Essays on Technology and Culture

What They Did, Not Who They Are

I don’t want a mealy-mouthed, fangless discourse where nothing worth critiquing – person or otherwise – can be discussed without fear of the chilling effect of “offense.” Rather, what I want is for people to take into account the messiness of real life. I want people to have what Jay Smooth called the “what they did” conversation rather than the “what they are” conversation.

Instead of hearing about how someone who has misstepped can now be sorted into This Box or That Label, I want to know what they did that was a problem. I want to be given a chance to draw my own conclusions and – the most vital part – I want to feel like I can come to a different conclusion than the consensus without being instantly shifted into the same box merely for not agreeing on what belongs in the box in the first place.

— Please Stop

This is an important essay about the way we interact on social media. I need to take some of these lessons to heart.