Social media has given birth to a lot of awesome things, like reconnecting with childhood friends, finding coupons for your favorite stores and hearing breaking news just as it happens. But it also has created things like the selfie craze, narcissism and the humblebrag. Sure, the humblebrag was around long before social media, but sites like Twitter and Facebook have only seemed to make it worse.
A humblebrag can loosely be defined as a form self promotion where the promoter thinks she is, almost subliminally, bragging about herself in the context of a humble statement. There’s even a Twitter account dedicated to re-tweeting humblebrags by everyone from celebrities to regular Joes.
Don’t get me wrong here, there are plenty of times when talking about your achievements and being proud of them is acceptable. In fact, I love to celebrate my own- and others- achievements and think it’s a healthy part of life. But there is a fine line between simply patting yourself on the back for a job well done and annoying the shit out of everyone around you.
Let’s say you just got a new job at an awesome, well-known startup. So naturally, you post an update to your Facebook about it. Perfectly fine. You worked hard to get that job (assuming Daddy doesn’t work there or you weren’t hired by an old colleague) and should share it with your friends. But tweeting about how you’re at a photoshoot for work and complaining about how Mariah Carey is being a diva and making you stay late is not fine. It’s considered a humblebrag and it’s annoying. You want us to feel sorry for you that you work a job that’s job description includes being a celebrity’s bitch at photoshoots? Nope, sorry.
My Twitter feed is filled with endless bloggers re-tweeting compliments about themselves to the point where I start to develop a gag reflex. The amount of self-aggrandizing Instagram photos of girls at their daily blow-dry bar appointment or snapshots of expensive vacations is creating my eyes to be permanently rolled.
Am I asking you not to post photos of your new haircut or time at the beach? Of course not. But when you’re doing it to try to prove you are better than someone else, it’s unfortunate. Especially when the photos are accompanied by you complaining about how exhausted you are from your expensive vacation, or talking about how long you waited for your fancy hair appointment.
Do we, as a society, really need to name-drop as often as we do? Why are some people still stuck in the popularity trap of high school? Whether you’re bragging humbly or just straight-up bragging without a hint of humbleness, it reflects poorly on you.
What do you think about humblebragging? Do you have “that friend” who always does this?