Lynette’s Snark-Posting Litmus Test

To post, or not to post: how do I decide whether or not to tell a jerk what I think? Sometimes the feeling comes over me and I actually type a SNARKY comment or status update;  most of the time, I delete it before posting. I have composed hundreds of snarky comments, most of them deleted because they failed one or more of my snarky-post litmus tests.  I feel it best that I conduct the pre-posting litmus test, if only to validate my position – similar to fact checking (which seems to have become a lost skill in our society).  Occasionally, I delay responding in order to peel myself off the ceiling because one should never post in anger. However, I do admit that occasionally a snarky post squeaks past my test and goes out to the interwebs. I rarely delete those because I am willing to admit I’m not infallible; I make mistakes. I am a work in progress, after all.

To the best of my ability, before posting SNARKY comments, I ask myself the following questions, which may echo what others have said. My reasons, however, are my own.

1. Is it kind?

Am I doing my best to be kind? To whom? Is it kind to let the poster wallow in his or her personal ignorance, or more kind to alert his or her readers that idiotic, fuzzy logic and half-truths are present in the posting? After reflection, If I determine that I am being kind, I proceed to #2. If my initial reaction is unkind, I ask myself: how pissed am I, really?

Never post anything when angry.

That can get you into big trouble

  • Count to 25, re-evaluate, and proceed to #2.

2. Is it true?

(If reasonable people can recognize the same concern as valid, I’d say so – but it does depend on one’s criteria for a reasonable person.) In other words, if other reasonable people recognize the idiot factor and have posted thusly, do I need to add my opinion? Eh, maybe so, maybe no, probably not. Again, I ask myself if what I plan to post is true, how irritated am I really?

Never post anything when angry.

That can get you into big trouble

  • Possibly even legal trouble.
  • Count to 25, and move on to #3.

3. Is it necessary?

(This one truly prevents me from posting most of the time.)  This test is akin to the kindness quotient for me: is it necessary for me to point out an individual’s:

a) deficient ability in checking facts before posting,

b) complete self-delusion regarding his/her personal charm,

c) histrionic and/or narcissistic posts (King/Queen of drama OR the me, me, me! factor),

d) lack of either self-restraint or technical ability resulting in duplicate postings of the same inane bullshit,

e) whining factor: every little thing is a crisis, OR in a genuine crisis, one’s personal inconvenience outweighs public safety or the greater good (one of my peeves, actually),

f) total lack of insight regarding irony/satire,

g) absolute ignorance and blind conformity to ideas best left in the dark ages – when people weren’t given the opportunity to LEARN to read and had to trust those in authority to tell them what to believe or how to choose. (I admit I have increasing difficulty with this one as any election season nears),

OR an individual’s

h) inclination to wake the DRAGON that usually sleeps peacefully in my heart? Just how badly has someone stepped on a topic I dearly care about? (This question covers anything not listed above. I consider WHY an individual has pissed me off and a delay in posting while considering this has frequently been helpful).

My deliberate snarky posts usually pass the ‘is it necessary’ question. At this point, I have usually cooled my immediate response using all the foul language I know, have ever heard, or have ever invented. My four-legged house mates avoid me at those moments. **

Remember, never post anything when angry. That shit can get you into big trouble.

  • Evaluate your motive for responding, and move on to #4.

4. Have I ever been guilty of any of the items in #3?

This is the next step in deciding whether or not to submit a SNARKY ‘you are a fucking idiot’ or the tamer version: ‘will people kindly stop stepping all over my pet peeves’ post. (The answer is probably yes, at one time or another I have been guilty of at least ONE of the above ~ although probably not ALL of them, and probably never more than one at once!) I do know I have been pissed at myself for being an idiot ~ more than a couple of times, in fact.

Never post anything when angry. That can get you into big trouble.

  • One more thing…

5. Is the person or issue worth my time and effort?

This is often, but not always, the determining  factor in my ‘to post or not to post’ decision making process. At this point, I may have already begun to compose a response. How much of my valuable time and effort will I invest in responding to someone else’s post or creating a post of my own? This question has stopped me cold from posting on more than one occasion, sometimes only after I have written a draft on the topic. I have a file of draft posts on many issues on my hard drive that may never be posted online.

After contemplating these five questions, I usually abstain from posting a snarky blog, comment, status, text, or email; and I often quench the need to vent my spleen by posting a seemingly unrelated RANT or link regarding the irritatingly stupid, inane, ridiculous, idiotic, ignorant, or misguided commentary that irked, peeved, or otherwise yanked the chain of my inner sleeping dragon.

When I say yes to items #1 through #3 (even if I may be guilty of #4), and I have chosen to spend the time and effort, I draw upon all of my literary expertise and vocabulary skills.  I write a suitable response, sometimes in less than five words and occasionally in about 500 words. The length of my response depends on the degree to which the initial poster has committed any of the criteria under the ‘is it necessary’ criteria. (See numbers 3 and 5). By that time, I may be extremely passionate about the topic, but my passion is no longer born from anger.

**Never post anything when angry.

That can get you into big trouble.

My beautiful picture

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