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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Wall Street Journal Gets Something Right

The Wall Street Journal has an article out today about one of my least favorite trends: Facebook bragging. Don't get me wrong - I actually like it when a friend posts a pic of their baby, puppy (please post more puppies), or an advertisement for a play they're in. What I have little tolerance for, however, is what the article talks about: unnecessary bragging. What makes this extra sad is that I've noticed it always comes from people who I know for a fact are terribly insecure, huge narcissists or even clinically depressed. And all of those people get hidden from my feed faster than you can say "My hubby is the best bec..."

The article really nails it from the start:

"Best gift ever from the best husband ever. 

Swam 30 minutes at a very fast time despite the large amount of Chardonnay served to me on the plane last night. 

Got my first royalty check for my book! 

Sunset sail. Turned into a moonlight sail. Shooting stars everywhere…Perfect.

A benign reading would be that these are just typical daily updates. But folks, this is bragging, whether you recognize it or not. And it's out of control. How did this happen?"

Case in point - I have a friend from high school who is married with two kids. She talks about how great her husband is CONSTANTLY and posts pictures of her children at various locales because he works hard and makes a lot of money to support a lavish lifestyle. I know this because she actually posted once, "My hubby is the best because he works hard and makes a lot of money to support our lavish lifestyle! LOL!" The thing is, I know her husband. And from what I've seen, let's just say he's not really as into the marriage as she is. I also have a (highly scientific) theory that the more self-taken "happy couple pose" photos a person posts, they may as well take out a billboard on the highway that says: "This relationship isn't going very well but I'm really trying to make everyone think that it is." I actually know someone whose wife was on the cover of the NY Post a month ago for cheating on him in a very public way, and his Facebook page TO THIS DAY is nothing but daily photo uploads of the two of them with sappy captions.

On the flip side, I have many married/coupled friends who are very happy together. And wouldn't you know it, rarely to never do I see them posting pics to prove how happy they are. They don't "like" each others status's unless it's for comedic value. And never ever do they say to each other over Facebook how great each of them is. I saw a friend on the train recently who has a really nice husband and cute newborn and I mentioned casually, "Hey, I want to see more pictures of your baby and Peter," and she said, "Yeah, I keep meaning to post some pictures on Facebook, but I haven't gotten around to it." She probably hasn't gotten around to it because she is too busy enjoying her life and doesn't think people should care about how awesome her life is.

Again, I really do like a good baby pic or career update, etc. But I think we can all agree this can be solved in only one way: more pictures of puppies on Facebook.


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