Are You Informing, Socializing or Just Plain Ol’ Bragging?

Recently I wrote a newspaper article about the “Fear of Missing Out” as it relates to social media posts and I remembered something that is a perfect follow-up.

It’s a story of a group of writers who regularly met to have a drink and talk shop.  One of the regulars brought someone to join and her comments were all about her great assignments and financial success.  As the evening went on, the bulk of the group pretended to go home, but actually re-assembled at another bar, without the boaster.  The writer described their actions as a group “unfollowing”.

The world of social media has turned privacy, etiquette and self-modesty upside down, and it’s clearly important to balance “blowing your own horn” versus appearing to be a jackass.  Remember, every time you post, there are people in your social networks who are judging you.  For that matter, whenever you connect with others, you are branding yourself – you can be thought of as a name-dropper, a shameless self-promoter, or someone who is interesting and wants to share some good fortune moments.

Often, a softer sell way of creating your post would be more well-received, but hey . . . if you want to be overly immodest, have at it!  We humans are known to have an inclination to oversell ourselves, but don’t forget – there is no “dislike” button (I wish there was one though).

A university professor who studies social networks indicated that positive networks built on support and selflessness flourish, and negative ones are apt to break up. He points out that it appears evolution favors behaviors that cause us to cut off from mean people. My dad used to say, “Life’s too short to hang around cynics”.  (Author’s note: He used a different word than cynic!)