Post # 1
One of our policies is to avoid personal attacks and snarkiness…but a lot of users don’t really know what that means! Of course “personal attacks” can often be very subjective, but overall I wanted to post this to create a discussion on how we can post a differing viewpoint from the OP without being accused of personal attacks. Many of you have said you’re afraid to post a differing opinion because you don’t want to be called snarky. So come on in friends, and learn what it is to be snarky!
Whenever I read a post and a poster has asked whether they should wear the “plaid wedding dress” or the “paisley wedding dress,” and my opinion is that both dresses are completely hideous and she is out of her mind, I post something like this:
Those dresses are certainly unique! Are you deadset on doing something different than the traditional white dress or even a dress with an accent color? If you are, I would go with the paisley one because [blah blah blah].
Those dresses are so ugly! I don’t think you should wear either one. I don’t mean to be harsh, I’m just being honest. You need to pick a different dress!
The difference between the two?
The first one acknowledges that the dresses are not my taste, but does not put them down or criticize the look. It also suggests another dress entirely, but sticks to the OP’s topic, which is deciding between two dresses.
The second post is very critical of her dress choice (and she may really love both dresses!) and isn’t a nice thing to say either online nor in person. Using corallories like “not to be harsh” or “I’m just being honest” doesn’t excuse the fact that the post is rude and negative in the first place. If you find yourself typing those phrases, you may want to recheck what you’ve written!! The last thing is that the snarky post tells the OP she “needs” to pick a different dress. She asked for help deciding between two dresses, so redirecting her elsewhere without even suggesting another type or style is not helpful. (Not exactly snarky, but not exactly helpful!)
It’s a pretty subjective world, and a very touchy topic, but can you ladies give some examples of what you consider snarky and a better way to phrase it?
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I think you said it perfectly!
Post # 4
According to dictionary.com –
Snarky: Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.
I think lack of respect and consideration says it best for me! Like when someone does not agree with something and decides to post saying something like “brides who like XXX are stupid because your wedding is only one day!” when it would be better to say, “I personally felt like it was more important to save X money for the down payment on the house, so we went the budget route in regards to XXX.”
ETA: In regards to the poll, I don’t always decline to post when I disagree, because I think there are respectful ways of disagreeing. If we had no dissenting opinions here, it’d be really boring! But I think open-mindedness and a willingness to listen coupled with the ever-important respect are necessary for those situations.
Post # 5
If I disagree with something, I try to talk about my own experience with the same issue and how I handled it differently. I think this gets across that I think the poster’s opinions aren’t correct, but I am just sharing my story rather than putting them down. So, for example, if a younger bride is upset that her family/friends are questioning her decision to get married, I respond that I am also a young bride who has heard the same comments, but I don’t get upset or take it personally because of such and such reasons.
When I post something asking for help, I find these types of responses very helpful.
Post # 6
Love this post. A good example is someone venting on the site. A bee might be coming just to hear some support for her situation or some empathy. Here is a good example:
I’m really sorry that you’re going through this. Have you thought about talking to the person about how you’re feeling? He/She might not realize they’re hurting your feelings.
OMG…you are being a brat. You get one day, not a week, or a month, or a year…
I use this example b/c I hear that line all the time. Yes, brides only get one day; however, it’s not helpful to tell them just to get over it and move on. They’re looking for support here, and a comment like that isn’t exactly helpful.
Post # 7
I agree that you explained this well
I find the line really thin and a little hard to know if you are on the snarky side or not. I try my best to not be snarky. I edit and re-edit myself. But I know that at times when I have tried to be blunt…because I truly was trying to be helpful….I came across as snarky
I know that I sometimes will have a differing opinion but I will hestiate to post because I am worried that I will come across as negative
The reason why I love WB is because over all…people are nice. and when poeple are not nice, someone almost always steps in a says something.
I love the ladies on here and I think that most of us mean well. I know that I have often gone back and re-stated something or even appoiligized. This should be a safe place…to get honest feedback. But most imporant than honestly is that it feels SAFE. Sometimes I will not reply if I disagree because I know the poster is really just looking for support and not a critique.
Post # 8
I sometimes feel the need to post when I disagree with the OP. But I try my hardest to morph my comment into something non-snarky like the examples you’ve given. I hate when I read something that seems down right mean—but I have to say, I am sometimes thinking the same thing in my head. Nonetheless, it’s inapporpriate to post.
Post # 9
I think if you ever find yourself needing to put the phrase “I’m not trying to be harsh…” into a post you’re probably about to cross a line. Sometimes there are people who do need a little bit of a wake up call, but I think there’s always a way to do that which does NOT come across as snarky.
Example: Bride A says: “OMG I’m about to just lose it and murder my entire wedding party because of XYZ!!”
Bad response: Bride B says: “Wow, Bride A, you need to just chill out, quit being an immature bridezilla and realize that not everything can go your way. I’m not trying to be harsh, but grow up.”
Good response: Bride B says: “Wow, Bride A, I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. I’ve never felt quite that way before myself, but I’m wondering if you tried A, B, or C, if that would help your problem? Keep your eyes on the prize — you’ll be married to your wonderful Fiance when all of this is over!”
I think one of the big problems is several times I’ve seen snark defended by people saying, “Well, I’m not the sort of person that sugar coats things.” There’s a difference between sugar coating and presenting solutions in a tactful, supportive fashion. If you STILL think you can’t comment on a situation without sounding harsh, then maybe you should just let that thread slide. There are so many people on WB that I don’t think anyone’s problem will go unanswered.
Post # 10
OMG that’s why I hate that entire religion/locale. I cannot believe they did that.
Wow that sucks that that person did that to you, perhaps you can look for different avenues or other ways to achieve the deserved result…
Post # 11
What I’ve noticed with snarky vs. non-snarky comments, even if you don’t agree with the OP, if you word things in a non-snarky way they are almost always MUCH more likely to hear what you say and actually take it into consideration! However, when people feel attacked, they just seem to put their guard up and are resistent to any help (even good help!).
Post # 12
So well stated! And I definitely think a reminder was in order… I don’t know if maybe some of our new bees don’t understand how we speak to one another on here but I have noticed some of those who are new to the hive tend to make some of these “snarky” comments lately. (Clearly, not all or even most, I just see a bit of a correlation) Thank you bringing it to the hive’s attention! 🙂
Post # 13
I think it’s all subjective.
There is a HUGE difference between an honest, dissenting opinion and snark. Someone disagreeing with a post does not automatically denote a personal attack, which is how some posters take it.
Snark is not productive or helpful, but franky, neither are multiple posts telling the person how right or justified they are. Reality checks are the best medicine sometimes.
Post # 14
Great post!! I was wondering if this was going to come up. ANyway, I think you stated it perfectly.
Post # 15
LOL, good game.
In my opinion, there is almost no way to criticize someone’s feelings without being snarky or launching into a personal attack. The thing about feelings is that you can’t really control them. So when I see any comment about why it is wrong for someone to feel the way they do, I cringe a little.
BUT, I can’t promise I’ve been perfect on that front, either, and I think it is something we should all strive towards improving. One of the really valuable aspects of this community has to be that we can offer support to a vent, whether or not we think it is a little off.
Post # 16
I completely agree with GirlWithARing’s reply. There is validity in sharing your experiences with why something doesn’t work that is being suggested, even if the majority goes along with the opposite. I’ve seen several posts where having an opposite experience could leave the poster feeling like they are the lone dissenter with the only opposite experience in the world and that they don’t really know what they’re talking about since their experience is different from everyone else’s therefore they are wrong and everyone else is right. After that, it’s up to the OP and everyone who reads and/or responds to take from it what they will since you certainly can’t force someone to agree with you.
At the same time, there are several posts I have seen where if someone tries to point out what is considered acceptable and what isn’t according to proper etiquette, then the majority of posters seems to fall into the mindset of “etiquette isn’t used in this day and age since it’s really the same thing as tradition and we can pick and choose what to follow. we are going to go with what we feel is right even if the outdated etiquette books say not to because we don’t see any problem with it and we don’t believe for a second that our guests will be inconvenienced either. but we are being slandered and attacked because the popular opinion is said to be bad etiquette even though we can’t see why.” What do you say to something like that when proper etiquette is being violated and people are aware but they don’t care? But the things that are done instead are due to popularity, despite everyone knowing that they are wrong according to the proper etiquette and manners, but the debates get very heated.
As far as snarky vs polite, it really shouldn’t be that difficult to tell the difference and restrain yourself. A huge drawback of the internet is that it allows people to say things they would never say in real life. I’m not posing that as an excuse but it is why many people say what they do online. You can politely say that you don’t agree with something or that something isn’t your style without sugar-coating or being snarky. As far as style goes, in the end, it’s no one’s decision but that of the couple in question. There are folks who say that “WB is the last place to go for advice because they sugar coat everything and don’t how to give the honesty that your friends and family won’t”. I haven’t noticed sugar coating at all, but with a huge stretch, it could possibly be construed that way because of how civil everyone is for the most part which you don’t see anywhere else online.