Braggy-Braggy-Brag-Bragging Rights

Can’t believe I pulled off this shot with my crappy Nikon D4 (oh yeah, it’s now shark snack!) Discovery Channel already bought my photo for next year’s Shark Week! Going with Canon EOS D5 with the royalties…FML!!


I just wanted to end Shark Week with a nice photo to thank them for another thrilling week which reduces average citizens into such a state of terror of the ocean that countless will not venture in further than the depth of their their ankle bones.

No, I didn’t really take that underwater picture with a $5,000.00 camera. I’m not getting any royalty check and there’s no mega-sophisticated, uber-complicated action camera in my future. My caption on the poached, non-credited-totally-illegal shark photo (image search on google, drag & drop into this entry) is actually my contribution to the ubiquitous bragging culture on social media. Pretty darn amazing, aren’t I????!!!!

Gosh why didn’t Dan let me know he was having this painting of me commissioned as a champagne ad? I wouldn’t have worn a dress that makes me look so fat!

Social networking is the greatest and most effective form of self-promotion. Face it, if you’re going to put yourself out there on facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Pintrest, Google+ or mega sharing sites like +AddThis, you better look good, baby.

The thing is, it seems like a chicken and the egg problem: what came first? Social media bragging or the platforms that made it seem so necessary? If you ask anyone why they are on facebook, the first thing they say to keep up with friends and family. Ask what they do on twitter and they’ll say they follow interesting stories and people. But look what they’re posting and you will find almost everyone is spending most of their time making themselves phenomenal and mustering up as many friends and followers as their little boastful hearts can conjure. It reminds me of kids begging parents for cell phones,
“Why do you need a cell phone Wymberly?” (trendy girl name of 2000)
“So I can let you know where I am at all times and tell you how much I loooooove you Mummy!”

Then Wymberly’s mummy got a $900.00 cell phone bill a month later. Why am I on facebook, twitter, Tumbler, Google+, Pintrest, etc? To keep up with friends and family and read interesting articles that may help me be a better citizen. Then I put out a lot of crap about me, me, ME!

Hey Norbert, what’s our Class President been doing since graduation?

There is a certain amount of pressure to look good on these sites, I mean really, you don’t want to catch up with classmates after 10 or 20 years and post your ugly mug shot…well I’d find it hilarious and really refreshing but that’s a bold move that takes a lot of guts.

Social media is a wonderful, mythical place where we can perfect our image, control (to some degree) how we want to be seen and present a very best self to impress people. It stems from living in a very competitive society. I think it’s also a fall-out of the generation of young adults raised to believe everything they do is so totally awesome that everyone needs to know and it’s quite catching. The basic truth is that it is a real ego boost to brag.

But this gloat-fest has gotten stale and I think most regular people are fully aware of what they’re looking at when they see a brag.There are a few ways to subtle-brag, a lame effort to mask the bombastic tone but they come off as inauthentic, phony and contrived. Fake brags have, for the most part, backfired on those trying to sneak in overblown self-promotion.

There’s the Humblebrag: OMG, I hung up on the President of the Nobel Society four times before I realized I had won the Peace Prize Award! I can’t believe they’re still going to give it to me!
Oh please! Now the humblebragger wants us all to go LOL! You’re Amazing! If anyone deserves it, it’s you! and Serves him right for calling you in the middle of the night, doesn’t he know you need your precious Nobel Peace Prize sleep??!!

After enjoying all the fabulousness that is me, please take a few moments to bask in the glow of my smugface…

Feel free to create your own sincere responses to the following the subtle-brags.

Complimentbrag: Oh Frumpy, you must be so happy you lost 35 pounds! Go for another 100, I can give you my size 4 jeans–they’re too big for me since I started Piliates!

Oversharebrag: so I was just trying to make a quick run into Whole Foods for my organic wheatgrass facial putty when a huge scream came from aisle 4 where they sell nuts and legumes so being a certified cardiac resuscitator/defibrillator/organ transplanter, I sprinted over, clearing 4 cartons of black olives when I find GEORGE CLOONEY unconscious from a severe nut reaction so I carefully opened a trach airway that will heal making his neck actually look younger and he gave me the lead female role in his next movie. whew! whataday!

Outsourcebrag: Our Portence got accepted (full scholarships of course) to Harvard, Yale, Trinity, and MIT. Now how is he going to decide where to go????

Finally the all-out Douchebrag: OMFG!!!! My boyfriend Vinny Mike just won the Power Ball! We are going SHOPPING! First a Lamborghini, then 6 foot hair extensions for me, fake abs for him, then a 32 carat diamond ring for me & Tommy Bahama sunglasses for him, then we’re buying as many drugs as we can to take it to our new island where it’s all totally F*%#@ING legal!!! C-ya biii-yatches!!!!

These kind of brags are nauseating and usually make me say, “Oh shut the eff up.” But because they’re everywhere, I just keep reading and hope what I’m putting out there doesn’t provoke much of the same response.

Yeah, it’s all getting really old. But don’t despair, there’s a refreshing antidote that will probably have a shelf life of about a week. The Underbrag. It’s an honest anti-brag, a truthful statement of something that doesn’t make the underbragger look good: What a crappy night–my ex came into the bagel shop with his new girl friend and I didn’t want him to see me so I hid behind the garbage barrel…and yes, he walked over to throw something out and caught me. Wow, now there’s a friend that needs a lot of love while you laugh your head off at what you just read.

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
This entry was posted in blogging, cautionary tales, Discovery Channel, humor, internet, Observations, photos, Shark Week, society, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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