Digital Connections are Not Relationships

My experience with working from home in an activist context

Aza Y. Alam


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Suppose you want to help change the world/save the world/make a difference — (yes, you still, live in hope, even if you wonder sometimes, watching the news, if that may be delusional)!

You accept a role that pays you one quarter of your current salary. Your reasoning is that you never got paid to engage in anti-war protest/social justice or whatever other things you got involved in, before. The idea that you might get paid while doing what you used to be a weekend thing fitting in with your full-time work role, is amazing! Could I actually be paid (a bit) for my passion to put my weight behind the collective effort towards making the world better… wow… yes to that! I ticked off all the other plus points.

  1. Enables you to have time for your elderly mother
  2. Flexibility to be able to get on with your writing.
  3. Take a deep rest from being in semi-hostile white-only work settings

Living frugally, with your savings thrown in, you decide you can manage, at least for six months or so in this part-time role.

So, you attend a zoom meeting for the interview and answer the questions put by the two woman panel and a few days later you are contacted.

Yes, you are chosen. When can you start?

Thus began my time receiving £400 a month. But during the first four months of my involvement, I hardly managed to write anything at all. I read a lot, I made notes, but I could not fully concentrate for a long enough period of time. I seemed to be zapping up and down and all over the country. Fitting in seeing my mother was not that easy. My phone was going off all the damn time. From 7.00am, till midnight or even later, there were messages appearing from the 6 or so groups I was linked into. There could be well over a hundered every day. I never liked social media and had barely been on Facebook before. Now, I felt obliged to check in on Facebook too.

I couldn’t understand why there were over 800 membeers of the Facebook page, yet only four local people, two of whom were admins for the group, attended the two protest actions outside the factory.



Aza Y. Alam

Exploring the entanglements of gender, race and class during this era of the Eurokleptocene. Let’s do better, one story, one learning, one comment at a time.