Even in the midst of outing sexual harassers and creeps in Hollywood, politics and media, the internet is still great at publicly shaming people for things such as stolen tweets, clumsy phrasing, or being bad at video games. So you might know someone who’s been drummed off the internet for no good reason, or for a good reason that they need to learn from. OK, let’s admit it, that friend is you. Here’s some stuff to help you lick your wounds.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
First get the obvious one out of the way. Jon Ronson’s book shows how social media blurs the difference between earned and unearned public shamings, as context is stripped away and even “civilians” become public figures. It also suggests ways of dealing with the fallout. And if your shaming is completely unrelated to any sexual harassment, this is probably the last book on the topic that won’t cite the Year of Crappy Powerful Men.
This decadent coffee table book, made by a crack team of coastal media elites, will help you fantasise about moving to the woods even though you once panicked when you had to use a 3G mobile signal.
Image by Dan Kurtz
More realistically, keep your phone and just delete Twitter. Instead use this soothing placebo app for iOS and Android, which lets you favourite, repost and comment on pictures of random people and objects. None of your interactions actually do anything, so you can soak your dopamine receptors without any social repercussions.
Field Notes: ‘Dime Novel’ Edition
These special-edition notebooks, inspired by the Beadle’s Dime Novels paperback series first released in 1860, won’t yell at you no matter what garbage you write in them. And maybe the continuity implied by their numbered pages will encourage you to carry a thought beyond 280 characters. Aesthetically, they will match perfectly with your cabin in the woods.
The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck
Sarah Knight’s witty self-help book came out nine months before a man wrote basically the same book with an orange cover, which sold way more copies. That’s so unfair! Just like the way people treated you online. Read it and learn what to really care about, and how to really not care about it.
There is a happy ending: Knight put out two more books and a Kindle single under the “F*cks Given” brand. So hey, you’ll bounce back too.
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age
This classic self-help book might make you a bit manipulative, but isn’t that what you need right now? Just being actually nice isn’t gonna get you retweeted back into polite society. You have to prove you’re nice, and gently suggest people repeat the fact to their friends.
Maybe do something with your hands that’s not about making or consuming content. Squeeze this children’s toy, which pleasingly resembles the avatar of the idiot who smeared your good name in front of the whole Facebook group. Squeeze him until his red notification-badge ears bust wide open.
Uh, that’s what you’ll say to your friend, the shamed one. Because clearly you’d never do anything to get yourself in that kind of trouble.