Book Review: So You've been publicly shamed

Liam Butler

Liam Butler lives in Stoke, the cool part of Nelson. He has been reviewing books, movies and music for a bit of light relief since his student days.

So you've been publically shamed tells the story of some of the most humiliated people in modern history. It examines how social media has enabled an individual’s fall from grace to be not only broad cast to a global audience but for that audience to readily share their judgements on the individual.  

Whilst FAILS have become a key ingredient into the humour diet on the internet Jon Ronson looks at the long term ramifications of a person’s worst day of their life defining who they are and the effect on their loved ones and stakeholders. Jon goes boots and all into some pretty uncomfortable situations to report and reflect the consequences of shame, how people can live with it and why it is the death of others.  For example Jon Ronson explains that the reason why Max Moxely "soared above his public shaming" was that 'as soon as the victim steps out of the pact by refusing to feel ashamed, the whole thing crumbles'

Judging people and their activities of daily living, dreams, delusions and desires on the internet makes for a book that will definitely make you think. The internet is supposed to open our minds, celebrate disruptive thinking and creativity. 

Jon muses in his conclusion that "We see ourselves as nonconformist, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conversation age. Look! WE'RE normal! THIS is the average!" We are defining the boundaries of normality by tearing apart the people outside of it.


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