/s

It’s extremely difficult to pick up sarcasm on the internet.

Take this simple statement:

“Aren’t you a little old to be tricker treating?”

Am I being serious or sarcastic?

Am I really digging in or just using sarcasm as a chance to hide?

Two techniques to signal that what you are writing shouldn’t be taken too seriously:

  1. Use the /s to indicate sarcasm. “Aren’t you a little old to be tricker treating? /s”
  2. Use a different font or a string of Upper and Lowercase letters. “ArEn’T yOu A lItTlE oLd To Be TrIcKeR tReAtInG?”

Better yet: Skip the sarcasm altogether.

Whenever I have used it, I immediately regret it. Especially, when someone doesn’t understand the signal that I sent. And that’s the thing. It is so easy to misinterpret what is being conveyed in public forums.

People already have a hard time reading what others are saying with the use of body language, voice inflection, point of emphasis…take that all out of the equation and we are left with noise.

Noise in our head that gets in the way of seeing what is actually happening. Noise that clouds our judgment, amplifies our fears and confirms our biases.