Today I got really upset at work over the situation in Quatar. Or the world championship. I have been reading a few things on the work conditions of the workers building the stadium and the fifa’s ways of dealing with criticism regarding this, and it makes me fucking furious.

I’m not a football enthusiast by any means, I don’t watch the world championship games or have a favourite football club or player. So I was never interested in the championship anyway. With all the news about how Quatar threw money at everybody involved and at the same time treating humans working on it like dogs, it was easy for me to condemn the whole thing. I would’ve probably not watched the whole thing if it was run by angels.

Maybe I should acknowledge that for some people, football is a passion and games are an event that make them happy. Maybe I overreacted, at least in the way that it affected me.

I was asked (being passionate about cycling) if the event was about cycling instead of football, whould I have reacted or felt differently about it?

I have thought about it and I realized that no, I would have not. There are a few examples that come down to the same principle:

  • Amazon: I don’t buy from Amazon because I know they are an evil company, suppression unions, pressurizing and exploiting their workers, evading taxes. I do that despite the convenience that ordering at Amazon offers me.

  • Fairphone: I bought a Fairphone because I wan’t to contribute to a world where phones last longer than one or two years and are self-servicable. I do that despite knowing that I’m buying a product from a small company with less experience and manpower than other, bigger players. That means that I’m not getting as much value (in terms of raw specs) for my money and I might have problems that other people don’t have.

  • Google: I switched away from most Google products like Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps, PlayStore as much as I possibly could and opted for greener, fairer and more privacy friendly alternatives. I do that knowing that the featureset will probably never be up to par with Google’s services (it’s a fucking big company with tons of money, after all), and knowing that it will cost me more in the long run. Because I’m paying with my money, not with my data.

So what’s the principle?

Giving up something that makes you happy over provides convenience because you know it is bad in the long run and/or for other people.

For me it’s not so much about happiness that I give up but about convenience. I willingly give up a lot of convenience that other people might take for granted. And I have a hard time explaining my reasons when I get asked about it.

You might argue that there needs to be a balance between the things to fight for and the things that give you happiness, and I 100% agree. I can’t be perfect and I try to remind myself of that.

But some things can’t be unseen.


Mental health and computers.