Metaphorical browser tabs and spoon theory.

Close some metaphorical browser tabs from your head. It's perfectly okay to do it. You're human. Pick your best fights.

Use and promote Linux because personal computing freedom is important. It’s okay to constantly restart my laptop and lose work & context. Oh, and call it what it is: GNU/Linux.

Dogfood your IndieWeb universe, because an independent social web is essential. It’s difficult and ever-evolving, but I must keep up with the standards and spend my time working quirks out and ironing bugs in my applications. Who has friends to meet anyway?

Use privacy-respecting apps and techniques because everyone has everything to hide. I must use inconvenient apps and convert my friends to these otherwise niche apps. It’s the only way forward. Until something Company X does that puts us all two steps backwards.

Develop for the web because I must pay my bills. I may enjoy it, but it’s a job too. Network with peers, give talks, write tutorials, find work, negotiate. Otherwise, am I really a web developer? Will the first-world companies hire me?

Blog because I like interacting with you all and documenting things for my future self.

Pay artists their fair share via Bandcamp or buy from them directly, because the big streaming companies won’t do it. It’s okay — I’ll pay $15 for that album.

Reduce my environmental footprint because we’re all going to burn and die if I don’t do anything.

Use private communication (XMPP) because our most personal chats have been monetized, and it’s just wrong.

Self-host because data sovereignty is what further enables personal computing freedom. I must spend a few hours every month keeping everything working. And pay for the privilege, too.

Lose weight because our society is inherently fat phobic. I must spend my time and energy fighting my urges and dropping some kilos.

But make sure to take time out to relax and meet friends and go on vacations because burn-out is not fun. It affects everything, and I can’t be broke.

Research and plan for my survival options because of near-future geopolitical conflicts and domestic unrest. I must protect myself from that stress as best as I can.

Oh snap — did you hear about NFTs and cryptocurrencies? I must lend a hand in stopping this abuse of power and abuse of nature.

But nah, I can’t consider myself special — I must pay that $5/month or $15/album or $60 in donations every year. After all, everyone else does it too. So why can’t I?

Fork this project and upgrade it for my needs. Hack. I am a hacker, right? Right?

Set up a RAID for my ethically-sourced media collection. Casually throw a few hard disks in my actual, physical cart at some random electronics store (didn’t you hear — mom-and-pop stores are dying). Configure a home server. It’s just $100 or so and I have freed myself for life. 5% of my monthly income? 10%? Does it matter…?

But while I’m building that solution for my home, I shouldn’t forget there are wars and atrocities going on in the world every. single. day. I should look up some charities and see if I can volunteer.

Did you hear? Some cis, white, hetero, man has stirred the pot again, and now it’s up to me to give up the service. It’s the only way he’ll stop his abuse of power and authority and privilege. He actually listens to this language. He speaks it.

I’m also battling addictions. Maybe it’s alcohol. Maybe it’s something else. An addiction is an addiction. But it’s easy to find support, right? And get tired of switching therapists because none of them work? Spend that energy again and again and again and again and again.

Close some tabs.

It’s perfectly okay to do it. You’re human. Pick your best fights.

Virtual internet hugs. I need it. You need it. I didn’t focus on compassion and empathy in the list above — oh shit! I suppose I ran out of my spoons.

It’s been a fucked up time for everyone. 2019 has dragged on and on. Perhaps 2014 has dragged on and on. It could be whatever year that has dragged on and on. It was a year something that was very important to you was taken away or damaged or flipped by someone else. You’ve been fighting to live ever since. In that pursuit, you chose to give up something else. And I still respect you. I get you.

Virtual internet hugs, friend.

Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash.

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