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Growth-hacking, glorified funding, and groupthink create a blind spot for online violence

The problem with technology platforms is rooted in start-up culture.

Agile. Lean. Market size. Time-to-market. User take-up. Engagement rate.

These are terms that help start-ups compete across “how much” and “by when.”

We need a performance metric that tracks “how long before it breaks”

The documentary “The Social Dilemma” displays how engagement-driven technology facilitates the development of amoral machine learning, echo chambers, and, eventually, crime and social unrest.

Its critics say this is too dramatic a narrative.

But where exactly in the start-up scene are morality, long-termism, and social stability tracked as growth metrics?

I haven’t seen it outside the social enterprise niche.

You have the odd conference stream titled, “The paramount…

Using situations instead of hierarchy

When I think about people close to me, I encounter a thick fog, oblivious to anything on the other side.

I don’t know what it means to be “close” anymore.

If you ask me who I speak to the most, I can think of the top two people.

If you ask me about the ex who is not exactly a friend, but is there for crisis resolution, he’s there too.

I think of the creative tribe that fills me up with support, encouragement, and inspiration in my work.

I think of the mental health buddies to whom I can show…

Spiritual weekly prompt

Shared pain can enable action, but not all pain is born equal.

I’m white. The only thing that comes close to me understanding white supremacy is if I look at my experience as a feminist.

Before you come on this journey with me, one little note. It is my journey. I don’t think it is the only, or best, way.

This personal reflection serves to create a bridge between MeToo and Black Lives Matter, and provide fuel for future movements against oppression.

Stopping for gas


I posted #MeToo without any knowledge of what it was to become. I saw a post, resonated, and shared.

In just under a year, 19 million tweets echoed globally with…

3. Walk Away

You can stop someone from gaslighting you by saying “No.”

to gaslight (verb)
gaslit, gaslit
the post-woke term for manipulating someone’s perception of their own oppression.

“No” can be spoken, or it can be a state of mind.

It can feel daunting to stop someone from “telling you what’s what”. Especially if this person is an authority figure, or if there’s a web of psychological games thread around you 24/7.

But, in most cases, standing up for yourself is healing and empowering, assuming it doesn’t put you in danger.

You don’t say “No” so the other person feels rejected or ashamed.

You do it so you can move on.

You have 4 responses when you’re being gaslit

1. Stand your ground


When you’re taught your body is “bad”, self-love can feel really uncomfortable.

The way the world sees us depends on how we see ourselves.

Surely it can go both ways though?

I remember, up until I was about 11, I had virtually no opinion on how I fared on the beauty scale. I noticed some girls were especially interesting-looking. But I mostly attributed that to pretty dresses and hairstyles, while sulking in the short hair and tomboy wardrobe chosen by my parents.

Once I entered middle school, reviews came soaring in, like I’d just had press night on my newest play. Comments on my face, body, existence were expressed, day after day, by schoolmates, parents, and friends.

I learned that my body was categorized…

With each attack, girls inherit trauma and women relive their own. Times change, hatred does not.

Crying on the bus

It shouldn’t be a solution, although it is.

A solution to a collective trauma that never fails to show itself. On the street, in the bed, on the TV, in the books. Shedding tears of anger, heartache, and helplessness.

When you cry tears for others, it becomes unimportant whether there are people watching, or, indeed, whether you are in locomotion whilst sitting.

I will share what happened, but allow me to settle into this mind-numbing feeling for another minute.

Or two.

While I give a bit of context.

I’ve been raised to respect authority, and to follow suit when taught…

If I had no hope, I’d lose my mind.

I’m in the supermarket, listening to my “Made for you” playlist.

Of course, “Who Run the World” comes up. Cheering me on as I decide between tomato soups — plain or with basil.

I’m in no rush. But, in the name of efficiency, I eye out the shortest checkout queue.

Others are designing their own, albeit with less conventional methods.

It’s not the first time I see someone jumping the queue.

Hell, in the early hoarding-days of the pandemic, I winced while middle-aged white women became outraged with queue-cutters.

I have no fetish for outrage — not today, not any day.

But one can uphold both fairness and a balanced mind…

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