September 1st, 2020
Prediction: The global pandemic will trigger an existentialist movement.
Over the next couple years, people will more question their existence and the meaning of life. People will think more about their purpose.
In 1 year, existentialism might become trendy. In 3-4 years, it might become mainstream.
I think this will happen because people are no longer going into “the office”.
In some ways, the physical office provided a place for people to validate their purpose. Every day, they commuted into an office to work with a bunch of people who were also validating their purpose. It’s kind of like a cult/religion: "if other people are doing it then it's OK, right?".
Also, Powerpoints and spreadsheets *feel* a bit less important when you don’t dress up in fancy clothing and sit in *important* meetings with *important* people.
But now that’s gone, and people are sitting at home with not much to do. They are, of course, wondering if these PowerPoints and spreadsheets even matter! Existentialism!
The same goes for college, and universities. Many students are deferring enrollment and taking gap years. These kids don’t want to go to school when there’s no physical campus! Maybe college was never about your degree, but so much more about the experience of going to college?
Over the next few years, more people will explore the arts. They will explore philanthropy and politics. They will build their own businesses. They will work less.
I see this in my own friends. They’re talking less about their jobs and their careers. They’re talking about their depression and anxiety and the meaning of life! They’re also talking about wanting to travel, and move to remote locations, and live out of a van.
Although the pandemic is a horrible thing, I think it might give many people what they needed: a reset on life.
We are in the middle and the end is not in sight. We are waiting, which is among most people’s least favorite thing to do, when it means noticing that you have taken up residence in not knowing. (source)