Monsters of the 2010s: Men on Slack

SCROLL UP, you assholes.

Mother Jones illustration; Getty

The staff of Mother Jones is rounding up the decade’s heroes and monsters. Find them all here.

Plenty has been written about the pitfalls of Slack, the virtual workplace launched in 2013 that boasts something like 10 million daily active users and has largely replaced email in countless newsrooms throughout the country. Not nearly enough, however, has been written about the very worst users of the popular platform: men. 

Slack is where the very worst in a man comes out to play. Meet a mildly irritating man in person and know that his Slack presence borders on insufferable. When a fulfilled task feels unacknowledged, know that it was likely a man who forgot to say “thanks”—his willingness even to engage with you on the platform should be gratitude enough. If some form of debate is percolating and the channel features more than one man, know that your mood will instantly suffer. After all, men will invest the merest passing thought with outsized, embarrassing importance, and Slack is the perfect medium for them to gather and preen together. Distract together. Light up unnecessary notifications together. Force better colleagues to stand witness to bad jokes and overwrought opinions together. 

But the circle jerk does more than just annoy people. Too often on Slack, it quite literally blinds men to the ideas of others while valuable voices are shut out in the process. It’s become routine to watch men firing off messages, failing to see a woman’s response somewhere in the thicket of madly spinning dicks but of course taking notice later on when a man chimes in with the very same response. The man gets praised for his brilliance, while the woman gets erased, along with the credit due to her. When I die, I want “SCROLL UP” tattooed on my forehead. 

For every bad dude flooding the zone with his performances, his ego, his contrarianism, know that there’s always a woman behind the scenes doing the damn work and getting shit done, wishing the whole platform would just collapse from the weight of self-important men.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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