≡ Menu

Terms of Use

Be honest with me here.

When you create an account on a web site, or perhaps install some new software on your computer, how often do you actually take the time to fully read and understand the Terms of Use before clicking OK and getting on with using the resource?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Oh, I’m sure there are a few out there who will scrupulously review the Terms of Use with a fine-tooth comb, and if they’re not comfortable with what they find, they won’t participate. (As an example, I know of individuals who refuse to join Facebook for that very reason.)

But really, honestly, I am willing to bet that most of us quickly skim through the Terms of Use at best, and at worst, dismiss them unread with an impatient, “Yeah, yeah” and virtual flick of the wrist before blithely clicking OK and going on our merry way.

Part of the problem, of course, is that in many cases the Terms of Use are written in such a way that one requires a law degree in order to interpret the fine print legalese, and since in many cases we don’t have such specialized knowledge, we give up trying to understand what it is we’re accepting and decide to go ahead and take a chance, assuming that everything will be just fine.

We quickly move on from this momentary hiccup and start using the resource, and discover to our delight that we absolutely love it. We pour our time and energy into it, developing and customizing and tweaking and thoroughly enjoying ourselves, continually grateful that someone out there created something so wonderful, so lovely, expressly for our use.

Then, then, someone with the right knowledge actually does take the time to read the Terms of Use, sees flashing red warning lights, and shares their concerns with the rest of the internet. As do many hot topics, it makes its way to your Facebook news feed, where with a sinking heart you read the headline:


You know you should click the link, but you really, really don’t want to because you’re afraid of what you might find.

But you do click it, and you do read it, and then you, too, tearfully delete your much-cherished Pinterest account.

And even though it’s just a silly web site, and even though you were living a perfectly fine life before it came along, your heart breaks a little.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.