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I'm being sarcastic

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Sarcasm and other similar rhetoric have become staple elements of internet humor these days.

Sarcastic humor is all well and good, I enjoy a joke about a man being struck by an ambulance as much as anyone else. But something I wish to give a name is when people take the sarcasm they spout as some sort of meta-humor when they retain the joke as 'serious', which fails to humor both the recipient and speaker.

Let's call it the False Sarcasm Trap.


For the sake of example: I am in a conversation with you about television, and I bring up the show My Little Pony [see footnote].

You say "That show is for girls and it is not very interesting."

I say (to make a sarcastic jibe) "No, the show is very masculine and informative."

What just happened? I, wanting to make a sarcastic joke, have simply taken an entirely contrary opinion to the other person. In the instant in which the other person considers the retort serious as opposed to a sarcastic joke, the humor of the exchange has been replaced by a debate.

You say "How on Earth could My Little Pony by manly?"

At this point in order to continue to feed what minor subconscious seed remains in my mind that it's still just an appearance of debate when truly it's just a sarcastic joke (in addition to the common cultural ideal that I must defend arguments I make, lest I become a loser), I now must defend my position in this newly created debate.

I now have become solidified in a position which I may not actually have cared to be in, in the first place, simply by a loophole of modern humor. This solidified postion can influence future choices, responses and behaviors, because now I have chosen for myself a place on which to stand in regards to My Little Pony.


In my mind this is a problem endemic with frequent internet users who converse a lot online and have a very wry sense of humor. False Sarcasm Traps indicate behaviors that usually are negative because of a sarcastic remark that becomes an action or choice.


Such as "John, can you take out the trash?"

"No, Dad. I'll never do the trash."

Over-reaction on such an obviously rhetorical question would mean that John is being sarcastic, but he might start taking the reaction he states jokingly, seriously. There lies the trap- in that example, John now having used a sarcastic quip which if ignored or taken as a joke, would mean that John then has simply said a joke. He didn't actually say anything in regards to the request of doing the chore, leaving him simply with the suggestion and his free will to do as he pleases, to take out the trash or not take out the trash. If he doesn't, then it might encourage him to proceed with similar false sarcasm traps in the future which may result in less respect for the authority of his father. Thus he would begin modeling his actions after the very thing he said he would do sarcastically. It generates an on-going meta-irony of the sarcasm.

This second example is somewhat extreme (plausible only,) but representative.


Humorous sarcastic remarks in this sense have a remarkable amount of subtle power in how they can change our behaviors and adds another layer of depth to the phrase "Think about what you say". It is my theory that many people are part of organizations or groups, or partake in actions or behaviors simply because of spite of the nature of their own sarcasm.


[Footnote: I say MLP because it is a relatable and recent thing to be held in this hypothetical]


TL;DR people are just as capable of reading the entire thread as anyone else. It is a symptom of the thing I just described that "prevents" them from thinking otherwise.

This is a nice metric server. No imperial dimensions, please.

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I think this belongs to the Serious Topic Section.


Other then Sarcasm there is other humour and communication problems on the internet.


For example, without smileys or humorous words I sound serious lol :D :D Now see what happened?


Because of this one may misinterpret another person who never uses smileys as a serious or angry person.


Writing gives out a perfect example of the problems we would all have without a face. :)

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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