I know several people on Facebook, Twitter and both Facebook AND Twitter (Not to leave out the 35 people on "Google Plus") who more or less use them as a platform to shamelessly and constantly brag about themselves, their luck and/or their accomplishments. Often, they are all melded into one long stream of self-promotion, self-aggrandization and dare I day, self-fallating. Translating for the lay-person, you're essentially blowing yourself in public. Sometimes these are smaller infractions, such as a photo of a really expensive meal you're about to have at a fancy-dancy eatery or picture of your new, surreally expensive designer boots, both complete with quasi-witty caption. "THIS is happening", or the like. Sometimes these infractions are bigger. Post-graduate degrees are awesome and not easy to attain. If you get one, I request, nay, demand that you not only celebrate it, but inform me of it. There's a drink waiting for you and it's on the house. However, I don't need you telling me that you're nearing completing the process of getting one, then getting one real soon. Then 4 Squaring that you're graduating, then posting blurry pics of you graduating, then pics of you holding your diploma, then tweeting about it, then pics of you at dinner with your mom and step-dad and family, then pics of you at breakfast with your dad and step-mom and family, then, lunch with your fellow recent graduates, then dinner with the professor you exchanged sexual favors with to get said degree. Well, I guess there are no pics of that last one. Who wants to take photos of a break-up? Anyway you get the idea. One more thing while I'm up here. If you're in some experimental group or theatre or something similar, post something about it. I may very well go. However, please don't JUST post about it. It's the humane thing to do. After I hear about something ten times, my interest in it decreases by 5% every time I hear about it again. Why do you think I've never seen any of those Robert Downey Jr. "Sherlock Holmes" movies? I haven't the foggiest what a "Game of Shadows" is and I don't care to. I did, however, choose to learn what a "Ghost Protocol" is and I'm the better man for it.
This knife cuts both ways, however. If I know a person who is accomplished and actually has a reason to brag about themselves, yet manages to make their social media feeds something more than intolerable self-promotion, I find them to be even more admirable and I am even more likely to congratulate them and support their accomplishments. There is a great quote about this, "Success does not change people, it simply reveals who they always were". I don't remember who said that. It was probably some great thinker, like Copernicus, or "Deuce Bigelow"-era Rob Schneider.
Here is the part that I think is so odd. I'm not without a certain level of accomplishment. I've never climbed Mt. Killimanjaro or "Dropped" an album or anything, but if I wanted to, I'm sure that I could find something to share with the group that is worth putting out there to make others jealous. What's strange is that I feel virtually no need to do so. Maybe it's because I hate myself too much, maybe I think that my accomplishments pale in comparison to my contemporaries, maybe I just can't take the time out from doing something interesting to tell others that I'm doing something interesting. Whatever it is, it feels very counterintuitive for one main reason: I can't seem to shut up about all of the horrible embarrassing stuff that I do. You'll never hear about me doing anything even a little bit charitable or benevolent for my fellow man, but I "Check In" on Facebook every time I attend an all night horror movie marathon or Transformers convention. I mention it every time I eat something deep-fried and I'm pretty sure that were someone so inclined, they could piece together every chapter in the endless riches of shame that is book of my existence. Why is that such a natural thing for me, and the exact opposite for so many others?
With that in mind, I offer you, dear reader, this. In the future, my new year's resolution is that I promise to be a bit more like you if you promise to be a bit more like me.
Oh, and happy new year! I can't wait for you to post some pictures of you at some party doing that kissy-face thing and that upside-down peace sign thingamajig. Top it all off with some stupid hat, would you?