free labour

If you haven’t seen the hashtag #suckitableism I really recommend doing so. Not only is it highly educational on the lack of consideration for 20% of the population that happens repeatedly, it is also educational on the amount of free labour expected from disability advocates- this is nearly always in the form of “can’t you just_” instead of doing the work of even simply scrolling up a twitter thread or looking it up. So there are dozens of the same reply to the same question on the same tweet. It’s exhausting. Thus the “impolite” hashtag.

I am someone who believes in open access, big time. It’s why I have never put a paywall between my research and people who could benefit from it.

But social media has confounded this. By monesting my work (ads) and people who follow my work (more ads), by deliberately not sharing my page as I am not a business and am not paying to “boost” my posts, by the format of showing comments in very strange ways on phones and even now on desktop applications, by artificially filling “most recent” timelines with pages that pay to boost so that no matter how carefully you trim and look after your “likes” there is always more advertised content than content that we are looking for, by prioritising liked page content by friends rather than their actual posts.

And this means people who create and share content wind up essentially having their brains On Demand as the low cost and speed of communication now has an expectation of speed of reply, even that a reply is the default not at the discretion of the person sharing.

And I have to admit I have wound up in that trap. I find it very hard to not reply when a comment turns up. It’s hard because that expectation also leads people to infer reasons for not replying.

And in part I got to this point through my health making it hard for me to actually make so I try and contribute by sharing online and then I was grieving and it was emotionally painful to work on projects without my little buddy.

I have managed to put in place limits for being online when I am really unwell. This includes at night because I have sleep issues, and I also tend to avoid using my phone to consume content and instead use it to create. That tends to avoid the “ugh” feeling of having messages or other communication that is not positive.

My PC is where I do the big research projects, my laptop is entirely for watching shows and for sleep hygiene.

So it is mostly about not multitasking while I am on my PC now. It’s tough. And it’s not just up to me, I think that makes it tougher. But also a little freeing.