Caffeine-Free Liberty


It is now 1:07 am and I’m still wide awake. I laid in bed for two hours and then decided I couldn’t do it anymore. For the first hour I was thinking about StartupCU tomorrow and about potential pivots for HappyFreebie. I wasn’t surprised to be awake because it can take me up to a hour to sleep if I’m excited about a startup idea or a project, but most of the time my head hits the pillow and I’m gone.

It is unusual for me, however, to lay awake for more than an hour. So what was different about tonight? Was it something I ate? I did have a piece of chocolate cake, but that has never kept me awake in the past. Oh dang, I thought, I had a root beer for lunch!

I forget that Barq’s has caffeine, probably because where I grew up it doesn’t. Before today, I don’t remember the last time I drank caffeine; I’d guess it has been more than 7 years. I haven’t missed it either. I have enough energy to do everything and I save a lot of money by not needing a fix twice a day.

So, with nothing else to do but think and write, I had two thoughts I’d like to share, (1) how life is better when liberated from caffeine, and (2) how the decisions of society effect everyone, not just those who are given the liberty.

First, we all need a break from caffeine. When I was about 18 years old I would drink Mountain Dew like it was water. As a result, I suffered from insomnia and was exhausted every day. One day I decided to quit and, aside from the massive headache for a couple days, my sleep and daily energy has been great ever since.

Caffeine claims to make people more efficient during the day, but leaves them awake at night. Thank goodness for sleeping pills, right? Maybe we should all just take 6 months off. Do it and I promise you’ll sleep a lot better at night and have more energy during the day.

Second, a word about society’s choices. I can’t sleep tonight not only because I forgot that some root beer is caffeinated, but also because I live in a culture of caffeine. It is true, there are coffee shops on every corner, coffee pots in every office, and coffee mugs in almost every hand; there are caffeinated hot drinks and caffeinated cold drinks, caffeinated granola bars and caffeinated candy bars. Trying to avoid it is a challenge, hence my lack of sleep tonight, but even though I don’t like it, I don’t want it, and I don’t need it, I can’t help but be affected by it.

I’ve heard the claim in the past that we as a society shouldn’t care about other peoples choices. They say that some choices only affect the individual. That is a fallacy. I’ve heard this argument about tobacco, marijuana, pornography, and just about every other vice that people want the liberty of which to partake. The truth is that we all suffer the negative externalities of society’s choices. In 2010, a study found that over half of the children in the US show signs of tobacco in their blood from second hand smoke (CNN). I hope that in 10 years the same is not true of marijuana.

In addition, we lament the inequality of women in the workplace and yet ignore how the media, Hollywood, and pornography producers portray them. Yes, sex sells, but it also dimeans, belittles, and objectifies. Changing the way women are portrayed would do more to help equality than all the outrage in the world combined.

So, I guess I’ll end with a question. Is liberty being free of addiction or is it being free to be addicted?

Well, I’m feeling pretty tired now, I guess I’ll try to get some sleep. I hope I don’t have this problem again for a while. If you decide to take the liberty to take a break from caffeine because of this post, let me know. That would make my long night worth it. 🙂


About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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