This weekend I read Susan Fowler’s harrowing journey as a female engineer at Uber. It’s just another reminder that, as liberal as the Bay Area and tech companies like to claim to be, we still have a really long way to go in ensuring equality and civil rights.
The internets response was to be expected depending on where you are on the spectrum, from either shocked/ surprised, disappointed/ disgusted, all the way to “see, this sh*t is still happening” and everywhere in between. Nobody approved or condoned of Uber’s systematic and accomplice behavior. Of course, as has been usual as of late, the #deleteuber hashtag took off again and everyone posted screenshot confirmations as proof. People went into action!
I used Uber twice on Sunday night, even after reading that horrible story and seeing all those hashtags and screenshots. Here is why…
Plain and simple, the internet makes it too easy to bandwagon. In the social media age, your character can be judged simply by how fast/ often you change your profile picture for the latest cause. You can become an instant activist simply by uploading a new photo or wearing out that retweet/ share button. Never once thinking about the outcome and consequences. This is not the same as becoming a Warriors fan a few years ago or buying jerseys for whichever team Lebron is on. This type of rash/ mob mentality can really do damage.
PLEASE THINK ABOUT WHO ELSE YOU ARE PUNISHING! Collateral damage is a real thing!
There are a lot of good people that work at Uber. There are a lot of good people that make a living from driving for Uber. In your quest to “punish” the big bad guys/ company you are hurting the little guy.
I myself work at a place that is embroiled in it’s own, well known scandals. That’s plural, there are at least 2 that currently have people protesting and suggesting that everyone cancel accounts/ service. I cringe when I see these destructive calls to action.
I can tell you from the inside, we feel just as bad for the horrible things that the higher-ups do. I think it affects us even more because we somehow feel like we are contributing to these issues by working for these companies, like “Crap, I work for these monsters!”
Look, I am not saying you shouldn’t be outraged or that you shouldn’t do something about it. What happened to Susan,and anyone else in her position, is just plain wrong! I am in no way defending those jerks that treated her that way or diminishing what happened to her. I’m saying make sure you hold the people who actually did the dirt accountable, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If all you do is #deleteuber what have you changed except more usage for Lyft until their dirty laundry gets aired out? Those jerks move on to do the same thing somewhere else. Clearly, these people work together to protect each other.
We need names/ titles of people and they need to be publicly called out and penalized, either criminally or civilly.
We can’t be a culture of people that shake their fists at the sun for one blatantly barbaric act and then turn around and do something with the exact same outcome and think it’s acceptable just because we are one step removed from it. This is hypocrisy at it’s finest and it can hurt a lot of people. Loss of jobs, no matter how, is never a good thing.
So please, before you delete that app because of a trending topic, think about who you are really punishing.