Tibet Will Be Free (the SFT Blog!)

WELCOME TO THE STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET BLOG--------> This is the weblog of the SFT Headquarters. Here you can peek into the minds (not to mention actions, events, trainings, brainstorms, parties...) of the SFT staff, board members, volunteers, friends and fellow activists. Tibet will be free.

We've Moved:

Tibet Will Be Free has moved off of this site because Blogger is owned by Google. Visit the new TIBET WILL BE FREE at blog.studentsforafreetibet.org

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thoughtful Response: Framing Your Commitment

Though we joke otherwise, Google is huge. It's a noun AND a verb. That takes a significant level of ubiquity, which comes through success and a fairly good product. Quiting Google in order to stand by your moral values is a huge move. It means quitting Google searches, Blogger, Gmail, Google local -- sites that all play a huge, daily role in my life and probably yours too. But SFT isn't asking our supporters to quit Google for life -- just for one day, Valentine's Day February 14th.

It's an important distinction and one which blogger Jacyln at PopPolitics catches:
I'm thinking how brilliant and easy that is, and how I must do it and tell everyone I know about it, so that we can make a noticeable impact and cost them some real market share everywhere else.

And then I realize that gmail is Google. And it's my email provider. And it's the best damn email service I've ever seen. And I'm addicted to it.

And then I read how we're only required to break up with Google for one day. Just Valentine's Day. And I think just maybe I can do that. Not check my email for one day. Use a different search engine. Get my directions from MapQuest. Steer clear of blogs hosted by Blogger. Maybe. For one day. For the sake of human rights and corporate accountability.

Can you?

I'm glad Jacyln caught this distinction. I hope people understand that we're not asking you all to quit Google forever. It'd be cool and righteous if you did, but we decided it was more than we could ask of our supporters. Just do it for a day, or more, and tell us your "break up" story at NoLuv4Google.com.

The reality is the Google boycott is very similar to the Made in China boycott. It's something that we feel very strongly about, but recognize the level of sacrifice it takes to live up to. I don't buy goods made in China. Yes, it IS that hard. No, I'm not 100% perfect. But I have decide that I don't want to support the Chinese government by supporting their export economy. It's my choice and I'll encourage you to do the same, but I'm not on a pilgrimage to stop the American consumption of Chinese goods.

Likewise, I'm moving myself away from Google. I'm working on transfering my personal blog off of Blogger to another platform. I've opened an IceRocket email account, though I'm still shopping for one I like a bit more. I've added other search engines to my Firefox browser. I don't expect I'll be perfect, but I know that I don't want to support a company that has acted against everything I believe in as an activist for Tibet, a blogger, and an American with an understanding that our basic civil liberties are to be cherished and spread, not limited and kept within our borders. Quitting Google is a hard decision, but there are dozens of alternatives to every tool Google offers.

All I'm asking is that you take a break from Google for a day. It really isn't a big commitment when you think about it and I promise I won't hold it against you if you backslide.

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