The issue isn't as clear-cut as it would be two generations back. At the same time, it is a different form of complexity compared to those and struggles during the likes of a time such as the USSR or any major war. The blueprint of this debate is based on the systematic degradation of excellence of life through the constant gentrification with a negative accent, debasement of opportunities, monarchial wealth distribution, and, in general, the establishment of a lifestyle that is considerably way more tedious and the marking a goal that has become much more unattainable.
To put it in a comprehensive comparison, I see it equivalent to the battle of the fish, and the toil of generations it took for it to start getting on land after realizing that the next step of evolution lied in the crossing over from water to the soil, as well as recognizing the need to alter itself anatomically.
Burnout is worn as a badge of honor these days. Emitting oneself from the natural healthy demands; absence of sleep, a good diet, exercise, relaxation, and socializing with friends or family for quality time. This behavior should be rather changed.
Or should it?
The debate sparks the discussion of modern slavery. Crunching tasks in a place one doesn't like, for hours they can't afford, for a paycheck that doesn't cover the extra time. All powered by a demanding culture where going beyond requirements is prime. "Not doing your job", when you have put in the time and effort for the amount you are paid and no more.
Burning out on a Tuesday afternoon, grabbing junky take out instead of home-cooked goodness, exhausted by half of the day where you are naturally supposed to take a nap but are shackled to work because of the paycheck, going back home late at night and deciding to munch on lead-filled 2 minutes noodles and binging on youtube for next two hours instead of meditating, cooking good food and resting. The late-night revenge procrastination cycle begins.
The generational difference in the system is obvious. Gentrification is pronounced now. Competition is robust. The ratio between the demand of the skill and its supply is tipped to the latter. Who remembers the tweet from the creator of a program who was asked for 4 years of experience in the program to land the job, when the program itself was created only 1.5 years prior to the interview?
When talking about a conventional 9 to 5, the glorification of overworking stems from the lagging availability of resources. Either one is delegated to do the job of two, or as a result of incompetency, the work is done inefficiently by one. Still, it is impossible to do your best when you have no heart in it. In such situations, it is best to move on to another adventure.
The silver lining is that the glorification of overworking has risen due to the relevance of it. There are tonnes of small business owners who would rather put 70 hours a week into their project rather than work under someone else and put 42 hours a week.
Overworking is only relevant when the negativity and toxicity of the working ordeal is present. Otherwise overworking is a lifestyle and the glorification of it is equivalent to those of a battle scar that you live to tell the tale of.
"I don't quit when I am tired, I only quit when I am done!"
A similar mindset can be found both in self-employed and non-self-employed individuals - depending on their mindset and life goals. The opposite - overworking, can be found on both sides, too.
On one hand, someone's dream is to never go hungry anymore and buy their parents a house, and on the other hand, someone's dream is to live life as casually as possible, riding the wave.
It is a matter of perspective. In a bird's eye view, it is obvious that the glorification overworking is harmful to the current generation's long-term physical and mental health, which will, in turn, cause the coming generations to bear the rotten fruits. Much like the boomer's effect on the current market.
On the contrary, who are you and me, to point out and say that the other guy's lifestyle CHOICE of overworking isn't right?