Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian blasts 'hustle porn' on social media: It's 'really toxic'

By Social MediaFOXBusiness

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Alexis Ohanian may have co-founded one of the most successful social news websites in the world, but the 36-year-old business leader still has some reservations about social media — particularly, how it can impact a person's work-life balance.

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Ohanian, who was worth an estimated $9 million before he married tennis superstar Serena Williams, admitted he didn't truly recognize the negative impact social media could have on workers until he took paternity leave from his firm, Initialized Capital, after his wife gave birth to their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017.

During The Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) Future of Everything Festival last week, Ohanian slammed what he calls "hustle porn" on social media. The phrase refers to people who boast about how many hours they work every day.

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“Y’all see it on Instagram and you certainly see it in the startup community, and it becomes really toxic," Ohanian told WSJ, adding that those who "show off" online are creating a bad environment for workers everywhere.

Entrepreneurs are common culprits of this phenomenon, Ohanian added.

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk is just one example.

The Tesla CEO once said, "Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week." And he recently confirmed on Twitter that he works "between 80 and 90 hours a week," though he said in recent years his "hours were much higher."

"Don’t recommend though — bad for health & happiness. But no choice or Tesla would die. Hope to reduce to 80 hours next year," the 47-year-old tweeted.

Reddit, which is now one of the top visited sites in the U.S. and valued around $1.8 billion, was founded by Ohanian and his college roommate Steve Huffman in 2005. The pair sold it for an undisclosed amount to Conde Nast 16 months after it launched. At the age of 23, Ohanian was already a multi-millionaire.

“All of us who decide to start a company, we’re kind of broken as people."

Alexis Ohanian

“I was being offered more money in my bank account than my family made their entire working lives and that seemed crazy to me,” he previously recalled to Fox Business.

So, Ohanian — who's now a managing partner at Initialized Capital — says he understands more than anyone how running a business can take a toll.

“All of us who decide to start a company, we’re kind of broken as people,” he explained to WSJ.

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“You have this culture of posturing and this culture that glorifies the most absurd things and ignores things like self-care, and ignores things like therapy and ignores things like actually taking care of yourself as a physical being for the sake of work at all costs. It’s a toxic problem,” he continued.

Ohanian said business leaders should encourage their employees to take vacations and necessary breaks. And, most importantly, don't brag about the long hours you pull on social media — which could make your colleagues feel guilty for having a work-life balance.

Fox Business' Jade Scipioni contributed to this report.