Sunday, November 19, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Bragging on social media can become unhealthy competition

RECOMMENDED READING


Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Bragging through social media can become a competition

Q: Why do people feel the need to use social media to constantly brag about their lives? I can't tell you how many pictures of bouquets and dinners and chocolates popped up on my Facebook feed around Valentine's Day — on top of the already daily descriptions of "perfect boyfriends" and pictures of vacations in real time. When did people stop living life and start just trying to prove to others that they are doing so?

And, my main question, how can I stop from getting sucked in to feeling like I need to prove myself to everyone else? I have a wonderful boyfriend with whom I share such a bond that I don't CARE how big his bouquet is or how much my Facebook "friends" know or see . . . but I almost feel guilty. Like my indifference toward bragging means this relationship really must not be brag-worthy.

Facebook Facade

Carolyn: The first part is easier to answer than the second: Just block habitual braggarts from your news feed. Save your page for people who post things that interest you.

Some might say just to stay off social media altogether, a perfectly good and uncluttered solution — but if you see a lot of good amid the bad, then waste a little extra time on your settings to accommodate your peeves.

The second question, how not to care? If only that were about adjusting your settings.

It is possible you run with a crowd that's particularly competitive socially, but that presents a chicken-or-egg riddle: Are they making you that way, or did you seek them out because you're that way?

Fortunately, that question becomes easier to answer if you consciously remove yourself from the competition — not just on social media, but in other interactions as well.

It'll take a bunch of small, on-the-spot decisions (and a few mental recitations of an "It's not a race" mantra) to break a habit of comparing yourself with others socially. However, if you're able to pull it off enough to step back from your guilty feelings, then you'll be able to see whether it's your environment or your emotional makeup that motivates you to measure your happiness against others'.

Anonymous: Does that go for posting a "thank you" to your spouse on Facebook for a gift? For me, it was more of giving him credit in front of our friends for what he did for me, rather than bragging about what he gave me. What about those posts on birthdays, where spouses post on their partner's wall and go on about how much they love their spouse? Is that unacceptable bragging too?

Carolyn: Is there acceptable bragging? Why does the "credit" (ew?) need to be in front of your friends?

To me this isn't about being boastful so much as being needlessly public. Okay, send a bouquet to someone's office so a person can enjoy the flowers, since often most waking hours are spent there versus home. But proposing on stadium Jumbotrons I thought was a fad that needed to die, not one that needed to be shrunk down to fit individual screens.

Comments
With Harry Potterís Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potterís Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO ó Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macyís balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Published: 11/17/17
First look: Harry Potterís Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potterís Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Momís stroke threatens plans for children

Momís stroke threatens plans for childrenQ: Recently you gave advice about how itís "never the perfect time to have a baby," and thatís true, but does the calculation change any if youíre planning to be a single mom?Iím 36 and a year ago I broke up w...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Wife uses silent treatment to be cruel

Wife uses silent treatment to be cruelQ: My wife is a wonderfully sensible person and appropriately sensitive. She is the oldest of three sisters and often feels left out. The age and geographical distance make it understandable that her two sisters ...
Published: 11/16/17

Tell Me About It: Woman takes momís advice the wrong way

Woman takes momís advice the wrong wayQ: I was laid off recently from a job of 15 years. My confidence took a blow.When I told my mom, she said, "Hurry up and update your resume. And donít forget to add your Employee of the Year award." I had of cour...
Published: 11/15/17
5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjac...
Published: 11/15/17
Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

BIG WHEELS: St. Pete Beach BikeFestThe new St. Pete Beach BikeFest at the TradeWinds resort and runs through Sunday with daily poker runs, an expo, a bike show and competitions. But the real draw will be free concerts on the beach, including former M...
Published: 11/15/17
Five cool things to see in ĎStar Wars and the Power of Costumeí in St. Petersburg

Five cool things to see in ĎStar Wars and the Power of Costumeí in St. Petersburg

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our co...
Published: 11/15/17

Tell Me About It: Grandson could use advice, not judgement

Grandson could use advice, not judgementQ: My 17-year-old grandson bought his 17-year-old girlfriend of barely two months lingerie from Victoriaís Secret. I think this is very inappropriate. He thinks Iím a dinosaur. Guidance, please?DinosaurA: I thi...
Published: 11/15/17

Tell Me About It: Parents think she can get sister to move out

Parents think she can get sister to move outQ: My sister, "Sarah," is turning 30 soon. Except during college, she has lived with my parents rent-free her entire life. I have always taken the stance of, "Itís my parentsí and sisterís business what the...
Published: 11/14/17