Saturday, January 16, 2016

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

What happens when you become the focus of the internet’s collective ire and outrage?  What happens when a status, a tweet, a post, becomes a lightning rod?  In today’s world of 24 hour media cycles and near constant social media updates, the internet has become many things.  The access point for information.  A place to make your voice heard.  And, on the darker side, an outlet for an angry mob and virtual pitchforks.

Ronson’s book explores several high profile cases of public shamings - names you may have heard of, or names that may be new.  While we witness the outcry and anger flashing across our screens, Ronson digs into the aftermath.  What happens after the internet calls for your destruction?  Exploring historical behavior and current studies, reaching out to experts, and listening to the shamed, Ronson collects information and presents the reader with the question - what happens when the internet calls for your head?

I found the premise of this book fascinating - it’s told in a voice that was both authoritative and conversational, hooking the reader immediately (or, at least, this reader).  Ronson strives to shine a light on all facets of the issue, taking the reader on an enlightening journey through a topic that splashes across our collective newsfeeds daily.  In the age of internet ubiquity, So You’ve BeenPublicly Shamed is an interesting (and dare I say, necessary) look at the power of our virtual actions.  Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys social and cultural studies - as well as anyone with an online profile living somewhere on the interwebs.

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