Ours is a society where many exploit the outrage of others in order to gain power – and we all too quickly take the bait. But by shouting about everything, we are in fact creating a world where outrage is without consequence.
There is still much to be outraged by in our final frontier, but in order to enact change and become more effective online, we must learn to channel our responses.
This is the essential guide to living through the age of outrage.
You know how, every so often, you read a book and want to force everyone you come into contact with to read it? Outraged is one of those books. I would’ve read it in one day had I not fallen asleep at the 80% mark (not a reflection on the content – I was tired, it was late!).
The timing of this book could not be better. We’ve seen so much happen during 2020 (and that’s just so far…) and the majority of us have become dependent on social media as outlets for our anger and distress. We’ve clicked, retweeted, liked, commented, hashtagged, and cancelled. But to what end? What motivates us to jump on the latest Twitter outrage bandwagon and how effective is this for making a real impact in the real world?
“Outrage used to require more than a caption under a reposted picture. It required action and intent. It was a train that aimed to move protest towards progress.”
These are the questions Dotty attempts to answer. This book is phenomenally well-researched, drawing on experience from scientists, researchers, as well as those on the receiving end of social media outrage and instigators of it – whether that was their intention or not. I quite honestly nearly dropped my Kindle at the point where Dotty interviews the infamous Katie Hopkins. But there is no denying that its contribution to the book is valid and valuable.
“Imagine if we took the efforts we were investing so freely in the takedown of people and focused them into the destabilisation of power structures.”
What made Outrage such an outstanding read, in my opinion, is the journey Dotty takes us on. We explore the history of activism and how it was organised well before the days of the internet and social media, how it has evolved (well, or the opposite), the dawn of social media outrage and its impact, and critically, how we can stop the downward spiral. Oh, and Dotty is absolutely hilarious – like proper “Oh dear I just snortled again” funny.
If you have a social media account and/or you’ve ever jumped on the outrage bandwagon (and many of us are guilty of that, let’s be honest) then you have a duty of care to yourself and your fellow citizens to read this book. Read it, absorb it, implement it, talk about it. It is life-changing.
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Outraged through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Outraged? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a wonderfully bookish week,