Today, irony has increasingly permeated daily culture. It is no longer just used in literature, but also in verbal communication. Irony is also increasingly used in professional critique of film, literature and art. Today, earnestness puts an author at risk of seeming over-enthusiastic or naïve. Irony acts as a shield. When criticizing or commenting, irony not only places distance between the criticizer and the criticized but also serves to elevate the criticizer by demonstrating self-awareness. Because of this, cynicism is becoming increasingly common as a substitute to intelligent analysis.
With the dawn of the digital age and the social network, irony plays a key role in how participants interact. When communicating with someone who may be a stranger, irony functions as a self-protective shield in an increasingly harsh and extroverted social environment. This trend has permeated pop culture, literature and art, with artists using irony as a tool to comment on an ever-expanding, complicated world.