Appropriate Use of Snark

Additionally titled, How You Should Be Accountable For Your Behavior.

I’m going to go ahead and throw this out there, in case anyone was unaware. I want to make sure we’re starting on the same page here before I start getting into the heavier stuff. Ready?? Are you sure you’re ready??! Here goes.

Everyone has bad days.

I know. I’m really pulling some of this stuff from out in left field. I get it. But just go with me on this one for a second. Once we establish some ground work in understanding basic human behavior and experiences, we can then work towards understanding our own experiences and how they relate to others. Then, we might even be able to make steps towards being better to ourselves and to each other.

All of us come from different backgrounds. Some of us have physical illnesses. Others have mental illnesses. Some are just socially awkward and prefer friendships over the internet instead of face-to-face. Some were raised by a single parent. Some were raised by grandparents. Some were raised by older siblings. Some live in big cities. Others live in rural, small towns. Some of us have pets. Some of us consider our significant others and spouses pets. Some of us enjoy dressing up in costumes. Others prefer dolling themselves up in make-up. Some wear tennis shoes. Others wear heels. Some of us obsess over purses. And others have a seemingly unhealthy obsession with nail polish. Some are boys. Some are girls. Some are gay. Some are straight. Some are transgender.

And you’re all wondering why do I feel the need to list all of these things… a list that can literally go on and on, for pages if I wanted. I think a lot of people seem to forget that there are a lot of factors that make up the human experience. Each of these points changes the way we interact with each other and how we talk to one another. It influences the types of people we gravitate toward in relationships and friendships. It changes the way we handle ourselves in certain personal situations as well as in professional situations.

Self-awareness shouldn’t just be for the enlightened. Being self-aware is understanding what triggers you for one reason or another. It might be feminist topics that involve sex crimes. It might be abuse on animals. Or children. It doesn’t really matter what triggers your bad moods, but being self-aware allows you, as a person, to understand yourself better and know when it’s best to just walk away.

The internet has bred a new type of person. Not just an asshole, or a douche bag, but the person who blatantly and intentionally tries to shit in other people’s Cheerios on a regular basis. This type of person has almost nothing nice to say… EVER! They constantly demean and belittle people. They constantly talk down about things. Overall these people bring other people down with them. You decide what the subject is, I bet we can all find someone who is the Cheerio Shitter regarding that subject.

With Mists of Pandaria, though, it’s brought on a whole new breed of Cheerio Shitter. The person who feels the need to get acknowledgement for the things they hate and dislike. They’re in a constant state of Cheerio Shitting that they don’t even realize how much they’ve changed the tone of the game… or people around them. This person also feels the need to point out that they’re allowed to Shit in Cheerios with great abandon, and if you don’t like YOU should GO AWAY.

Damn you for enjoying aspects of the game! Your Cheerios, I shall shit!

It is always the fault of the person enjoying something, not sharing in the negativity, that should be doing something else with their time. Who are you to say that I’m not allowed to be unhappy? No one, dude, no one. You can be unhappy all you want. But why do you feel this constant need to SHIT IN MY CHEERIOS?!

But what about snark, Hestiah? Your title mentions snark!

Yeah. So snark falls into this same category, really. In order for snark to be effective, both participating parties have to be aware that it is, in fact, snark and not Cheerio Shitting. This requires both parties to have even the slightest hint of understanding of the mood of the other person. In essence, it requires you to have an already established line of snark-ability.

Usually guildmates learn to be pretty good judges of when snark is okay and when it’s not okay. Friends also learn to gauge people’s moods and whether or not snark will be welcome or not. The thing is… and really the point of this entire rant… is that you can’t assume that the other person receiving your snark is always in the best mindset for it.

Back to self-awareness. I am very aware of when I’m not in a good mood. My bad moods don’t usually manifest in Cheerio Shitting as much as pouting and huffing about shit. I complain. I bitch. I moan. I might ruffle feathers, but the thing I don’t do is try to drag others down with me. If you’re enjoying something and having fun, I won’t go out of my way to point out that you’re stupid for enjoying it. I won’t point out that Fun Activity is Dumb and thus, by association, I’m saying You’re Dumb. I will wallow in my self-pity, sad party. I’ll take it to whispers with close friends. I’ll bury my face in my cat. I’ll turn off guild chat. It’s simple really. I know when I’m not in the best of moods. I’m not afraid to admit I’m not in the best of moods, and thus probably not the best to be around.

My closest friends will inquire about what’s going on. Sometimes talking about it makes me feel better, lifting the heavy weight in the telling of my frustration. Other times it requires that I do something else. Yup, you read that right guys. I sometimes just go DO. SOMETHING. ELSE.

I might play a different game. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Write. Read a book. Harass my cat.

It’s really very simple. If something makes you so profanely unhappy, maybe it’s time to find something else to do. If you hate WoW, or MoP, so much that there is nothing you enjoy… it might be time to stop playing. Cause being the Cheerio Shitter isn’t really the best thing to put on your gaming resume.

Learning to be accountable for your own behavior is no one else’s job but your own. Know what pisses you off. Know who piss you off. And know when it might be time to hang the Cheerio Shitting hat, or the Snark hat, and call it a day.

Whatever ruined your mood, though shitty, doesn’t give you license to Cheerio Shit. An apology is for when you really do something wrong. When an unexpectedly bad day comes along and blindsides you before you’ve had a chance to figure out what’s going on. An apology shouldn’t be the default response because all you ever do is Cheerio Shit.

Moral of the Story: Stop Shitting in Other People’s Cheerios. M’kay?


  • Ambermist

    My husband doesn’t play WoW anymore because of the attitude of the people who play it. If you ask him why he quit, why he is barely leveling a monk and will plan to come back to WoW “one day,” he will tell you that he got so disgusted by the negativity that once he got out of it, he didn’t want to come back.

    Someone is always around to tell you that you like the wrong thing, you do the wrong thing, you’re a bad player, you’re a bad healer, you’re a bad dpser, your gear is bad, you don’t know how to CC right, you DO know how to CC right but CCing is stupid, you don’t gem right, and it’s not so much that these things are said, but the WAY they are said or the actions that are taken, like the hunter who didn’t like that our group was taking its time in a new instance in Cata and pulled packs of mobs onto us just to kill us for being slow.

    And anytime he raises that argument, I have no counterpoints. He’s right, it IS this way.

    • Hestiah

      I wish I could say it wasn’t this way. Or that I don’t sometimes think this way. But there’s a huge leap from thinking someone is a bad tank/healer/player, and saying so. I rarely, if ever, say so. It’s unnecessary and rude. It won’t improve someone’s play to tell them they “suck”. I do what I can and type out explanations for fights or abilities of mobs and such.

      Some of the problem is that people go into the game assuming that all other good players are /just like them/. And they’re not. I hate Golden Lotus dailies, so I’m way behind on that. But I was the first 600 skill fishing person. And one of the first in guild to get Cloud Serpents. And I enjoy doing Tillers and Anglers rep. I do these daily, religiously. And y’know what? It’s okay!

      That’s the thing. There is enough in the game to do what you like and leave everyone else to what they enjoy. What do these Cheerio Shitters accomplish by telling people farming is stupid, or fishing is lame, other than belittling them through what they enjoy? Nothing. They get nothing. They are black holes of emotion, and know nothing but to Cheerios Shit.

      At that point, maybe it’s time to find another hobby.

      • Ambermist

        That, exactly. I don’t enjoy fishing much, I have to be in the right mood. In fact, to work on leveling my cooking, I used cooking tokens to buy extra jadefish lung and reef octopus.

        But you know what? It’s cool to me that you do. (In fact, can I hire you…?). Play and let play. There’s a guy in my guild right now who seems to spend most of his time hunting down the rares and repeatedly killing them to get their loot. I would definitely not do that, it’s not my thing, but why should I care if it’s his thing?

        Black holes is right, but I refuse to be sucked in.

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