Graphic By: Yashi Huang
Being a teen girl is hard, I should know, I’ve read “The Fault In Our Stars” by middle aged male author John Green and seen multiple slice of life anime revolving around such characters. But these archaic depictions of young women lack representation of the real issues facing teen girls today: not having enough time to make quality Tik Toks. Providing teen girls avenues to pursue their Tik Tok careers is paramount to acknowledging the struggles they face every day, and a four day work week can accomplish this.
My 12-year-old cousin tells me that the Tik Tok is a platform on which teen girls dance to songs while collecting likes from their peers. While I do not personally use the Tik Tok, I can already see parallels between these young entrepreneurs and the Instagram influencers from my own youth. Instagram influencers, then and now, were not considered to have “real jobs,” despite making more money than I ever have writing for the New University.
We cannot let the next generation of social-media-based-entrepreneurs suffer the same economic fate; offering teen girls a way to legitimize their labor can save them from this unfair bias.
Enter the four day work week.
“But Nic!” you say, before I have even started laying out the pros of such a proposal. “Teen girls belong in school, also I don’t think that John Green books are the representation you thin-”
That’s why, dear reader, it is a four day work week, allowing for a fifth day to be allocated solely to studies. Allowing for teen girls using the Tik Tok to focus on their careers in its formative state for four days out of the week will bolster their business skills in a way that we never allowed Instagram influencers to. This radical new approach can even be implemented into high schools across the nation as a track to graduation, with workshop classes for cinematography and music selection taking place on Friday classes.
Before you rudely interrupt me with another asinine question, allow me to beat you to the punch and address the other side in style. Some (read: you, doubter, hater) may argue that taking teen girls out of regular common-core highschool classes can negatively affect their future. That by taking them out of college accepted classes, their prospects for post-secondary higher education all but disintegrate.
Are these not the same excuses we used during the rise of the Instagram influencer, many of whom now successfully receive free food in exchange for shoutouts on said platform? Before we consider the reasons not to implement a four day work week for teen girls on the Tik Tok, we need to realize that not doing so delegitimizes their labor.
Like influencers on Instagram, teen girls on the Tik Tok put time and labor into their content before sharing it with the world. Just because the ways that these individuals get paid is not from the direct selling of their content, but rather marketing around their content, does not mean that they do not spend time valorizing their content.
However, our collective ignorance of the fact that this labor takes time means that we force these budding digital entrepreneurs to work outside normal working hours. If a video on the Tik Tok takes two hours to make (rough estimate based on how long it took me to figure out how to use the app), then a teen girl making two videos a day will spend 28 hours every week making their content!
This hour amount is larger than most part time jobs, and when combined with school and sports, amounts to the expectation that teen girls spend almost 80 hours a week laboring, double the amount of time for a full time worker!
We are working our nation’s most valuable workers to the point of exhaustion. The four day work week will allow our teen girls the breathing room they need to work on their careers to the fullest. There are infinite reasons to implement the four day work week and to not do so, but as John Green so famously said, “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
Nicolas Perez is a fourth year literary journalism major and the Opinion Co-Editor for the New University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story behind the piece: This article came about after our graphics team mistakenly combined the graphics assignment for the articles “We Need To Strongly Consider A Four Day Work Week” and “Teenager Girls On TikTok Dancing To Their Abusive Exes’ Voicemails Aren’t Necessarily A Good Thing” into the glorious header image you see above. After receiving this graphic, opinion Co-Editor Nicolas Perez entered a fugue statw and after 15 minutes, this article manifested in the voice of a middle-aged man parody.