Snark Free Day Returns (Let the retorts begin)

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By Felicia Knight, President, The Knight Canney Group

When PRConsultants Group, a national consortium of public relations and communications professionals launched the first annual Snark Free Day last year, the response from some quarters was predictable—even funny. Turns out, some people are just too damned cool to lose the snark, if only for 24 hours. It’s like asking Gordon Gekko to nuzzle a kitten.

The point of Snark Free Day is make people take a moment to think about the effect their words or deeds have on other people. The abundance of snark is especially evident in cyber-space, where speed and anonymity make it oh, so easy to be snarky, i.e. mean.

Here’s a sample of some of what the Internet regurgitated in response to last year’s Snark Free Day:

  • This is like declaring, “Don’t Put Your Goat On the Copier Day” at work.
  • Some PR people have declared today to be “Snark Free Day.” Well then, f*** **u, sincerely.
  • You may call them a dreamer, but you’re not the only one.
  • So…how long do we see this idea lasting?

Well, it’s lasted at least another year, because we’re back with another Snark Free Day. October 21, 2014, to be precise.

Look, we get it. It’s just so irresistible to sling that zinger. We’ve all done it. Everyone laughs; we’re just having a good time. A good time is great, but does it have to be at someone else’s expense? The relentless need to be snarky whether in person or on line, has left us in a place where being polite, being kind, being thoughtful, showing restraint, or offering encouragement are all losing ground to meanness.

Sometimes it’s cloaked in humor, sometimes not. On the Internet, it’s often cloaked in anonymity that invites hubris and hostility—to such an extent that never would be ventured face-to-face. Isn’t it worth 24 hours of your time to think before you speak, post, Tweet, or snap?

Yes, we dreamers are back for another crack at Snark Free Day. We’re ready for another barrage from those who refuse to lose the snark. That’s fine. We’re secure enough in our own knowledge that one day of kindness won’t kill us. It may even make life a little better.

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