‘Shit-Talking’ (also known as ‘trash talking’ or ‘dissing’) can be characterized by a single or a series of subjective statements that imply objective truth, and that are set forth in an attempt to ‘put down’, dismiss, and/or ‘degrade’ a person, place, thing, or idea, while simultaneously ‘boosting’ the ‘shit-talker’ to a ‘place of higher moral or artistic standpoint.’
The gratifying feelings derived from ‘shit-talking,’ I feel, are mainly rooted in the desire for feelings of power, control, and self-confidence. ‘Shit-talking’ seems to be an ‘epidemic’ to some degree, in the blogosphere, and this is my analysis of it all…
*[For the purposes of this article, I am going to discuss ‘shit-talking’ as it has happened to me; however, I feel that these ideas can apply all ‘shit-talking’ everywhere.]
1.) Power – By declaring that I ‘am a terrible writer’ or that I ‘fucking suck,’ one is attempting to degrade me by diminishing the quality of me or my writing in a public forum or in an e-mail to me. Sentiments like these are stated as an attempt to reinforce one’s arbitrary concept of “good” or “bad” by decreasing the validity of other arbitrary concepts of a similar nature. By doing this, the ‘shit-talker’ is trying to emotionally/philosophically ‘prove’ themselves to be ‘better’ than [shit-talked person/thing], resulting in feelings of power, self-righteousness, and ‘rightness.’
2.) Control – The desire for control over one’s perceived reality and the things that exist within this reality are some of the most prominent reasons for the things that many people think, feel, say, and do. ‘Shit-talking’ is a very easy, surface-level way of momentarily gaining control of one’s perceived reality via ‘claiming power’ / ‘asserting dominance’ over it and over [‘shit-talked’ person/thing].
Similarly, subjective sentences that are structured as objective truths [i.e. “this is bad” or “this has no literary value”] exist and are employed in an attempt to validate the ‘shit-talker’ via the illusion that he or she ‘knows what they are talking about’ and ‘are obviously right.’ This helps to create feelings of control, understanding, and certainty, which allows for good feelings to exist within the ‘shit-talker.’
3.) Self-confidence – People who experience feelings of low self-confidence often find solace in ‘shit-talking’ or degrading others, by way of creating a hierarchy in which this person is ‘higher’ than [shit talked person/thing]. The desired result of creating this type of hierarchy is “increased levels of self-confidence via decreased levels of ‘worth’ in the things that [‘shit-talker’] is perceiving and assessing from a subjective standpoint.”
Miscellaneous [something] re: ‘shit-talking’
– ‘Shit-talking’ in a public forum can also serve the function of ‘unifying like-minded individuals,’ resulting in each separate ‘shit-talking’ individual experiencing heightened feelings of ‘rightness,’ ultimately leading to increased feelings of power, control, and/or self-confidence.
– ‘Shit-talking’ requires a ‘one-sided’ assessment of [shit-talked person/thing] ~97-100% of the time. Therefore, ‘shit-talkers’ (by virtue of ‘shit-talking’) are ‘inadvertently’ encouraging ‘closed minded subjectivity.’It is in this way that ‘shit-talking’ can never say anything ‘objectively true’ or ‘right’ of [shit-talked person/thing].
– In my experience, ‘shit-talking’ most frequently occurs when [‘shit-talked’ person/thing] threatens the ‘shit-talker’s worldview, lifestyle, and/or general sense of self.To the ‘shit-talker’, allowing this person, place, idea, or thing to go ‘un shit-talked’ would result in feelings of cognitive dissonance, confusion, and ultimate loss of control over oneself and one’s perceived reality. This is undesirable, and in an attempt to avoid this undesirable feeling, one decides to ‘shit-talk’ the externality that is ‘causing’ this feeling.
An example of this would be the frequently ‘shit-talked’ vegan diet.I have often been ‘shit-talked’ for choosing to eat vegan foods, via ‘censorship,’ ‘uncontrolled,’ and ‘epic/myth/archetypical’ styles of ‘shit-talking.’* The concept of abstaining from all animal products and by-products can threaten a potential ‘shit-talker’ due to the potential ‘shit-talker’s’ ignorance, opposing worldview, or other contributing factors.This causes the transformation between potential ‘shit-talker’ to active ‘shit-talker.’
*In an article written in the comments section of this post, Brandon Scott Gorrell discusses some of the most prominent ‘shit-talking’ techniques utilized by people on the Internet, including the styles I have mentioned above.
… I just started to feel extreme anxiety about how similar this article is to Brandon’s…I’m going to write another section to hopefully make the difference between our articles ‘more apparent’ / ‘stronger.’
Going to keep typing…
My tentative subjective philosophy re: ‘shit-talking’ – (I am going to pre-empt ‘shit-talking’ re: this section of the article by saying now that I recognize this philosophy’s dependence on the arbitrary assumption that certain abstractions ‘exist.’I also realize that this philosophy ‘rests heavily’ upon words like “beneficial” and “harmful” which are subjective. This is not intended to read objectively.This is my philosophy.)
‘Shit-talking,’ like all other forms of hierarchy, can accomplish nothing that is mutually beneficial for the individuals who are involved directly or for the individuals who are involved indirectly (everybody).In the relationship of ‘shit-talker’ and ‘shit-talked person,’ there is an intended inequality that the ‘shit-talker’ is trying to establish.The ‘shit-talker,’ in short, is attempting to ‘claim dominance’ over [‘shit-talked’ person/thing] via ‘putting [he/she/it] down’ and implying that [he/she/it] is lesser than the ‘shit-talker.’
This makes ‘shit-talking’ ‘fall’ in to the same category as any other hierarchical system of interpersonal or ‘social’ relationships (i.e. ‘shit-talker’ as bully demanding lunch money, [‘shit-talked’ person/thing] as child who gets ‘flipped upside down’ and ‘robbed’ to some degree or ‘shit-talker’ as capitalist system, [‘shit-talked’ person/thing] as underprivileged citizen).
I also tend to feel other things sometimes when I come across ‘shit-talking’ on the internet.I don’t really feel ‘set in my ways’ really, about anything, so it’s hard for me to write a strong, subjective opinion about this…
I keep finding myself wanting to type, “Shit-talking re ‘superficialities’ is superficial itself.”Not sure what I’m referring to…
Conclusion – ‘Shit-talking’ is rooted in the desire for feelings of power, control, and self-confidence.‘Shit-talking’ is always and necessarily subjective.‘Shit-talking’ perpetuates ‘narrow minded’ assessments of people, places, things, and ideas.‘Shit-talking’ in a public forum has the ability to unify like-minded individuals, and is often used to do so.‘Shit-talking’ is commonly a result of feeling threatened.‘Shit-talking’ sucks, in my current way of assessing it.
Thank you for reading this.