Are you getting a little tired of the continuous, often over-the-top, bragging on Facebook? You know, when people post status updates like “Wow, the view from my hotel in Rio is just stunning. It’s going to be tough tonight to decide between eating out at this new 5-star restaurant in Copacabana or just ordering room service.” Or how about “If Little Johnny keeps making straight A’s and bringing home all these academic awards I don’t know how we are going to make it to all the Ivy League admission interviews next year.”
Yeah, no doubt a little bit of blowing one’s own horn is perfectly fine and normal. Nothing wrong with sharing some good news with friends and family at times. But for many people it’s not a little bit and it’s not normal. Sometimes it seems that’s all you actually see on Facebook – people gloating about themselves or what’s going on with their lives. (At the other end of the spectrum are the “I just ate a sandwich” and the “Watching TV again” status updates. But we’ll leave those for another blog, perhaps facebore.com.)
And it can be even more annoying when people do their gloating in the comments sections of other people’s posts. For instance, say someone posts a status update like “The Coldplay concert was awesome last night!” Sure, you could say that’s a little bit of bragging in itself, but I can handle that level of putting oneself in the spotlight and I’m happy for them.
But then someone comments on the post with “Yeah, I’m sure that show was OK, but you really should have seen Coldplay like I did back in 2000 while I was backpacking around Europe for 9 months. They still played in smaller venues back then, and their music was much better before they went so mainstream.”
When I see crap like that, it really gets under my skin. Not only did this person do some big-time bragging about themselves, but he also just totally minimized and deflated the genuine, happy experience that the original poster had just the night before. Seriously dude (or dudette), WTF? Why totally rain on someone else’s parade?
Another obnoxious form of facegloating is when people try to disguise their bragging through some sort of weakly contrived complaint. In facegloat parlance this is known as a humblebrag. Example:
“One of the WORST things about being stuck in a boutique hotel on the Champs-Élysées in Paris for two weeks is that I can’t get my Mexican food fix. Heck, when I am back home I enjoy great Mexican food all the time. This really sucks. #jonesingformexicanfood”
Really?? Oh you poor thing. I feel so sorry for you. Yeah, right. More like, if you don’t shut the f-up about your stupid trip to Paris, I am going to take that violin you’re playing and smash it over your swollen head. And while I’m at it I might even shove an enchilada covered in habanero sauce up a place in your body where the sun doesn’t shine.
Now maybe I would be overreacting if I were to actually say that to someone (or maybe not if this person has been continuously making posts like that), but the truth of the matter is that bragging on Facebook has actually become some sort of an epidemic. When I googled ‘facebook bragging’ quite a few articles came up, including one in The Wall Street Journal titled Are We All Braggarts Now?. It seems that gloating over anything from our kid’s brilliance, to our vacations, to our significant others, to our most recent purchases, to what we’re having for dinner tonight, etc., etc., etc. has gotten out of control. And social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it just that much easier to continue ever exponentially to annoy the crap out of our friends and family, at least if we overdo it.
And what’s funny about it is that I don’t think we (yes, I do it too!) even realize that when we post these kinds of things that we are bragging or that our bragging can be kind of annoying. So whenever you see someone talking a little too highly of themselves or boasting a little too much about their personal situations on Facebook, just ‘share’ this article in the comments section, and they will likely (hopefully?) catch your drift.
Oh, and by the way, do any of you know how good internet access is in the Galapagos Islands these days? I’m heading there again next summer for a few weeks, and I will really need to keep up with some international projects that I have going on.
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