So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson is a book about what happens when unsuspecting people come under fire by the trolls and haters on social media. Like all of Ronson’s work, it’s a mix of good journalism, introspection, social critique, and fascinating anecdotes. It is shot through with both humor and sensitivity.
I first became fond of Jon Ronson through hearing him on This American Life. I loved not only the stories he told, but the way he told them. He is a character in his own dramas – often the one you cringe for. I previously read The Psychopath Test, and found it both gripping and entertaining. In the same vein, you put this book down thrumming with sympathy for the people whose stories Ronson shares while also somehow chuckling to yourself.
Read it if you have a sense of humor and curiosity about the impact of our modern connected lives on people who make tiny mistakes on a public platform.
Skip it if you already have anxiety about the massive power of social media.