Study Finds That Sarcasm Doesn’t Translate Via Texting, Which Is So Great!


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Nice Move


I have kind of a problem with sarcasm. I use it so often that it has pretty much become my every day tone. I would stop, but then I’d have to quit condescending those around me, and I’m just not emotionally prepared for such a heavy lifestyle change. Maybe I’ll get my shit together next time I’m single and desperate enough to become a nice person.

A recent study from the Journal of Human Communication found that people are completely unable to judge sarcasm behind emails and texts. This in itself isn’t totally surprising, but they also found that even your best friend is basically incapable of decoding your tone. Which is actually pretty frustrating, because if your best friend can’t automatically assume that everything you say is riddled with mockery, what’s the fucking point of having friends in the first place?

Participants of the study were asked to write an email that describes how they would react to a hypothetical emotional situation. They then rated their level of confidence that a stranger would be able to pick up on their tone. Each message was sent to a different participant who rated it on the same emotion scale. The second part of the study had participants doing the same thing, only with close friends instead of strangers.

They ultimately found the level of closeness between the writer and reader didn’t make any difference; neither friend nor stranger could detect the emotional tone of the message. Which means that that super flirty sarcastic message you just sent to the guy you want to wife up is going to go straight over his head, and make you look like a total bitch. Good luck with that, fam.

“Friendship might lead writers to take certain things for granted that are not taken for granted with strangers. Evidence supports overconfidence at the keyboard, and it is clear that reliance upon friendship and situational knowledge when interpreting emotion is ineffective at best.”

Whatever, scientist people. I don’t want to hear your theories — I want solutions. How is it that we can cure cancer and put a go-kart on Mars, but no one has had the drive to create a sarcasm font? Let’s fix this shit, stat.

[via Science Of Us]

Image via Shutterstock

Lucky Jo is much less medicated than her mother and sister, and she tends to think that’s a good thing. She's the newest full-time addition to the Grandex office, which is probably why they gave her the shittiest desk. In her free time she enjoys scaring small children, judging her peers, and condescendingly talking to GDIs at Starbucks. Follow her on twitter for cat memes and complaints. Email her at

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