Can Snark Be Useful?

We’re moving! I’ll be back with fresh words next week.

On Friday, we’re moving to a new house, so I don’t have any intent to post anything new this week. (Some of you know this already, so I’m sorry to be repeating myself.) I might (depends on how overwhelmed I’m feeling) feature a couple favorite posts on Wednesday and Friday, but otherwise, I won’t be around the Internet much.

That being said, I have an idea for a post that’s been niggling at me for a long time now, and I’m feeling like next week might be the time to write it, but I’d like to pick your brains about it first. Here’s a quick quote from Roger S. Gil in this article on lifehacker (which you should totally read), regarding snark/sarcasm/contempt:

Snark/sarcasm/contempt is always an indicator that something else is going on in a given situation. When it’s appropriate, it tells people that you’re not going to let others push you around. When it’s inappropriate it shows that you feel the need to make yourself “bigger” than others. That need to put one’s self above others can be a symptom of depression or some personality disorders (of course, there would have to be other symptoms present to justify a diagnosis). That being said, perpetually putting others down can be indicative of insecurity, narcissism, negative thought patterns, or jealousy. If those things are present, then you definitely want to address it because it’s likely to affect your relationships negatively.

Do you agree or disagree with the quote above? In what type of situations are snark/sarcasm/contempt your “instinct” reaction? Is it possible to have a productive dialogue when snark/sarcasm/contempt is being employed by the involved parties? Why is it sometimes difficult for us to speak sincerely? Do you think that, culturally, sincerity is perceived as weakness?

I appreciate your taking the time to help me out a little bit, and I really look forward to finally fleshing this thing out. The idea has been brewing for the better part of a year now, and I’m eager to hear what you guys have to say.



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