A thing I am trying to do is be more aware of, and grateful for, the sheer amount of unrecognized (and unpaid) work we ask other people – especially women and people of color – to do.
For instance, you see a term in a Facebook discussion you don’t recognize, and so you ask the person what it means. They then reply with a 3 paragraph answer, in clear language that anticipated your possible other questions.
They just did work that benefits you. You could have just used Google or, heaven forfend, the dictionary, but no, you asked them to do work for you. The least you can do is to recognize it, and to thank them for it.
Most of the Internet was built with unpaid labor. Most people don’t get paid to write on Facebook, to edit Wikipedia, to write lengthy blog posts. So when they do, the least we can do is to thank them for their work.
This is a particular dangerous trap if you have brilliant friends. A friend of mine is an expert in a specific field, and I recently needed some advice in that field. Not enough to do a deep dive and schedule an appointment, but rather only needed to know the answer to just one question so I could do more research on my own.
I called her to ask the one question, and because she is generous, it turned into a 45-minute phone call. Before we got off the phone I asked her what her hourly rate for consultations was, and then when I got off the phone I sent her that via CashApp. Because yes, she was being generous, but also, I was in danger of profiting from her generosity. Paying her for the work I asked her to do was just my way of recognizing that I don’t have the right to expect her to work for free.