I read an article today (you can find it HERE) which talks about a type of behavior called "Humblebragging." To paraphrase: it's when somebody brags about something they've done by trying to sound humble/annoyed about it, more or less as a reason to blast about it on the internet. For example, "Getting up at 8am on a Saturday is a bummer, good thing it's for charity!"
At first, I kind of said to myself, "ugh- what an annoying behavior. But I know I do it too... time to clean up my act!" But upon reflecting on it, I started to wonder... IS it really necessary? And if there's a fine line of necessity where is that line drawn?
I grew up in a home where a lot of religious lessons were taught. I don't think it matters which religion, because many of the fundamental lessons remain the same throughout most, including one of humility. My siblings and I were raised that we ought to remain humble, selfless, and introspective. Perhaps this is where I get a lot of my passion for self-awareness and improvement. I learned that it was important that I perform kind acts- ones of service- without expectation for any return. Even as an adult, we learn that the key to IN-dependence (as opposed to CO-dependence) is to do what we will without expecting another person to react in the way we hope they will. A good deed should cultivate to simply a good deed; one performed for self-fulfillment and good will to others ONLY.
It wasn't until I got older and entered into the workplace that I began to question that "fact." I've read numerous articles discussing office politics and the fact that employers tend to let your "above and beyond" type behaviors fall by the wayside unless you point them out. I'm sure some lucky people out there have Employee Reviews, but I am not one of them. So if I do something worthy of praise (or a promotion), I have to emphasize it to my boss lest he not even notice it in the first place. Some people take that to the next step (which I find unethical) and exaggerate the strain of their daily tasks in order to seem more valuable. Potato, po-tot-o.
The point is, sometimes, it might BE necessary to brag about the things we do. But where's that line? I may need to casually mention that I took out the trash all week at my house in order for my roommates to realize that they've been a little bad about it. Sure, I could get confrontational and turn it into a complaint, but who wants to nag? LET THE RECORD STATE: This is not an issue at my house, we're all very respectful of who needs to be tidy and pitch in.
But then you have your avid Facebookers (and I admit that I'm guilty of this on occasion too) who feel the need to toot their own horn about how great their lives are, just in case not everyone and their mothers already knew.
Yes, I have a few of my friend's Moms on my page. THEY requested ME, sooo... yeah, it's still weird.
I posted something the other day- complete classic example- about how I was willing to sacrifice being cold so that I could have my bedroom window open to hear the ocean from my house. How much more manipulative can I be? I CERTAINLY didn't want you to have THIS inner monologue:
Oh, it's cold there, huh? Wait, she lives close enough to the ocean that she can hear waves breaking from her bedroom window? What a bitch! She is sooooooo lucky! *LIKE*. When will Facebook make the Triple Like button? Or how about the Fake 'Like' Even Though I'm Horribly Jealous button? Oh, well. *Smiley Emoticon*...
I'm sorry. But that's what my high-school-mentality brain wanted you to say. I took down the post the next day, having realized that it was bratty and show-offy in it's entirety.
is the limit?
I guess there isn't one. I think one of the addicting things about social media sites is the ability for them to be unpredictable, consistently debatable, and a daily dose of the "how dare they!" Somehow the daily blast of blatant insecurity makes us all feel... more secure. We all feel the same, on a fundamental level, most of the time. We all need to be noticed, via one type of megaphone or another. And even if we keep it to ourselves, I think that seeing it out there from other people makes becomes comforting- knowing that we're all these kind of weird, insecure, needy beings... just searching for the approval that we did something worthwhile at 6:52 pm.