Good or Bad: Humblebragging, Bragging, Self-Promotion

Is this self-promotion, bragging, or humblebragging?

I recently got interviewed by PUP students on the subject of "humblebragging". The topic caught me a bit surprised as I have not encountered the term before.

Humblebragging posts are usually bragging in nature but use modest, belittling, undervaluing statements with the intent of drawing attention. It is an alternative to bragging and self-promotion post drawing some form of "empathy" to the person making the post. Making their connection cheer them up - in a way.

This can include announcements, photos, videos, plugs showcasing accomplishment, possessions, and anything worth drawing attention to. Those who post (whether humblebragging, bragging, self-promotion) may feel satisfaction in doing so as this part of their life or venture documentation.

I believe posts like this are usually found on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It is neither a positive or negative trait. How a connection of that person takes it varies depending on his/her perception towards the said person.

Humblebragging, bragging, self-promotion is not unique to any nationality.

It is happening all over online as social media platforms encourage us to share moments that give us joy, voice our opinions, celebrate milestones, and promote our works.

  • It is your grandparents or parents or relatives posting their selfie, travel, extra-curricular session, spam chain letters, and sharing their relative's photos.
  • It is your boss or competitor (slowly gaining popularity) sharing the latest client acquisition, team outing, speaking engagement, thought leader ideas, publication feature, and celebration photos.
  • It is your favorite celebrity or enemy (rising despite past failures) promoting their latest project, product endorsement, selfie, wardrobe, lifestyle.
  • It is your ex manifesting love to a new relationship (after surviving an old heartache), their dates, gifts, moments, engagement, wedding, kids, etc.

On the positive side, this form of online expression (humblebragging, bragging, self-promotion) can open up opportunities and build connections.

On the negative side, it can also lead to peer pressure where some may do it just to blend in or even "fake" it. Some may also get affected emotionally leading to depression if they are not able to measure or live up to their own success barometers or of those they benchmark themselves with.

Social media usually represents who we are on a good day. Well-curated focus on positive highlights.

We should care if we see some of our connections using it to communicate personal challenges in life, loneliness, emptiness, hurt, pain, among others. Let them know you are listening by interacting and cheering them up. We are still human beings after all.

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