The internet pledge

Some years back, I made some social media New Year’s resolutions. I still think it’s a good list.1The longer you write online, the greater your chances of disagreeing with yourself. Alexandra Franzen2Alexandra is the author of You’re Going to Survive. She describes her book as “a collection of true stories about criticism, rejection, public humiliation, online bullying, all kinds of difficult situations, and how to get through them. I hope you love reading it, and I hope it boosts you up whenever you’re having a tough moment.” drafted an internet pledge with some useful additions over my resolutions. Will you join me in taking this pledge?


  1. Both offline and online, I will treat people as if they’re my daughter, son, sister, brother, parent, or friend. Because everybody is somebody’s daughter, son, sister, brother, parent, or friend.
  2. To the best of my ability, I will try to add to the amount of love in the world — not subtract from it. This means communicating in a reasonable, respectful manner. This means treating human beings like they’re human beings, not canned dog food. This means asking, “What would Michelle Obama say in this situation? What would Gandhi say? What would Martin Luther King Jr. say? What would Mister Rogers say?” and then proceeding accordingly.
  3. I will not post snarky, cruel blog comments. If I disagree with something that’s been written, I can write my own blog post to voice my perspective.
  4. I will not post snarky, cruel messages criticizing people for their weight, body type, age, or anything related to their appearance — including the clothes they choose to wear. Every human being has the right to express themselves however they want, whether that means wearing a bikini, a pantsuit, or a cocktail dress.
  5. I will not post snarky, cruel reviews on Yelp, Amazon, or anywhere else. If I’m not happy with a product that I’ve purchased, I can reach out to the manager or business owner to express my concerns. I can give that person an opportunity to make things right — which they will probably be more than happy to do.
  6. I will not treat online forms (including Customer Support forms) as if they’re a free punching bag where I can unleash all of my pent-up frustration. Eventually, whatever words I type into this form will reach an actual, living, breathing human being. Not a robot. A person. My words will impact this person’s day. So I will try to communicate in a reasonable, respectful manner.
  7. I will not send numerous emails, one after another, saying, “Hey, did you get my last email?” (Or emails marked URGENT when really, they’re not.) I understand that many people are inundated with hundreds of emails every week. Many people are dealing with intense difficulties at home — upheaval, divorce, illness, caring for aging parents, and a thousand other responsibilities. Sometimes, responding quickly just isn’t doable. I will be patient, just as I’d hope that others would be patient with me.
  8. I will support the artists that I love. If there’s a blog, podcast, public radio program, video series, book, or any other creative project that has deeply touched my life, I will support that artist to whatever extent I can. A fan letter. An appreciative review. A donation. A purchase. Whatever I can do to say, “You’ve made a difference for me. Thank you.”
  9. I will not be careless with my words. Words matter. Words can break hearts, start wars, or spark a bonfire of shame. Words can also help and heal. I will try to be a helper, not a hurter.
    I will do my part to create a safer, kinder, more compassionate Internet — and offline world, too. It begins with the next email I write, the next comment I post, the next choice I make. I will never be a perfect human being, but every day, I will try to be better.

Brent Logan

October 28, 2017

My Social Media New Year’s Resolutions

With a new year nearly here, it’s time to resolve to behave better on Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and whatever other social media gets invented this coming year.

  • Ask, don’t tell. I’ll try to remember that I don’t know everything and act accordingly. I might even learn something.
  • Leave more comments. Bloggers put a lot of effort into their craft. A thoughtful comment can be the best reward. I know I appreciate comments.1Oh, that was almost a pitiful plea for comments, wasn’t it? ;-)
  • Respond. When someone comments here, I’ll respond. Same if someone @replies on Twitter or tags on Facebook. Not all responses need to be (or should be) in the public stream.
  • Less posting. That’s right — less. Less stupid stuff, less politics,2None? fewer links that die. And maybe a little more long-form blogging, though no promises there.
  • Less snark. Yeah, snarkiness is fun, and even funny sometimes. I’ll just do less of it. Or do it better.
  • Less complaining. Facebook will do what Facebook will do. I’ll just quietly sit in my corner blocking apps, ignoring page requests, and offer only helpful suggestions.
  • No drive-bys. Tweets and status updates I disagree with are not an invitation for debate or correction. People have the right to be wrong — even me.
  • More IRL. Online social media is fun and a great way to meet new people, but it’s no replacement for shaking someone’s hand, sitting across the table, and talking. More Tweetups, Ignite Portland, etc. I recently made my contact information easier to find if you’d like to contact me. Just check my Contact link.
  • Understand Twitter. Okay, that one’s impossible.

Are you making any social media resolutions? If so, what are they?

First Day of School

Taking pictures on the first day of school is a tradition too good to break. Apparently, rain on the first day of school is, too.

Even though I’m not in school, this feels more like New Year’s Day than January 1. The change in routine makes everything seem new. It’s a good time to change, to improve. Although I’m not one to write New Year’s resolutions, I take advantage of this time to (re)start good habits. I have just a couple this year: exercise more often and drink less caffeine. My gym bag is packed and in the car and a nice, pretty new water bottle is sitting next to me on my desk. Now all I have to do is follow through.

How about you? Do you make start of school resolutions?