So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is the first of Jon Ronsons books I have read. It was recommended to me by my friend and colleague, Matt Hallsworth. Matt and I seem to share a similar, slightly bemused view of many situations. That in mind, Matt quite rightly estimated that I would love the style of this author.
Hysteria or history
If you’d like a taster of what the book is about, Jon gives us some insight in his TED Talk on this subject. Acknowledging social media shamings he has been involved with, I am immediately inspired by Jon’s brutal honesty. Jon describes a number of shaming incidents and the devastating effects that mob justice has had on the victim. The most striking story relates to the incidents surrounding the Twitter shaming of Justine Sacco.
The rise in the level of hysteria generated by platforms like Twitter is a concern. More so when we consider that public shaming is something our society claims to have consigned to history. We have to ask ourselves whether platforms such as this devalue our social collateral. And having read this book, I seriously considered whether I wanted to be part of them, Twitter in particular.
As well as writing the book, and talking at TED, Jon Ronson has consolidated his journey into a podcast for the BBC. This has been produced as a series 6 episodes, 15 minutes each.
Let's try harder
I love everything about So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The style, the content and especially the way I am hoping it will encourage readers to think before they react on social media.
In a world where we are all connected and yet so much of our connection seems to have been lost, this is a book everyone should read.
And at the very least, let’s all try harder to #BeKind