The act of monetizing a hobby, thus blurring the lines of "work life balance." Today's economic conditions can make this feel like an obligation at times.
Examples of Freemium Leisure
- A craftsperson selling their wares on Instagram or Etsy.
- Developers hacking away at open source side projects, blogging, or other activities in order to work on their personal brand.
This topic is hit upon in the book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy:
In After the Future, the Marxist theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi ties the defeat of labor movements in the eighties to rise of the idea that we should all be entrepreneurs. In the past, he notes, economic risk was the business of the capitalist, the investor. Today, though, “‘we are all capitalists’…and therefore, we all have to take risks…The essential idea is that we should all consider life as an economic venture, as a race where there are winners and losers.”
The removal of economic security for working people dissolves those boundaries**—eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will—so that we are left with twenty-four potentially monetizable hours that are sometimes not even restricted to our time zones or our sleep cycles.
This is a cruel confluence of time and space: just as we lose noncommercial spaces, we also see all of our own time and our actions as potentially commercial.
We don't have stability in jobs, so we are all entreprenuers wether we like it or not. When you are an entrepreneur, every hour is potentially profitable. All lesiure activity is a loss in a capitalistic sense. Since we have to find new jobs constantly, we have to think about our appeal in the market, we have to do work outside of work because we no longer have a definition of outside of work. This to freemium leisure, where we feel an obligation to monetize our hobbies.