The Blog

The Humblebrag in a Digital Age

Thanks to social media, we see it at least daily—a friend who has truly awesome stuff happening but they’re complaining about the little things—the hardships of adjusting to their new Subi (the cup holders are in weird places) or less-than-epic swell at Seven Sisters (while we’re stuck at the office).
Regardless of how close the friendship may be, something deep down inside tells you it would be okay to punch them and take their place. That something’s probably right because the humblebrag kills stoke and it’s not okay.
I retract that—don’t punch your friends. Just set a better example. Here’s how:

Embrace the Stoke
If something epic happens, it’s okay to get stoked. Some people might say you have to play it cool but they’ve got it wrong. You biffed it when Lynsey Dyer passed you on the slope? No worries.
Finish your run, compliment hers at the bottom, and grab a pic. It’s better than the humblebrag—“Double blacks are so crowded these days.”

Find the Humor
Say you’re really enjoying a Nicaraguan beach and a crab somehow finds its way into your trunks and grabs a little bit of manhood (Disclaimer: It’s a hypothetical situation and I deny any allegations that this happened to me in the mid-90s, regardless of what Ed says).
It would be a really hilarious story once the swelling goes down. I wouldn’t suggest posting pictures but a tastefully comedic telling is much better than the humblebrag—“Nothing like crabs to ruin a day at the beach.”

Fix the Problem
I know it’s easier to just complain but you could fix whatever’s wrong with your experience. Finding a resolution lets you enjoy the moment rather than having it “ruined’ by something relatively minor.
Your Western Thick Burger came out sans onion rings? Ask for a replacement instead of dropping the hamburger humblebrag—“Hardees—I would have liked it but you didn’t put a ring on it.”

Tell the Truth
In reality, you’re driving an old Subi and you ate snow this weekend when some girl who looked like Lynsey (because she was blonde and wearing skis) passed you on a green. In all reality, you’re probably sitting somewhere, perhaps in an office just like mine, eating that burger and reading articles instead of working. Be honest.
If you’re at work right now, go get something done and post a picture of that finished TPS report instead of the humblebrag—“Outdoor Tech articles keep distracting me from my paperwork.”

Hopefully, your friends will see your good example and the world, maybe even the whole Twitterverse, will become a better place. But, if nothing changes and your friends absolutely have to know about those cup holders, tell them in person so the rest of us don’t have to see it in our feeds.