So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
(Riverhead Books, 2015, 290 pages)
In So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed Jon Ronson investigates people who have been subjected to public shamings and how this affects them and reflects on our society. A lot of shaming today takes place online and it has added a completely different dynamic to things. Ronson highlights a few different high profile cases of public shaming and interviews those who were shamed.
In the midst of things we, as a society, don’t really think about the people who are on the receiving end of public shamings. People like Justine Sacco and Lindsey Stone were subjected to so much hate and ridicule that they effectively shut down and tried as hard as possible to go off the grid. It’s incredibly easy to judge people from afar – we don’t think about how our snappy tweets and Facebook posts actually impact the lives of real people. Ronson calls this out and talks about the logic behind this group mentality that takes over when a shaming is in progress.
Ronson’s approach to this topic is interesting – it’s something I had never really taken the time to think about. This was an entertaining book that reads fairly quickly. If you’re looking for accessible non-fiction with a little humor this would be up your alley.