Humblebragging: The Ultimate Cardinal Sin of Social Networking

We have all seen it. You log onto Facebook or Instagram and see a post of a friend posing next to his BMW. He says the picture is about the beach, but we all know that the waves only serve as the backdrop for the beaming beamer that is front and center in the post. The act is called humblebragging, and practically all of us have been guilty of it at some point. 


What is Humblebragging?

Humblebragging is a sly way of talking about your life, in all of its greatness, online. You’re sharing bits and pieces of your life but, at the same time, you’re bragging. Now, don't misconstrue the idea, social media is meant for sharing milestones. Humblebragging, however, are those posts on Facebook or Twitter that tells the world how great your life is in a downplayed sort of way. 


For Example...

A person will post, “Oh gosh. Just got sand all over the carpet of my brand new BMW.” The purpose here is to draw attention to the BMW, not the sand. Such bragging also takes place when someone takes a photo of their nails resting on or near the Mercedes-Benz emblem on their car’s steering wheel.


What’s So Wrong With Humblebragging?

It’s not horrible to share accomplishments online. You just have to be realistic.  Ask yourself: “What’s my key point here? Do I want to complain about the sand? Or, do I want people to know about my BMW?” If you want people to know about your car, then just be forward with it and say, “I’m so thankful that I have a BMW.  I always dreamed of having this kind of car.” Humblebragging gets annoying when a person does it often, so it’s best to be honest and upfront. 

Also, bragging shouldn’t be done often. Your accomplishments shouldn’t be something that you’re always discussing online. You want to think about your audience and who’s reading the posts. If you just got a brand new BMW and most of the people you associate with are not necessarily in that space, then you probably want to hold back a little bit and not talk about it all the time. 


Questions to Consider Before Posting

  • What is this post all about? Is the post really about the sand or is it about the BMW?
  • Is this something I’ve mentioned before?
  • How would my community feel about what I’m sharing? Would it make them feel good about their personal situation or bad?
  • Is there a way that I can share this differently by being more upfront?

You can spot humblebragging when a person is making one particular thing minuscule, but they really want to shed light on it. If you do catch someone engaging in humblebragging red handed -  just ignore it. Don’t try to correct them. Let crazy be crazy!