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OP-ED: We Need To Talk About The Slack Industrial Complex


Photo by Megan Striff-Cave / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Slack. If you go to Penn, you probably use it. A platform to consolidate work-related conversations, Slack is the main way many organizations on campus communicate with their members. 

But should it be?

The problem, what is known as the “Slack Industrial Complex” (SIC for short), is that  Slack has become entwined with this institution, Penn, in order to create a profit economy. Slack has capitalized on the need for businesses to communicate by changing our societal perceptions of what an appropriate medium to exchange ideas looks like. Slack would like you to believe that your 15 member club needs a slack with 20+ channels. But it doesn’t. 

I’m exhausted from trying to navigate several workspaces, private messaging, hundreds of channels—and don’t even get me started on the politics of the different “reacts.” While Slack can be useful, it’s simply unnecessary for a majority of groups. 

I’ll say it if no one else will: this could all happen in a GroupMe, or even over iMessage. It’s time we unlearn the lessons Slack has taught us. 

And with that, I’m going to post in the Under the Button Slack channel that I’ve finished my article for the week.