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“thirteen air balloons” by Darren Lee on Unsplash

Over the past 12 months I’ve been divesting from platforms and companies that I do not support. I believe it’s important to make conscious choices as a consumer. This becomes especially true when spending time on, and contributing to, free-to-use online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google. Users of these platforms are the direct mechanism through which they make money, without the users, they wouldn’t exist. I want to be sure I use platforms that are compatible with my personal beliefs.

Briefly, and I won’t belabor this, I don’t hold uncommon beliefs, or hold any values that would shock anyone in the western world. Fundamentally, companies, like people, should add value to your life, be honest to you, respect your right to privacy, and not participate in harming others. Companies also bear the burden of providing a healthy work environment for their employees, which is not something a person would normally be responsible for. It’s also important to mention, even if someone were to hold these same values, it’s entirely within their right to ignore them when convenient or necessary. For consenting adults using these platforms while also holding these common values is not inherently incompatible as long as they understand where the lines are drawn. It’s much less clear for children, who may not be able or willing to fully understand the consequences of participating in these platforms. …

I’ve been doing some soul searching over the past few months. I’ve been depressed, which went unnoticed until recently. Spontaneously, the thought materialized in my head: I’m not that happy, and I need to be happy with my life again. Simple enough, right? Maybe not. Let’s go on a short journey that many of us might not realize we share.

Symptomatically the depression I’m experiencing is common, not at all different from the signs of clinical depression that many people experience at least once in their lifetime. For many, these symptoms seem to clear up after a period of time. For others, however, the depression doesn’t go away. When I was a teenager I was in the latter group. Trapped. Alone. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing to motivate or stimulate. All the signs of clinical depression. The family doctor called it something doctory, and so I was put on medicine. The medicine that was chosen for me at the time didn’t seem to help the dullness and in fact worsened it. The depression set on from an existential crisis which I won’t go into, but eventually overcame. …

I quit high school within a month of my first day as a freshman. I still attended, but participated at absolutely the most minimal level. …


CTO @ BRD, Previously Steamboat Labs, Lightt, Yammer and AlterTap

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