After Ida

If you’ve read Make Yourself Clear or heard me speak about it, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with automation. I like when it can be set up to handle low-level, low-touch transactions in order to free up time for deep, meaningful, impactful work. Yet I run from it when it sends a signal, from one human to another, that the relationship is just not that important.

Automation is on my mind today because, as you may have noticed, I’ve been “scheduling” these Refreshing Wednesday posts. They publish, Monday through Friday, at 5 a.m. EST followed by a Tweet an hour later and then more randomly (but still automated) a few hours after that. Automating these posts allows me to write them whenever I want to and sometimes in batches. That’s good for me. Also, it allows me to show up consistently for my readers. You know what to expect from me. The value, if there is any, is reliable. That’s a big motivator for me.

But. . . I really, really, really don’t like automating a post on a Saturday, forgetting about it, and then seeing it show up at 5 a.m. after something terrible has happened in Afghanistan or a tropical storm has ruined the basements and possessions of my friends and neighbors.

Reshan and I always talk about going intentionally quiet when our voices could somehow take away from an important conversation or distract others in a time of need or simply claim too much privileged space at any given time.

So I’m struggling with and against the very technology that allows me to connect with you most mornings. Surfacing that struggle is the most honest and useful post I can offer right now. That and simply saying that I hope you, your families, and your communities are safe, recovering, and finding the support that you and they need.

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