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  • Does abundant spare time signal low social status?
  • Does abundant spare time signal low social status?
    Zenjazzygeek, Creative Commons (2014) ©

I have no life! The science of busyness

As well as hosting witty puns and political rants, Twitter is a stage for people’s humblebrags about a lack of free time. Canvas8 spoke with Neeru Paharia, assistant professor at Georgetown University, to find how busyness serves as a social marker, and what this could mean for brands.

Location Global

‘I have so much work to do, I don’t even have time to eat lunch.’ ‘Stayed in the office until so late today.’ These kinds of humblebragging statements are abundant on social media, with people looking to signal their own importance, value and desirability in a self-deprecating yet performative exclamation. Because in our always-on lifestyles, time for leisure has become an even scarcer commodity than money to splash out on expensive things.

According to researchers from Columbia, Georgetown and Harvard universities, this development has permanently changed how people signal their social status to others. “[A] busy and ...



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