The Courtesy Clause

Full stop: I believe in online etiquette.

Being mindful of other users on platforms. No bullying or harrassing others. Not being offensive to groups outside of your own. However, there seems to be an uptick in what I know to be poor online behavior. So what is the cause?

For certain, people do not see others online as real, tangible. They see avatars, icons, facsimiles of real people. They have no connection to them, no real world relationship to them. They don't know their histories, families. They simply don't care. We've been conditioned since the proliferation of the internet in the mid-nineties into regular homes (via Dial-Up. Thanks AOL!) with message boards turning into chat rooms, chat rooms turning into geocities websites, and those websites turning into social media. Each "evolution" of communication pushes us further and further away from humanity.

So, how do we, ever-online, ever-connected change that. I call this "The Courtesy Clause". Three rules to abide by. Nothing complicated, nothing to invest in. Completely free.

Three tenets to live by:

1. If you don't like someone, block them. No need to comment or make fun of them. That way, you won't get mirred down into petty name-calling and commenting. You'll forget that this person exist.

2. Always respond without snark or sarcasm to strangers (unless warranted). Tone can be mis-interpreted, and a simple miscalculation on the other persons part can cause an online scuffle.

3. Always treat others the way you want to be treated. This is simple to follow. Move throughout the online space with kindness and respect.

As a millenial, I grew up on the internet. Throughout the mistakes that me and my cohorts have made online, I was able create a simple rulebook for myself and others to move with good intention on the world wide web. We share this space.
Let's make it a safe one.

Digital Waste

Full stop: I have seven email addresses. I used to have ten.

I had a come-to-Jesus moment in May of 2022 when I realized that my online presence regarding the large amount of usernames and passwords I've been juggling became exhausting, even for someone like myself who works in tech. But the weeks after that revelation was nothing short of freeing. I started deleting accounts I haven't used in a while, got rid of digital subcriptions I haven't touched and even forgot about. Removing all of the things I did not need, albeit digitally was an amazing feeling. And, I intend on keeping that behavior up.

Because of our move from physical to digital media, we as a civilization have chosen to instead fill our computers, inboxes, and smart tv with things that outside of its digital walls, would be considered waste. Digital Waste.

We've collected so many things over the years, subscriptions to tv services we will never watch, adding more and more songs to our playlist on your music app of choice that we will never listen to. So many things added on top of the pile that will never be utlized for our personal entertainment. But how do we fix it? How did I fix it?


1. Look at your expenses every month: I saw what I was subscribing to, and saw items and services I didn't use, either little or not at all. Saved a lot of money in the process.

2. Narrow down means of digital contact: This means email addresses, social media if possible. Try to steer your mutuals into sending information or messages to one mode only. That way you won't be checking email, Instagram, Twitter, and the like trying to keep up with friends and family.

3. Engage with the outside world: When I started taking more walks away from my computer, hiking more, reading physical books more, and cutting my tv-watching hours, my digital engagement dropped significantly for the better.

With all that being said, I understand the need to be "ever-online." Our jobs, social lives, and communication with the outside world depend on it. However, if we can lets pursue a life without Digital Waste, and maintain a more human connection to the world.