This post is titled “humble brags” because humble brags are becoming ubiquitous on social media sites such as Facebook. A humble brag is when someone posts about their life in order to show others their value.
“Just arrived in the First Class Lounge”.
“Showing photos of exotic locations”.
“Showing photos with the opposite sex – preferably regularly and with many different members of the opposite sex (just to show how popular we are).”
“Awesome! Life’s never been better.”
“Brag, brag, brag”..yawn yawn yawn!!! (the yawning bit is me getting bored)
The primal human need to be validated by others is being taken to a new and dangerous level whereby, real life has less meaning unless it has been ‘liked’ by others on Facebook. Enjoying life without a virtual audience following your every move via your smartphone just isn’t possible or worth even bothering with.
Facebook discourages living in the moment and enjoying ‘real life’ around us as our immediate environment becomes a means-to-an-end. We get less pleasure out of the actual activity and want to fast forward our lives to the bit where we can put a humble brag on Facebook and get out experience validated by others. Not enough likes means that activity/pursuit was a “fail”. Living this way is dangerous and leads to relying on the approval of others for our enjoyment. A dependency on being a star and having an audience, as well as being perceived as greater than we are is something many seem to strive for.
It seems the good old fashioned ways of contentment including getting to know ourselves, personal growth and self acceptance are taking a back seat to gratification vis social media. The long term implications are worrying.
The dark side of this social conformity is when we begin to lose ourselves or negate what authentically and compassionately feels to be ‘us’; to the degree that we no longer recognise the experience, our voice, the memory or even the view of ourselves. We becoming like ‘performing monkeys’ – instead of pleasing ourselves, we need to please others in order to feel pleased about ourselves.
When this starts to happen, feelings of guilt and distaste towards ourselves can create a cognitive trap of alienation, isolation and possibly even a sense of disconnection and paranoia.
Social media had the power to undermine the coherence between our real, lived lives and the carefully presented lives we present to others on social media.
Those who seem to have lives that seem to good to be true on Facebook are probably too good to be true. The more you notice humble brags, the more insecure the profile owner probably is. In fact, research has shown that the most prominent image a person tries to show others, the more insecure a person is about that specific thing.
For example: a person who regularly shows pictures of them with the opposite sex is probably incredibly insecure when it comes to the opposite sex. They are trying to prove to themselves and others that they do not possess the perceived failings they believe they have.
Some one who puts up endless selfies is more than likely very insecure about their appearance. This may appear paradoxical but it is regularly the case. Others show us far more that they realise about themselves, if you know how to read the signs, people can be quite easy to figure out. Humble brags reveal insecurities.