I agree…

I’d love for us as an industry to be more tolerant, to encourage others and get rid of that underlying tone, that has crept in recently, of one-upmanship. I don’t expect everyone to get on, or even share the same opinion, but before making a snarky comment, ask yourself what real value it’s adding to the community? Personally, snarky comments on twitter remind me of one of a saying…

“Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength”.

Sarah Parmenter, from her blog post “Do Unto Others..”

10 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Before I leave any comment I always think of what my intent is. Is it to offer something (like the original source of a photo), or to thank someone for putting in the time to make a great tutorial? My intent is never to make someone feel bad for a craft/post I don’t like because then my intent would be to make someone feel miserable – and that’s not helping anyone. And as a YouTube Photoshop tutorial poster, I get enough of those comments myself that are clearly written not to enlighten me/viewers, or to continue a constructive debate, but to make the internet a more hostile and ugly place that makes some fearful to post anything.

  2. You are so right on Tina!

  3. The snark reaches way beyond this industry throughout the entire blogosphere/twitterverse. In fact, I know of one particular blog that claims to be a *science* blog that is built on snark; the posts, the comments, everything. My solution: quit reading and unfollow!

  4. So many people simply want to appear as an expert on the subject – whatever the subject. I agree with Sarah wholeheartedly; I think it all stems from insecurity and wanting to feel validating. If the subject is something one is passionate about, why not build others up and put some encouragement into the world? That would be a beautiful thing. Thanks so much for posting this and linking to her very insightful and honest post.

  5. I’m on board, as long as this isn’t used as a shield against honest criticism. Designers do have a habit of betting wound up in their work and taking any negative appraisal to the heart. If your work is bad then face the music.

    Any glance as Dribbble will show you just how circlejerky the design world is, and to be honest I actually think people are far too nice in general, too happy to pay each other on the back to get more followers and fans at the expense of honesty.

  6. Honest critiques – always welcome.

    Posturing from those people who feel privileged – completely useless.

    Much of the net seems to follow #2.

  7. Setting aside the fact that some people are nothing more than jerks, I think this manifests from an extraordinarily high amount of blogs that focus on any particular subject.

    A glut of them have a tendency to reiterate the same content as their ilk—typically by linking to the same source as the rest—without contributing a new or unique discourse of their own, and are ultimately redundant. To add insult to injury, many of these redundant blogs give off an air of sanctimoniousness of the subject as if their parroting makes them a de facto expert.

    By no means am I offering justification, but my guess is some of the snarky comments are made in disappointment.

  8. @ Alex I totally agree with you, but for people reading all these blogs (the ones that post identical content and never give their “inspiration” credit; the sanctimonious ones where I feel like I’m being preached to by a child, the ones that promote products for money but don’t tell you up front), they know exactly what is what. I just eventually skip over them in bloglovin, and don’t bother leaving any sort of comment because it will either be deleted or end up on another site (that I actually follow) where mean comments go to be publically rebutted.

  9. * mean should have been “mean” ie mean in the eye of the beholder.

  10. Good god I made a lot of typos in my post.

    You guys make some great points, especially this:

    “…many of these redundant blogs give off an air of sanctimoniousness of the subject as if their parroting makes them a de facto expert.”


    “…where I feel like I’m being preached to by a child.”

    I come across this online constantly, and it’s something you just have to grin and bear sometimes. Very few people are actually true experts in their field and have something new to say, but the design community is abundant with ‘experts’ on any number of subjects; even stretching to topics like philosophy, planning, and architecture, when they’ve had no formal training in them. These things aren’t easy and take time.

    In fact i’ve never know a field like it, where literally everyone regards themselves as visionaries, often before they’re 30, and who jump at the opportunity to publish their nubile thoughts, sometimes even getting to print. I don’t think the Dunning–Kruger effect has ever been is such full-swing as in the design world. It’s everywhere.

    That’s not to say that people shouldn’t write, quite the opposite, but it’s important that people exhibit a certain self-awareness and humility.