Security Risks of Burnout [Draft]

Is Your Communications Workload Adding to Your Burnout?

Is that affecting how powerful we are? And is it adding to risks - to people and actions?

Do you have any of these communication stress factors?

  • Wanting to set up a new communication space (application, people, rules, purpose) every time someone needs something different, or can’t find another suitable space for the conversation.
  • Choosing who to join in the new conversation and getting them to join up.
  • Agreeing what the group, purpose, norms are, and explaining that to anyone else who joins.
  • Expecting everyone to notice, receive, react and respond to messages in that space.
  • Being invited into communication spaces, for a reason stated at that time, but it might not be clear who everyone else is, the overall purpose, people’s roles, and anyway that changes over time.
  • Not removing and closing old communication spaces, just in case you need to refer back to it, or find someone you know through that channel.
  • Having multiple communication methods, each communication place with its individual technical detail, group details (who controls the group, who is in it, who does what), and purpose.
  • Having to remember the context, purpose, unwritten rules, sharing norms for every space.
  • Have a way of keeping track of all your important threads - or rely on memory which then fails you when you’re overloaded.
  • Taking reasonable caution about secrecy, having to remember who everyone is on each channel and why they are there - if you even know, and deciding what to share, and what to believe about what others share.
  • Then work out whether you all need to be together at once (by appointment at an arranged time), or can communicate over time (whenever people respond) and not knowing who is quiet by choice or hasn’t seen what you put out.

Technical detail: alert settings, which devices (on computer or phone or both?), group settings (public, private, invitation only), user interface, message retention policy (keep forever or set disappearing messages / delete on schedule).

Whenever people can respond to communication options: email, mailing lists, WhatsApp groups, SMS, Messenger, Facebook groups, Signal, Telegram, Mattermost, Zoom signup groups, Eventbrite signup groups, Slack, Teams, Google chat, Google Hangouts, Trello, ... and dozens more.

By appointment communication options: WhatsApp, phone calls, Messenger, Big Blue Button, Jitsi, meetings in person, Zoom, Eventbrite signup groups, MeetUp, Google Hangouts, ... and dozens more

OK - if that’s all part of the problem - what do we do? We can’t just stop!

We’re all crew - and we’re part of a bigger place which can help hold and support us, through wisdom, love, compassion and care for one another.

SOS gives us a framework of how to organise. All those circles and groups with Internal Coordinators, External Coordinators, with a mandate for action - that’s a great help. Those people are there to help the communication in the team, keep everyone on track and help signpost people to the right place to be. And being connected to the bigger circles by well known paths (see the Organism), often with common tools with other groups, and enough people to sustain those tools longer term.

If we follow the same process for smaller, ad-hoc groups, maybe short lived groups - the common tools, people in roles to take care of the communication basics, (who, what, where, how, why, when) and keep to standard tools whenever possible, we can help each other.

Lowering the communication stress helps people function well, helps security, helps our movement.

Longer term groups can do well on Mattermost and the UK Hub. These communication channels are being run with SOS and digital security in mind, and they help manage many of the groups we are part of. They are tailored to keep us connected, with roles, mandates, shared spaces, public channels, all in a big indexed space described externally and internally.

Short term groups can live on Mattermost and the Hub too - and those groups will also be helped to work within our wider context. Or the holding group can signpost and review the spin-off groups, opening and closing them within the context of the holding circle.

If that sounds less stressful than the 100’s of other channels you have, yes some people now have 100’s of groups! Then consider reorganising, and going back to SOS basics.

Lets use the tools in context of all the communication load we we have as Rebels and take care of other by following the basic guidelines:


It's easy to feel overwhelmed with a constant stream of chat group messages. Here are a few guidelines to encourage regenerative posting.

🎯 Be clear about the purpose of the chat, how people join (private invite only or by public link), and the roles of admins/moderators

👁 Add this info to the chat description

❌ Avoid posting sensitive action info which can later be used as evidence

👋🏿 Welcome newcomers and check in with the group

🗣 Answer questions

📌 If using Telegram, pin key messages and keep them updated

🤫 Keep messages short and link out for more info (unless it’s a discussion thread)

👥 Take forward sub-group issues via direct message or temporary small group chats

🙅🏼‍♂️ Block and report spammers

🥱 If someone keeps posting off-topic messages respectfully ask them to stay on track, or switch to a more suitable channel. If they continue follow-up with them via a direct message, or ultimately consider blocking them from the chat.

📩 Limit re-posting messages on your channel to reduce message overload

♻️ Remind each other of chat etiquette, especially for newcomers

|                 | Secure from private companies | Secure from police | Notes |
| --------------- | ------------------------------| ------------------ | ----- |
| Online meetings |                               |                    |       |
| Zoom            |              No               |        No          |       |
| Pipe      |    $1 |