Humblebragging

humble brag

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?

24 Comments

  1. on social media it does not affect me because I can just skip these posts. But during swimweek in Miami a blogger that was flown in by a brand to attend and was staying at the best hotel in town was complaining about all the things she had to do and how she wasn’t even enjoying all of this. I thought to myself B**** PLEASE, do you realize how lucky you are? lol I work really hard and I am proud when I can afford something I really wanted or when I do something fun, but bragging is never cute. And yes I have that friend, I just smile and nod šŸ™‚

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I have friends who humblebrag, but I have one friend who just brags. There’s no humbleness to it. I’ll never forget when we were at an event together and she pointed to all the jewelry she was wearing and named each brand like Yurman and Tiffany’s. I was like, cool… She texted me while she was buying something from Tiffany’s and was like, “I’m going to be so poor, but there’s nothing better than opening a blue box.” I can’t feel bad for someone who spends money frivolously just to brag about it to her friends then complains about having no money. Lol, can you tell how annoyed I am by it?

  3. People complain about the silliest things on social media that they should be thankful for and I’m like, maybe I complained about something similar once in my head but gosh keep that in your head! You are making yourself look like a stuck up brat! And funny you mention the whole start up thing. I totally respect this friend of mine but they have not put in much effort to a career and just got a Director of Marketing title at a start up. Pretty sure the Director of Marketing at my company (aka my boss) has been here for over 20 years and worked really hard to get to obtain the DOM title. And now that’s all over social media. It really distorts reality I think and is making more people feel bad about themselves than should be feeling bad. My prediction is that there will be a social media bubble burst… because how many people who are actually “liking” or “retweeting” some of these humble brags are actually rolling their eyes while doing it? It’s the mentality of I like you like back sort of thing. There will be a breaking point because I can’t imagine our society going on like this forever!

  4. I always worry about how much I’m retweeting, or sharing. I’ve seen these types and I never want to be one of them. I also know some of these, things are just handed to them yet they still find a way to complain. Not a good look!

  5. I tend to unfollow once a page starts posting tons of humble bragging. I don’t mind an occasional whine, maybe once a month, because maybe that person has been awake for the past 48 hours and if Mariah Carey asks for one more obscure, impossible thing, they are just going to snap. I know that even the most perfect job can be aggravating at times!

    However, once I start seeing things like Suzy posted below, postings of expensive new jewelry and then whining about how tight money is, I lose all sympathy. Driving yourself into debt so you can show off a trend that will last just a few months is foolish to me.

  6. I wish that people would be just like, “hella yeah I look good today and I am not ashamed to admit that!” and then we wouldn’t even have this issue.

  7. I think what’s more annoying than humble bragging is subtweeting. LIKE WHY DO PEOPLE MAKE SUCH BIG DEALS ABOUT PPL TALKING BEHIND THEIR BACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA? We’ve been doing it for years; hello, gossiping? My sister’s and her so-called friends are famous for it, I unfollowed my own sister because I could not deal. Rant over. Glad someone understands :p

  8. Ughhh I know!! I try really hard not to seem like I am bragging on social media. It is one thing to share good news, but it is another to brag. And humble bragging is the worst! I also try not to complain too much and keep my crazy person rants to a minimum…

  9. I think the last time I took a selfie I was sitting on the couch and I took one with my dog and sent it to my husband, who was working a 72-hour shift. Otherwise–no, I don’t take selfies. I have a love hate relationship with social media, bc I have to do it for my job, but I LOVE when I’m vacay with no internet connection–it feels SO good

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