On August 13, after a brief discussion with a friend, I gave up internet snark.
The very first thing I ever got involved with on the internet (before Live Journal, even) was a forum/message board. I was on this board all the time. I made friends there I still have today, some of whom I’ve even met in real life — awesome peeps. Eventually, from this forum grew a secret snark group, where a select few of us gathered to discuss and make fun of people we didn’t like. My next snark experience was on a different message board, where I posted Wesley-Willis-inspired song lyrics whenever someone annoyed me.
I guess you could say that internet snark has been a part of my internet existence almost since the dawn of time. Since the early days, I’ve participated in various sites, both public (like Get Off My Internets) and private. It’s always been something I do on the internet.
So it’s kind of weird to give it up.
I didn’t give up internet snark because I had any moral qualms about it. I honestly believe that anything posted on the internet is fair game for comment, critique, and criticism. (For the record, I do think some people go too far — for example, wishing physical harm on someone or insulting children.) If you post something in public on the internet, people can say whatever the hell they want to say about it wherever the hell they want to say it. So I have no problem with any sort of snarky commentary that occurs on the internet.
I gave up internet snark because the truth is that when it comes down to it, I really don’t give a shit about any of the people I’ve been snarking.
I don’t care to see another picture of someone’s anatomically correct oatmeal. I don’t care whether someone guilty of the most overblown, terrible writing I’ve ever encountered said yes to another vat of fatty, disgusting food and somehow manages to get free stuff and book deals. I don’t care about someone’s 20th hipster child, c/o ModCloth. I don’t care about what you wore today when you haven’t worn anything interesting in the past few years. I don’t care about your fake-ass press releases and self promotion. I don’t care about your life that’s sponsored by a shitty shampoo company or your product reviews or what you wrote about on Babble, which I continue to maintain is the worst thing to ever happen on the internet (if you’re still reading sites that post in slideshow format, you’re part of the problem).
Clearly, there’s still some snark in me. And I know I’ve tried to quit before and failed. So I might be back at it one day, especially if there comes a time when I’m so bored I don’t care that I don’t care about any of this shit.
In the absence of snark, I’ve become sort of disengaged, I guess, with the internet in general. You’d think I’d fill my new free time with productive, constructive, interesting stuff. I spend more time on Pinterest, but overall, it turns out I’ve found that I just don’t really care about the internet, in general. For example, I suspect that part of my motivation for blogging resulted from seeing people who were doing it wrong. So I wanted to do it right. And now I’m all yeah, so what.
So, what now? I’m not sure. I guess we’ll see.