There is a horrible affliction plaguing our society, and it needs to be dealt with before it causes any more horrific damage than it already has. It may require some of the most mediocre minds in the tech industry (Zuckerberg or Spiegel) but sourcing that kind of expertise is so vital that it is worth the risk. Yes, I am talking about the lack of a sarcasm font. The vast majority of our daily communication is either through texts, emails, tweets, or other social media, and there are many times where it is absolutely necessary to use sarcasm. But then you end up having to flat out say you were being sarcastic, causing the sarcasm to completely lose its effect.
Consider how many times you’ve had to validate your own statement to keep someone else from completely flying off the handle. Maybe it’s a first date and you are just trying to lighten the tension with a joke.
Your date: “Let me know when you’re getting close. I’ll be waiting outside for you.”
You: “Okay cool, I’m always down for the streetwalker-style pickup haha”
Your date: “…”
Yeah, that totally went as planned. Why don’t you crack another joke, George Carlin? Now you have to explain you were being sarcastic before the rest of the date is ruined, but your date most likely already wants to leave and meet up with her friends.
Maybe you want your hookup to drive an hour on a weeknight to come see you. It’s a quick way to get egg on your face.
Your hookup: “Sure, just let me get out of bed and I’ll right there.”
You: “Really? Awesome. I’ll get the whipped cream ready. It’ll be just like last time ;)”
Your hookup: “I was being sarcastic.”
Well shit. That’s one way to get flaccid really, really quickly.
Maybe you caught someone else’s sarcasm, but that person didn’t catch yours. This can be even more disastrous, especially with a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Your girlfriend: “Well I don’t want to get in the way of all your other dates ;)”
You: “Don’t worry, you’ve recently been upgraded from side piece.”
Your girlfriend: “Excuse me?”
Once again, you have to cover your tracks or else the “hahaha” you were expecting turns into a massive fight.
Maybe you tweet a joke, possibly something political, and a million trolls descend upon you like a mob of angry women during a shoe shortage.
“I’d rather have ebola in town than the president.”
Okay, maybe the sentiment is the same on that one, just not the literal statement. It could still use a sarcasm font.
Sometimes the opposite happens, and you write something in a work email that might be interpreted as snarky sarcasm.
It was so great to see you again yesterday. I cannot wait to connect again on these new projects–they seem to be right up your alley. You have tons of expertise in all those areas.”
If there was a sarcasm font, you wouldn’t have to worry about Bob possibly thinking you are some asshole who is mocking his personality and abilities instead of just being excited about a potential business opportunity.
Now you see, if you didn’t before, the need for some way to indicate sarcasm in written communication. Maybe it can be italics, or bold, or in a different color, or something that helps maintain the effect of sarcasm. This issue is destroying conversations, and therefore is destroying lives. Apple? Google? Facebook? One of your low-level programmers can even do this. If you can make a fucking monkey emoji covering its face next to an ethnic emoji, because monkeys are obviously racist, you can come up with a universally understood sarcasm font. Even comic sans would do the trick. Let’s get going, Silicon Valley–we’re impatiently waiting.