Someone followed me on Twitter – Bragging Jackass. Their page description sounds very intriguing (“Highlighting people’s superiority complex. We stockpile the ridiculous, one brag at a time. Boasting at its finest“) that’s why I read through their retweets:
Now I get it. This phenomenon is what they call Humble Bragging. According to Urban Dictionary, it is a “form of self promotion where the promoter thinks he is, almost subliminally, bragging about himself in the context of a humble statement or complaint. Everyone listening thinks he is a jackass.”
I AM HERE AT [insert famous place] AND I’M [insert super cool activity here]. PRETTY COOL, HUH?
This was what business people took advantage of. With the irrational need of people to be constantly validated (and to constantly update their statuses), Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest and Instagram emerged. In 140 characters or less, a photo and caption, anyone can easily update their statuses and blogs of their current life happenings, whether it is arriving at the airport for a vacation, or simply being replied to by a famous person you’ve been following on Twitter.
After thinking this through, I felt that I’ve had my fair share of humble bragging. But I am hoping that most of them are not really meant for bragging. I reread my tweets and blog posts, asked myself whether it is humble bragging or not, then justified myself why I posted it. So why do people HUMBLE BRAG?
Psychology says that people have the constant need for validation, for feeling that they matter, and that their lives are worthwhile. Newsweek magazine writer, Diablo Cody, had a different perspective though. She called this generation the Narcissist Decade, and explained further that Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites have fed our monsters of vanity, self-obsession and immaturity.
In defense of the Tweeter or “bragger”, I believe that humble bragging can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional humble bragging is when you say it just because you want everybody to know – IN THEIR FACE. Yes, bragging at its finest. For example, “Will be out to shop. Gonna need another Gucci bag for my Europe trip.” Oh please, what do we care? Tweets like these have a common problem: RELEVANCE.
Unintentional humble bragging, on the other hand, is when you say it because you mean it. Whether it be because you were in a state of shock, of disbelief, or of pure happiness – you tweet it with no (or little) intention of boasting. For example, “Finally done with my thesis! #cantbelieveit” Kinda sounds familiar, hmm?
“THIS IS MY PAGE AND I CAN TWEET LIKE A BOSS”
Oh yes, it is YOUR page. But every one of your followers CAN READ IT. As netizens, we have the unspoken responsibility to be sensitive of our readers. A little bragging may not hurt them, but it may IRRITATE them. So before they get irritated with you for your constant humble bragging, it’s best to stop, think twice and filter whatever you are going to post.