Slack, I’m Breaking Up With You and Trading You For a Cucumber
I’ve decided to quit Slack. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly: after all, it’s possibly the most life-changing piece of work software I’ve ever used. It’s made collaboration easy, team communication seamless, and made me feel more in touch with my coworkers than ever before—a godsend after years of schlepping away in jobs remotely and often feeling like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of my boss’s shoe.
Even so, this feels like the right thing to do.
I first felt this way for a while—since Thursday at least, when I started reading a sequence of highly persuasive Mediums, checking out some wry blogs written by really smart dudes, and seeing at least two heavily-faved tweets. Look: If so many people blindly recommend a story that tries to surf the wave of interest in a currently-hot startup by slapping a deliberately absurd headline on it, then I ask you: How can it be wrong?
Let’s make this clear: I’ve never been a quitter. Sure, I’ve variously quit drinking, quit carbs, quit sugar, quit wearing socks, quit using toothpaste, and quit using words that didn’t have exactly three vowels in them (that one was difficult.)
And I have, at times, decided to shut down my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and — and this one really hurt — Ello.
This time, though, it’s different.
Reading all those thinkfluencers tapped into something deep inside me, some sense of whelm and anguish I’d been feeling whenever I’d see that little multicolored hash logo. I suddenly realized why I was feeling out of sorts: I wasn’t in control of Slack, it was in control of me.
That was when I opened the app—first on my day phone, and then on my night phone—stared, one by one, at the 74 random Slack teams I had decided to join, and looked at the 1,250 open channels I’d decided to receive notifications about every single message from. Then I deleted them all.
From now on, instead of a state-of-the-art piece of collaboration software used by millions, I’m employing a cucumber. While there are some clear downsides to dropping a well-built, easy-to-use, heavily-supported messaging app in favor of a culinary vegetable—I’m sad to say it has no searchable archives, and no platform integrations that I’m aware of—there are many advantages that may not be obvious at first. My cucumber is more or less ergonomic, it doesn’t drain my phone’s battery, and it’s 95 percent water. (I don’t want to sound smug about this, and I haven’t actually checked, but I am pretty sure that Slack doesn’t have any water content at all.)
I’ve got a good feeling about this.
*Disclosure: My supremely talented wife works for Slack. My love of the product is not related.