voted number 3 and you personally believe that the organization responsible was paid to interrupt your specific life by not making it 1. If you have been doing this, you need to understand at the end of the day, you will hurt yourself before you hurt anyone else.
And as the great leader of BTS Kim Namjoon once said, “Playa hater you should love yourself.”
I leave you with different ways members of the WordPress community and tech community at large take breaks.