May 20, 2018

Some thoughts on taking care of yourself and others

This was originally published on my newsletter.

I was watching this video from Panic a few weeks back about how a dispute between two internet service providers (Comcast and Cogent) can really affect the users on the other end.

What was happening was that users at home using Comcast were experiencing really slow downloads from Panic, and it seemed like there was really no way to get these two giant companies to work together.

Image: This graph shows the connection speeds on Comcast via Cogent

It was a really good postmortem, but the thing that stuck with me is their conclusion at the very end:

The internet is fragile — and that’s pretty scary.

It's a reminder that the thing that we rely on on a day-to-day basis can end up breaking. As makers and builders in the tech industry, I think we need to see our world as a system because things don't exist in isolation. Tech is not just about computers—it's about people, too, which is why we need to take care of each other (including ourselves).

I wrote a blog post a while back about our responsibilities in this industry, and I'd like to add a couple more things to that.

  • Taking care of yourself: I've found that is a super good resource for almost anything and everything you can think of. Games. Meditation. Podcasts. Blogs. You name it. This is where I found 750words which has really helped me get into journaling. If you're remote, check out my friend Joni's blog post on isolation.
  • Being aware of other people's situations: Global Accessibility Awareness Day happened back in May 17, but you can always do the activities whenever you want! Apple also released a video series showcasing people with disabilities using tech, and it's guaranteed to make you smile. 😊 Also check out Empathy Prompts for moar activities!
  • Taking care of users: This is starting to get political, but politics and tech are very much intertwined. If you're in the US, I think it's important to convince your representatives to reinstate net neutrality to prevent ISPs from discriminating the kinds of content that people are getting at home. I personally use ResistBot, and it's magic. ✊🏽
  • Take care of your coworkers: Check yourself. Are you inadvertently judging and discrediting your coworkers? Are you aware of how you talk online?

Do you have other resources in mind? Feel free to reply and send it my way!

Newsletters that I love

  • Jocelyn K. Glei is a beautifully crafted newsletter that talks about work without the stress.
  • YupGup is a tiny, guppy-sized company which has a beautiful monthly newsletter that talks about communities in tech.
  • Clearletter is a newsletter from Clearleft about design, technology, culture and business.
  • Girl's Night In is not just for women. I personally enjoy reading self-care things from this newsletter myself.

Around the web

Podcast updates

That's all for meow. 😸 See you around!