Public Snarkilation

We’ve all heard the old saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” but I think a better amendment to that would be “don’t say anything in public“.

Snark and sarcasm are two of my favorite things. But lately I’ve seen people taking it too far, more specifically – people in the sex blogging community. The point of my post isn’t to call people out and shame – that would be hypocritical here and it’s wholly unnecessary. It doesn’t make my point for me to say “So and So said XYZ”. I can make it just fine by being a bit vague. And no, it’s not passive-aggressive, either. The situation I’m discussing was the catalyst for me writing this, for me being disgusted by conduct in general over recent months, but it is not the only time it’s happened lately.

Recently on Twitter someone who’s blogging and opinion I respect did something I can’t respect – they publicly called out a post as being bad. Poorly written, poorly executed, and verbally equating the quality of the sex toy reviewer’s writing skills with the sex toy site that it appeared on. First of all – any blog, any site, any place can and will have posts and reviews that are lacking. To pick on a review/post by a PERSON as a way of picking on the SITE is low. To do so publicly, to point people to it? It’s unnecessarily mean in the “open up the bathroom stall door, gather ’round and point and laugh” way. And there were others gathering around – re-tweeting it, adding in their own pokes of fun against it.

I have no idea who the reviewer is they were ragging on; I’d never read other reviews by her, I don’t know if she has a blog. When I read the review I had to admit it wasn’t great. The writing was fragmented and choppy kind of like a bad copy/paste job, and a few safety points missed, etc. I don’t know if the writer saw the public lynching on Twitter but in short order the review was fixed a bit – at least the bad writing was. The sentence structure, the grammar issues.

I’m getting off track. My point here is that not only was this tweeted once, but a number of people I respect and consider friends also RT’d it and joined in the guffawing and pointing. Seriously? Does that make you feel better about yourself, or popular? What gives you the right to step up on that pedestal? What if someone had tweeted that about a review or post written by a person you considered to be a friend? Would you still have RT’d it and laughed?

We all snark and make fun and bitch and gripe about other reviewers, other bloggers, badly written erotica, ugly site designs, etc – IN PRIVATE. To our friends…. be it phone, text, DM or IM, or email. We’ve all been guilty of that once in awhile (or more, depending) and so long as it’s kept private it’s not going to hurt feelings of the person you’re ripping on. But all this public snarkilation I’ve been seeing lately is getting way too personal against members of our own community. We all like to strut our sex-positiveness, our openness, our liberal nature. Everyone that has ever been accused of “being in the in-crowd” or being clique-y will staunchly deny the faint lines of separation – but when we treat people this way? We’re none of those good things when we run new reviewers or bloggers out the proverbial door with our attacks rather than constructive criticism.

Snark and sarcasm can be awesomely funny when done right. Sometimes though, it’s just ugly. And I thought that this community was above that kind of ugliness. AGAIN – this post is not meant to attack any one person. I am simply not able to stay quiet on how I feel about behaviours/actions I’ve been seeing more of. Maybe you are…….but I’ve reached my limit.

9 Responses

  1. Gardenvy says:

    I love this post! I agree with you.
    I seemed to miss the whole situation, when it was happening. I’m glad that I missed it. I hope to not be on the receiving end, so I never belittle someone over their post. If I don’t like it or don’t agree, I don’t comment. It’s a personal thing, I don’t enjoy confrontation, or hurting someones feelings. That just plain old sucks.

    ~ I hate confrontation too. Some love it. Some are born debaters. To me, some people are coming off with the attitude of “I’m saying what I want and I don’t care if your feelings are hurt by it, toughen up buttercup” or something. That seems unnecessarily callous, personally.

  2. aag says:

    If you put your writing out in the public sphere, you take the chance that someone is going to think it’s pure crap — and will tell you so. Loudly. God knows that’s happened to me more than I’d like to admit.

    On the other hand, it was unnecessarily petty for me to call attention to it, and your post and comment were good reminders for me to be more charitable. I appreciate it.

    ~ Ok but have you had your *peers* in the sex blogging community do it? Call it out to others as “Hey wow look at this crap AAG is spewing, man she sucks, go laugh at it and feel smug that you can do better!” I would find that hard to believe. Yes, you write publicly and you will have detractors. That’s a given. But i’m not talking about comment trolls and random strangers. I just feel that within our community that we all feel is so positive, shouldn’t we extend courtesy and help but not snark and snarl? And of course there’s also the differences in this situation and others between intentional and unintentional.

  3. nadia west says:

    It’s easy to get snarky. I have my moments. But I appreciated your pointing it out as mean. It made me look at myself and realize that I don’t want to jump on that bandwagon. Not everyone is as decent a writer as I am – but there’s always someone out there better and I’d sure feel like shit being made fun of publicly for any lack of skills I have. It IS unnecessary.

    If the intention was to help the writer and not just publicly humiliate them then contacting the writer privately is best. (An they may still not want your stinkin help and that’s their right.)

    ~ Like I said, there’s a difference in the snarks. Once it gets to be “personal” and outside the realm of private conversation, I feel that’s stepping over the lines. After all…..we don’t want to be like the comment trolls, right? Nobody’s perfect. Maybe we could all try to be a little more conscious of community ties though.

  4. Miss Smack says:

    hi, long time reader and blogger, thought to comment tonight and say bravo. I am not in your circles, but I always think it’s admirable to speak up when you believe in something, not sit in the shadows quietly.

    Good on you.

    ~ Thanks, and glad to see a lurker saying hello!

  5. aag says:

    “Ok but have you had your *peers* in the sex blogging community do it? Call it out to others as “Hey wow look at this crap AAG is spewing, man she sucks, go laugh at it and feel smug that you can do better!” I would find that hard to believe.”

    –Yes. Yes I have. And yes it hurt quite a lot. Which is why I agreed that you are correct: I should not have passed on that tweet.

  6. CarrieAnn says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said, Lilly, a thousand percent.

    I made a comment elsewhere today that things have gotten so ugly – and not just with this recent EF drama, it’s been building for many months before this – that I probably wouldn’t be participating in the sexblogging community at all if it weren’t part of my job. And I probably wouldn’t. I would take a break, empty my feed reader and twitter accounts for awhile, and find my happy place.

    I can’t do that, though. This community *is* part of my job. And maybe having to deal with it when I would otherwise retreat to my own little world is a good thing. I don’t really know.

    But I do know that the ugliness is getting very old and I am not the least bit proud to say I’m part of this community some days.

    Everyone wants to point a finger and say someone else is bad or wrong. Everyone wants to stand up on a sex positive pedestal. And yet everyone is behaving badly as if being mad at a company (or two, or three) gives them the right to be personally insulting and flat out mean to individuals — even those who have nothing to do with any of it.

    How is this positive in any way, shape or form? How is it “okay”?

    It’s all so hypocritical.


    I’m babbling. I’ll shush. But thank you for speaking up and for doing so in a way that was kind and sensible, rather than finger pointingly snarky.

  7. Chris says:

    It seems to me that the people who act that way always tell the world a lot more about themselves then what they say about the person they ridicule. It may all be good fun in private, but making the ridicule public shows that you never matured past high school.

  8. sexie sadie says:

    I am just now learning about all of this. Just wanted to say hooray to you for sticking up for the underdog. Smoochies!


  9. vanimp says:

    There has been far too much lynching and snark of late. Lilly you rock. That is all. xxx