The Grass Is Not Always Greener – Curse Of The Humble Brag

Christmas and New Year often seems to bring out the most infuriating of social media updates – the “humble brag”. So many of us are guilty of it, myself included.

Reading a long stream of humble brags with “Best Christmas ever, look at all my gifts!” or “My 2015 is going to be amazing, look at all the holidays I have planned” can be depressing as hell. It makes you feel like everyone else is having more fun than you, and that the grass on your side of the fence is looking a little…well, dead.

I actually plan (and will likely fail) to cut down on using social media this year. Over the past few weeks I have had a tough time, and all the happy smiling updates (trust me, even picture-free updates can be riddled with big fat grins) have began to make me feel like something might be wrong with me.

Now, the logical side of me knows that things are not always as they seem on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But this doesn’t always make it any better. Social media is a beautiful, wonderful thing where I have been able to communicate and make connections with lovely people – but it does have a dark side. Just check out Hannah Gale’s post, where she found that the two things we feel the most when browsing social media are “unsuccessful” and “fat”.

I’d actually love to preach here and say to think twice before sharing your happy smiley moments, but why should you? Why should any of us? I do think people are too concerned with updating their social profiles whilst in the moment…the amount of NYE selfies on my Facebook and Twitter recently are a testament to that… but it is a good thing to record these moments of happiness for the times when you might need them.

What I will say instead, and also as a reminder to myself, is that social media is *not* 100% unadulterated truth. It is far from it. There are filters to everyone’s identity online, and that perfect happy couple sharing their millionth selfie on Facebook are probably not all that perfect after all. Or that girl you went to school with who got everything they wanted for Christmas has problems of their own. We all do.

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  1. Sarah

    It's weird – when I look at blog-related social media I see a lot of bragging which *could* make people feel bad; when I look at my personal social media I see a lot of griping (hating work; bratty kids; broken washing machines…) which has the opposite effect. I wonder how much of it is us bloggers learning to brand ourselves…?

  2. Cat Fyson

    That's such a good point! I hadn't thought of that. Facebook is the worst for both humble brags and moaning (I have been guilty of both, but nowhere near as bad as some of my FB feed!) x

  3. Rachael

    It amuses me that it's always "i'm not bragging … but here's all my stuff" kinda feels like well, yes blogger you actually are. I left all that what I got for Xmas kinda stuff at school, sometimes I feel too old for the norms of blogging, this being one lol.

  4. Milly Youngman

    I tend to save things I get for Christmas to blog about during Jan/Feb…making those presents WORK, ha. I quite like to share good things I get to do and try on social media and hope it doesn't come across as braggy, particularly my Instagram I consider as something to keep a bit of a 'visual record'/'online photo album' of things I want to remember. I definitely do think it's hard to draw a line between a share and a humblebrag sometimes though!

    Milly // Mini Adventures

  5. Good Girl Gone Brum

    Always good to be reminded of this, especially around Christmas and New Year! I always look at my own social media, especially when things aren't going so well, and I know it makes my social life, my relationship and everything look perfect. You're right in saying that we shouldn't stop posting about the good things in our life, it annoys me even more when people use social media to complain about their life, but that we should always be aware that everything is filtered!

  6. Cat Fyson

    Lol, I think there is a tactical way too it. I am nosey, and I do like seeing what people get for birthdays, xmas etc and I think it can be done with grace and gratefulness! I feel too old because I don't get the appeal of emojis! x

  7. Cat Fyson

    I'll tend to do reviews of things I got for Xmas/birthdays, although I have been known to do a whole post on presents. I like reading them (when people are grateful and not braggy). I like to share the things I enjoy for the same reason – and I'm sure people might find me braggy from time to time. x

  8. Cat Fyson

    This is what sparked me to write the post – I realised that things aren't perfect, but we get surrounded by perfection because we choose what we share. I like to chronicle the good times much more than writing about/sharing the bad so it totally makes sense. Sometimes it is hard to remember that others filter when they're jetting off on holiday once a month and seem to be in the perfect relationship! x

  9. Beth Worswick

    I do share my birthday and Christmas gifts but never share all of them. I do sit and think other people have it better, but I have to remind myself that all I see is their social media and blog presence and know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes x

  10. Kathryn

    I personally don't like sharing my gifts but I do find it interesting looking at what others got because it does give me ideas too. About the cutting down on social media usage, I stopped using twitter, instagram and facebook (apart from messaging) for about 8-9 months and it felt great, but there where times where I felt a little lonely. But I think giving them a cut down may be more beneficial. Great post! You have a great blog and I have nominated you for "The Versatile Blogger Award"! if you take part I would love to see what you post! Check it out here

  11. Josie

    This is a great post! I personally don't feel sad when scrolling through social media and I love a good nosy seeing what people got for Christmas/birthdays but I can see why people can feel sad reading them, particularly if they're going through a tough time…it's all kind of thrown in your face! But what you say about remembering we all go through tough times is so important. For example, I use instagram and my blog to remind myself of the good things in my life just as you say (because there's plenty of scary, health stuff I have going on!) and it just reminds me that things aren't all bad and a lot of the bad things I have involve other people who wouldn't appreciate the problems being thrown all over social media! But I do worry that I come across as all braggy sometimes and I hope people don't think I think they're not 'allowed' to be sad about life sometimes if you get what I mean! Sorry for the long comment haha x

    Josie’s Journal

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