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Its default color scheme is that of a ’90s mall or movie theater (purple, pink, teal), and if you announce that you’ve completed a task, colleagues can respond with a chorus of custom emoji.
“There was some borderline racist stuff,” she remembers.
Laura works in ad sales at a well-known tech company.
Her office uses Slack, which is likely either as integral to your workday as email or you have never heard of it before.
Open Slack, and it greets you with a friendly message as it loads: “Be cool. The day just got better.” Or: “Always get plenty of sleep, if you can.” (They’re all signed from “your friends at Slack.”) The left side of the screen lists your contacts and group “channels,” with green lights to indicate whether users are active and pink badges to mark unread messages.
Star the people you talk to most and they’ll stay at the top of your list, or search for any other employee by name and start a new conversation.
Like Facebook or Twitter, Slack induces the same anxious, attention-hungry rhythm in its users, the same need to endlessly refresh, and gives off the same illusion of intimacy in an ultimately public space.
It also makes the line between work and not-work blurrier than ever — the constant scroll of maybe-relevant chatter in your chosen Slack channels registers at times like the background noise of any other newsfeed.
The last thing to see in the chat record was the account managers’ boss entering the room.
“As far as I know, nobody lost their job over it,” Laura says.
One day last summer, a saleswoman was looking for a conversation she’d had with an account manager, so she typed her own name in Slack’s search bar.
She found a public Slack channel, says Laura (not her real name).
The Slack sell to employers is that it decreases the burden of email, because nobody likes email.