Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 255
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a book by Jon Ronson about people who do something in a highly public setting that earns them ridicule. For any individual, this often has serious consequences on their life, like having to move away from their home or losing their job.
Important quotes in the book include this one:
We are defining the boundaries of normality by tearing apart the people outside it.
This shows how the author makes the case that public outcries often have consequences that aren’t necessarily a net benefit to society.
Another quote that further explores this idea is where Ronson writes,
There is nothing I dislike more in the world than people who care more about ideology than they do about people.
The reason this quote is important to the thrust of the book is because it demonstrates how public outcries often focus only on the creed of the mob while disregarding the real people and real outcomes that follow such mobs. It makes sense that someone like Ronson would develop this opinion after looking at countless stories of someone who made a serious mistake on social media or elsewhere and then was stuck with the shame of it for the rest of their lives.
He goes on to write,
We see ourselves as nonconformist, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conservative age.
Public outcries with consequences that are that serious are going to make people say as few controversial statements online as possible, after all.