Some tech workers are filming their layoffs and sharing them on social media. They say it’s part catharsis, part transparency.
“I am about to get laid off,” Folashade Ade-Banjo spoke to the camera while positioning her phone, “and you are about to see it.”
In a five-minute TikTok video this month, Ms. Ade-Banjo, a 30-year-old Los Angeles marketing professional, was shown sitting quietly at her desk and staring at her computer, a pained look on her face as she nodded that she was ready to start. She was being laid off by a tech giant. The video racked up a half million views and thousands of comments within hours.
“One of my resolutions for this year was to be a lot more open and honest with things I struggle with in my own life, so part of that is really showing parts of my life that may not be as glamorous,” Ms. Ade-Banjo said in an interview.
As companies from the start-up Discord to Google have shed hundreds of jobs in recent weeks, some tech workers are taking to social media to share their layoff experiences, and many of these videos have gone viral. They show people crying as they talk with human resources or going through their daily routine knowing a mysterious appointment on their calendar is likely to result in their termination.
The trend is part of a movement driven by Generation Z and millennials to share every aspect of their lives on social media, from stories about a bad date to deeply personal revelations during “get ready with me” videos of daily routines like applying makeup, according to career experts. The layoff videos and accompanying job-hunting posts on sites like LinkedIn and X are shedding new light on a private moment many people try to hide.
“The boundary between the personal and professional has been broken,” said Sandra Sucher, a Harvard economist who studies layoffs.