and in a blinding flash of the obvious

When two people send you the same article within a few hours, you should definitely read it.

Such was the case yesterday when I was sent a link to this article.

I got it first from Ashley in the morning. (She found it on Andrea’s blog.)

The article talks about how snark and negativity can ruin your productivity.

Twitter, for instance, aggravates me almost daily.

It’s ridiculous.

Even more ridiculous is that I keep going back to it and letting it do it all over again.

I spend waaaay too much time complaining about how people use Twitter. The words they choose. The things they tweet.

I know what you’re thinking. The way I use Twitter works for me. It might not work for you, etc.

And while this is the most obvious thing in the world, it really only hit me recently.

(Aren’t the most obvious things in the world the things we most often overlook?)

It does bother me that this time could be better spent writing, or putting something positive out into the universe.

But I think it bothers me more that my words can affect others.

Eleni Zoe’s post got me started thinking about that. And then Sarah’s post really drove the point home.

The second person who sent me the “snark” article link was Jenn.

I don’t think it’s telling tales out of school to admit that sometimes (at least once a week) Jenn and I convene a meeting on gchat and discuss everything that is wrong in the internet world.

We vent to each other about tweets, tweeters and blog posts that just rub us the wrong way. We talk about what they should have said instead. If anything at all.

That actually makes it sound much harsher than it really is. And we’ve laughed while discussing the fact that there are undoubtedly people having the same conversations about the stuff we post and tweet.

A lot of what we say is tongue in cheek. Mostly. One day I said, “Of course, I’m always at least mildly pleased with myself.” And she got it. We both have healthy egos (either one of our egos has the potential to rise up and terorrize Tokyo) and enjoy being pains in the ass.

I justify the things we say by thinking, “It’s okay. We’re nice. We don’t mean it seriously. We’re good people.”

But there is a point when you’ve been saying and thinking snarky, jerky things for so long, and so often, that being “good people” is in doubt.

Have I passed that point?

Maybe.

I do know that you can always pull back from that line.

You can always be more selective about what you put out into the universe.

I want to be more selective.

Getting laughs has always been like fuel to me. And there may have been some casualties along the way in the gathering and processing of that fuel.

That being said, I don’t remember any of my words ever really hurting someone.

But I wouldn’t be the one who remembers it.

4 Responses

  1. Eleni Zoe says:

    Half the reason I’m not Twitter as often as before is because I got tired of all the snark, actually.

    It just rubs me the wrong way when someone judges something someone else does! Especially when it’s quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things. In fact, this whole “Know your grammar” bandwagon thing has even started to get annoying. I know so many people who don’t know the difference between your and you’re. They’re not stupid. They’re educated. They’re just don’t read books that much or write that often. (Like I do.) But they can do all the math things that I can’t even get right with a calculator.

    I think we can all do a better job of thinking a little about the way our online presence impacts others. :D

    • Peter DeWolf says:

      That’s a good point.

      I hate when people use U for You and the like, but am not super concerned about little grammar things and obvious typos.

      And when I DO see something that irks me, I get annoyed with myself for being annoyed by it.

      Then it is just easier to close Twitter. :)

  2. Sarah says:

    I had a moment of feeling superior the other day when I was out with a group of women I’m connected to through one of their boyfriends. I was listening to them make fun of other people for anything from being bitches to being “ugly,” and I thought, “Man, these are some ugly bitches!”

    haha. Just kidding, I actually just patted my back for being way too nice to make fun of people based on appearance, but then I thought that really, what I should do is just try to be more tolerant of the things I am inclined to make fun of, because really, making fun of someone’s poor grammar or insane political views is hardly better than making fun of their face.

    Although I still maintain it’s a little better.

  3. ari says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if I’m snarky. I don’t think I am, at least not often. I always worry that people will take what I say the wrong way…

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