Some thoughts on smart phones and their impact on the domestic service economy. Published on Salon as part of the AFL-CIO sponsored series Working Ahead
This type of job is appealing to the same types as freelance writers and graphic designers — young students or recent college grads who either have unpaid jobs as interns or are unemployed, and spend their days bumming around coffee shops trying to figure out where their rent will come from. A recent study by Mohamed Musthag and Deepak Ganesan at the University of Massachusetts found that the vast majority of micro-taskers — up to 75 percent — are in this age group. These are also the highest-performing micro-taskers, super-agents as Mushtag and Gensan call them, clever at minimizing transportation costs and content with a temporary low-income job and no benefits.
Another important skill these youths do have is tech-savviness. They are much quicker at adapting to new technology than previous generations, and often already have a smart device in order to socialize. In this sense, many young smart-workers may enjoy the convenience and flexible hours of working via smartphone. After all, being offered a moving job at 10:45 a.m. isn’t so different than being texted by a romantic interest saying, “What are you up to?” at 10:45 p.m.. In this sense, the new buzzword FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) refers to partying and employment equally.