Bragging on Facebook and other social sites

By smarnad @
By smarnad @ | Source

What is bragging?

Some people use the word ‘bragging’ to describe the merest mentioning of a personal achievement, as if the words in the definition of bragging have no meaning.

Let’s have a good look at the definitions of ‘bragging’ -

  • Bragging is a gaudy, pretentiously outward display.
  • Bragging is a lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity.

Other attributive adjectives for a display that may indicate bragging are, vulgar, grand, boastful, swell, fancy, vaunting, splashy, kitsch, and ostentatious.

A braggart is a person who boasts about their achievements or possessions.

In the meaning of the word boast we see again that it is not merely the mentioning of a personal achievement, but a display of excessive pride.

Boasting means 'talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's achievements, possessions, or abilities.


There is a place and a time for everything

NB: For the sake of those who can still not distinguish between bragging and impulsive announcements of personal achievements, I keep on using the word “bragging’.

Dr. Susan Speer (BA (Hons), MSc (Econ), PhD., C.Psychol, FHEA, who conducted one of the very few scientific studies of bragging, wrote an excellent article on “self-praise” - The Interactional Organization of Self-praise. According to her acceptable self-praise is based on two considerations: epistemology and social norms.

Epistemology refers to the truth of a self-praising announcement. In other words, the one who had indeed won the 1st prize in one or another contest is not praising themselves when they tell their friends about it. They are reporting the truth to people who would like to know the truth.

Social norms are the rights and wrongs in a specific culture or society.

Bragging is the norm on Facebook and other social sites

By now all of us know that what some people describe as 'bragging' and 'self-praise', and others describe as announcements of personal achievements, is in fact the norm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social sites.


By posting one's status, which may include our mood, thoughts, and also our happiness about one or another achievement, or for that matter, our sadness about one or another failure, we present ourselves as individuals in cyberspace - a place where we don’t see people in flesh and blood, but where we have to form an idea of who they really are.

How can we form any ideas when people don’t show themselves via pictures and announcements of all sorts? Imagine ‘bragging’, 'self-praise', announcements of personal achievements, whatever you want to call it, was not permitted on the Internet, would there have been any successful social media?

So, we may as well accept that "bragging" is the norm in cyberspace, and we may decide whether we want to be part of a society in cyberspace, or not.

What about TIME? When is the right time to announce a personal achievement on Facebook, or wherever we post our status updates?

By now all of us know that time is totally irrelevant in cyberspace. NOW is the moment we post a status update via text or pictures, but it will be NOW for the one who reads it at whatever time of the day or night. NOW may be in the middle of the day for one, while for another it may be in the middle of the night. Time has no relevance in cyberspace. In fact, it takes effort to determine exactly when our friends posted there latest status updates.

When we read a so-called ‘brag’, we have to remind ourselves that a true bragger’s intention to attract notice and to impress others is not merely rooted in a normal happy feeling of being proud, and the instinctive need to share their happiness with their friends, but in one or another psychological disorder, such as Narcism, a superior complex, or perhaps a desperate need to be recognized, accepted and loved.

By Stuart Miles @
By Stuart Miles @ | Source

Research on bragging

Harvard neuroscientist Diana Tamir, and her colleague Jason Mitchell, proved via MRI’s that talking about ourselves triggers the same sensations of pleasure in the brain that are triggered by food and money.

I presume we will only experience pleasure when food and money are on our tray and not on someone else’s. Keeping our yearning for food and money in mind, in fact our desperate need for it, I can clearly comprehend our instinctive need to show ourselves, and everything we have obtained and achieved, to our friends, and even for the entire world to see. This need is deeply rooted in our basic human needs, which include our need to be recognized, and to be accepted, loved and protected. Don’t bluff yourself by believing that you can survive without the support of other human beings! The more friends we have, the better is our chance to survive.

Perhaps YOU have nothing to brag about because you are finding yourself in unfortunate circumstances. Perhaps you share the following opinion about bragging –

“Bragging is an epidemic. It's a total turn-off to me when I get unsolicited boasting from another person. Don't tell me how great you are, show me. The only time to self-promote is on a job resume or interview. Even then, you should do it in a low key fashion. Whatever happened to modesty and humility?” - Deborah M.

What kind of super-human being is Deborah, I wonder. Is she able to keep her accomplishments to herself? Perhaps she has never achieved anything to be proud of. Perhaps she is bitter because she doesn’t feel at home among her performing relatives and friends? Her children may have one or another disability. Perhaps one or another religious concept has squeezed her into a box where she can not have any objective views. Or what could be the reason of her inability to cope with the bragging that goes on in cyberspace?

This is the questions I'm asking myself when I read comments like this.

After all, bragging, whether in moderation or excessively, is not a contagious, deadly disease.

Every human being has the right to announce their personal achievements and also their failures.

Bragging rights should be use with caution

Susan Krauss Whitbourn (Ph.D.), urges her readers to use their bragging rights with caution. “Almost no one likes a show-off but almost everyone likes to show off, at least a little,” she says. “The best way to brag about yourself to others is probably not to brag at all. Let other people do the bragging for you…. However, because your feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence rest on being able to take pride in your achievements, bragging is okay and healthy." Read her article about bragging HERE.

By keeping our boastful instincts in check, we will not offend anyone, says psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. She wants her readers to realize that there is a fine line between showing-off and genuinely outlining accomplishments. Showing-off and bragging can be a subtle and unintentional way of putting someone else down. She suggests five ways of managing our show-offs. Read her article HERE.

Image by Stuart Miles @
Image by Stuart Miles @

Perspectives on bragging

While researching the topic, I collected some interesting perspectives on bragging -

Rebecca - So often we feel pride in our accomplishments, but also feel it tactless and fatheaded to express that pride, that joy, that sense of self-satisfaction.

Arthur Conan Doyle, via Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter - To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.

The rich never speak about money. By bragging, people indicate that their sense of a good self esteem is not fully established. They are seeking our opinion in order to judge themselves! By being pleasantly positive and agreeing, we meet the emotional need of a bragger, and their bragging will stop. - Claudia

If someone is sharing good news about themselves such as an accomplishment or the birth of a baby, new house or car, I do not consider that bragging. They are just sharing their happiness, and either you are happy for them or you aren't. Bragging is when a person goes on and on trying to prove that they have the best life, best kids, best wife/husband, and life, while in reality that person lacks something very important in their life. When we have the best, we do not need to prove it to anyone. – Linda

Kate - It is not about the bragging, but about the person. When a sweet and honest person share her happiness about getting a new car, you will be happy for them. But if the person is a jerk and prone to selfishness and excessive pride, you will be annoyed. It truly comes down to knowing the person behind the words.

Ansie - Grandparents cannot keep themselves from bragging about their grandchildren. For them bragging comes natural, like breathing. Forbid them this and they will surely die.

Svetlana - I think bragging on Facebook is the same as bragging anywhere, it just reaches a wider audience at the time "convenient" for them. Maybe bragging a little bit makes one and others feel good, bragging a bit too much is irritating. So any effect that bragging has, it is multiplied/magnified by social media - a good feeling or resentment. So, the difference? The scale. The problem? If one brags face to face, he can adjust "the volume" according to the reaction of the counterpart, but on Facebook, one is better to make a judgment call in advance. We are not aware how annoying we can become unless someone tells us. "Hey, do you realize that you are overdoing it?"

Suzette - Bragging on Facebook doesn't bother me because that is one of the functions of Facebook. If you can't brag on Facebook where can you brag? I love to hear what others are doing and how well they are doing it.

Shannon - I think it all depends on the manner in which it is done. Same as off FB and face to face. Bragging to share excitement with friends is not bad. We naturally want to share the good perhaps more than the bad with those we love. It's what provides inspiration and encouragement, especially when those we love are genuinely excited with us and for us. However, when bragging becomes an attempt to prove someone else is better than everyone else, it is not well received.

Louf - Mine are pictures of my dogs and village. I have no idea why I brag with them. I don't think anyone else really find it interesting. And I don't care really. I do sort of use FB as an online storage for my life too. It's interesting to see how much I've changed in the last 8 years.

Maria - Bragging is not the same as sharing. I enjoy hearing good things about my friends, although I am not as keen on social media sites for more personal info.

Peg - To many of us who are retired from the business world, the social media is our method of staying in touch. It gives us the ability to seek out what we find interesting, hide those posts that make us uncomfortable, respond to those which move us and ignore the ones that offend us. Sharing and bragging may be closely related here, although I find joy in seeing photos of new babies, puppies, sunrises, art, new books and other things that people post.

Nellieanna - Bragging: Is it just reporting on one’s facts of life OR is it boastful, ostentatious, and self-promoting - or worse, attempting to put others down? Doesn’t that depend both on one's motives and on whether or not others ‘take it personally’? Is it what one means it to be or is it what others’ minds consider it, depending on their own attitudes and self-images? Does it depend on ‘others’ minds’, including all their subjective perspective which might make bragging out of one’s simple delight in one’s family, one’s pleasure in successful gardening or one’s gratitude for being healthy or able to sew or to run fast or make good grades? In social media, each person is no more 'real' than he/she presents his/her interests and goal-posts. In other words, how would one report honestly who one is or what one does if it’s to be interpreted as bragging unless it’s self-effacing? (And is self-effacing another kind of bragging?) Should people guard what they share for fear of someone seeing it as bragging and/or feeling ‘put down’ when not intended? Or is it possible to simply "BE". Ultimately, that is one's own choice and responsibly, not dependent on others' opinions of it.

It’s gracious to be aware of others sensitivities, if one knows them, but one can’t even know that in wider situations, such as communicating on social media. Also, one can never know or control what others will think. Would avoiding mentioning anything about one’s interests which could possibly be taken personally by others, many of them virtually strangers, prevent ever stirring others’ negative interpretations? What about the simple wish and intention of sharing things about one’s interests and simple joy de vivre? - Is that self-promotion or isn’t it simply being who one is and sharing it? Should a person hide or disguise all that?

I’m reminded of a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright. He was supposed to have said “Years ago I had to choose between honesty or arrogance. I chose honesty.”

Evaluate your own bragging -

Do you brag, or rather announce your personal achievements, on one or more social sites -

See results without voting

Results -

  1. If you brag seldom if ever: Of course, you must have something to brag about, but your principles, or perhaps your lack of confidence, forbids you to share your happiness about your own, or any of your beloveds’, achievements on a social site. But should you really be so extremely private? It’s okay if you can’t bear the spotlight on yourself, but what about your beloveds who surely deserve the recognition you give them when you boast about their achievements?
  2. When you only brag occasionally: You know when to brag, and about what. You are doing it with style. Keep doing it! Your friends are just as happy as you about the achievements of you and your beloveds.
  3. When you brag often: You, too, know when to brag, and about what. Only sometimes you go a bit too far, bragging about something that doesn’t really deserve special recognition. Listen to your 6th sense, and obey it, and you will spare yourself that uncomfortable suspicion that you have irritated your friends. But rest assured, your true friends love you and realize that you have an impulsive tendency to share all the good news in your life.
  4. When you brag almost daily: Sadly, like spam, you are one of those many irritations on social sites. You may be driven by insecurity and a desperate need to be recognized, or perhaps you have a superiority complex. Try to cure yourself by following the example of someone who keeps moderation in mind. Fortunately you give the gossip-mongers something to gossip about, therefore you will always have followers.

A perfect example of true bragging -

My dearest friend, fellow-hubber and fellow Aries, fpherj48, presents a perfect example of true bragging -

Oh MY! Indeed Martie, bragging is such a drag. I can't imagine how anyone ever has the audacity to brag to me when they couldn't possibly be as perfect as I am. Of course, I needn't go on and on about all my magnificent talents and achievements because they're all so evident.

Everyone who knows me is well aware of my high intelligence, wealth and ravishing beauty. Oh , don't let me forget to mention to you that I bought a new fabulous home in Dubai.......right next to the Sheik and his royal family. They are beside themselves with glee that someone of my fame and fortune has chosen to reside in their neighborhood. Of course they should be.

I've had such a marvelous summer on my private island in the Caribbean....too bad you couldn't have spent some time here. We had lavish cocktail parties every evening and shopped all day long.

And that rascal Mortimer bought me yet another precious gem of diamonds and emeralds to add to my world-famous collection.

Well, enough about ME darling......Please tell me, what do YOU think of me?


Princess Francesca


Bragging, or the announcement of personal achievements, is the norm in cyberspace. If we can't handle it, we should stop torturing ourselves by reading status updates on social sites.

Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section!

© 2015 Martie Coetser

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Comments 74 comments

Johann Claassen 15 months ago

I know Martie Coetser. :)

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 15 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Interesting and detailed evaluation of this subject. The beauty of being on social media is that if we are offended by something, perhaps by someone bragging in excess, we can just choose to hide the post or worst case, unfriend someone. In person, bragging becomes much more tedious.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Johann, ek kan ook lekker brag met jou :)))

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Peg, the braggers I know in real life are all in dire need of recognition. Perhaps we can blame their parents, or their spouses. You know, Americans are very generous with compliments. They love praising each other. The average South African sees a compliment to another person in the same light as admitting his own inferiority. Take care, dear Peg :)

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 15 months ago from Orlando, FL

Superb evaluation of bragging! An excellent advantage with Facebook is the "unfollow" button which I use often to hide the braggarts. While I appreciate and do enjoy celebrating a friends special moment or accomplishment, I do NOT like those attention seekers who flood my feed with their pretend life or their silly sob stories...ain't nobody got time for that. Brave, SAA! Well done!

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 15 months ago from Taos, NM

I love your article and the info from the researchers was so interesting. And your own personal research is good as well. Thanks for share by my comment. I have never considered you a bragger, Martie. I love hearing about the things you are doing and the travels you take.bbit's all fun knowing about Martie!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh MY! Indeed Martie, bragging is such a drag. I can't imagine how anyone ever has the audacity to brag to me when they couldn't possibly be as perfect as I am. Of course, I needn't go on and on about all my magnificent talents and achievements because they're all so evident.

Everyone who knows me is well aware of my high intelligence, wealth and ravishing beauty. Oh , don't let me forget to mention to you that I bought a new fabulous home in Dubai.......right next to the Sheik and his royal family. They are beside themselves with glee that someone of my fame and fortune has chosen to reside in their neighborhood. Of course they should be.

I've had such a marvelous summer on my private island in the Caribbean....too bad you couldn't have spent some time here. We had lavish cocktail parties every evening and shopped all day long.

And that rascal Mortimer bought me yet another precious gem of diamonds and emeralds to add to my world-famous collection.

Well, enough about ME darling......Please tell me, what do YOU think of me?.......Fondly, Princess Francesca.....

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Sunshine - we can easily sense pretentiousness. However, the majority of my FB friends are shy and quiet, so I often feel like a performer on a stage, not sure if they see me as a braggart or not. The fact that they don't unfriend me is a sign that I'm still tolerable :)

@ Suzette - thank you so much for telling me that I brag within the limits of FB's social norms :) I must admit that I do control an urge to post pictures of everything I see, but not with the intention to brag. My need falls in another category - and now, at 12:30 am, I can't find words to describe it :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Oh, my goodness, fpher, I'm laughing myself wide awake! What a perfect example of a gaudy, pretentiously outward display you have given us now. I'm going to copy and paste it in the hub - first thing when I wake up after my beauty sleep. You sweetheart!

Of course, you are a queen, but you still believe you are merely a princess, you humble, cuty pie! Hahaha! Thanks for making me go to sleep with a lasting smile on my lips :)

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 15 months ago from Oakley, CA

No one really likes a braggart. They tend to be arrogant as well, and often with prickly personalities to boot.

I don't brag very often on face book; I'm more inclined to use it for political activism and to educate people about the dirty truth of how politics are really played...

Maybe people don't like that any more than bragging; still and all, I have a lot of followers, and some of my commentary has reached upwards of 700 "likes." Oh. Was that a brag? No, ma'am. Just the facts. ;-)

Fascinating and well-crafted article examining all sides of the issue. It would probably take a PhD to unravel all of the subtelties...

MsDora profile image

MsDora 15 months ago from The Caribbean

Good read! The perspectives are interesting and eye-opening. Don't think I have one, or haven't organized it. This is unique and well-presented. Thank you.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 15 months ago from Texas

Martie, I thought about your opening point after I made my intitial coment to you about it. There is a difference between boasting out of arrogance and sharing and a difference between sharing and doing so in a bragging manner. It depends on how it is perceived and intended. Personality comes into play, too, whether bragging or taking someone else's information as bragging. And personality depends on what is shared or bragged about, too.

LOL. Like when you say I dissect things to the bone, you have donee so here. But I agree with DzyMsLizzy about the many subtleties. Actually. there probably has been some sort of psych study done on the topic. It would be interested to find out.

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kallini2010 15 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Hello Martie!

Now I feel confused about my own behaviour on Facebook, mostly on Facebook as I don't use much of the other media.

Do I brag? (I voted "occasionally", but is it true? Or do I brag too much?)

I went as far as to scrolling down my Facebook Wall and totally fell in love with the wittiness, elegance, exquisite taste and excellence of my postings and comments. True, I can be argumentative, but my arguments are works of Art.

Wait, wait, wait, let me brag about my comedy!

People say that I am funny. Sometimes.

Maybe not so funny. Maybe not funny at all.

But let's bend the truth and feel good about ourselves.

One of the reasons of talking about ourselves with a Facebook MegaPhone is that very little of it is heard. It's just Noise, Noise, Noise.

To prove my point - who is going to check out my excellence if I brag here? Or rather how many people are going to... I'd say about Zero (present party not included), so my bragging is only talking with myself while everybody else does the exact same thing.


To prove my Point, Zero.Point.Zero:


To make it even louder:


Tra-la-la, who, what, why?

I think, bragging is attention-seeking behaviour. I'd like to see who will get an upper hand when it comes down to natural selection, Braggers or Non-Braggers. I have a strong suspicion that I won't make the list, regardless.

Let me increase the volume....

Congratulations, Martie, on yet another good article!

Shouldn't it be the other way around? Congratulations first, bragging second? Yes, but not for this article.

Ronel Cilliers 15 months ago

Very interesting article. Loved it!

drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida

I like your approach to the subject 0f bragging, Martie, so I will brag about how clever this is. And share with you my favorite 'bragging' quote:

“Boasting (bragging) is one of those rare outfits that never looks good on you but makes you look stunning when modeled by your admirers.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, writer. Ain't that the truth?

Kimmie 15 months ago

I am SO bragging on this hub Martie..wink wink.. Great job in breaking down such a little word (which carries such weight).

Thank you for a great hub!


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 15 months ago from Texas

I brag about my online friends all the time, especially you Martie.

tsmog profile image

tsmog 15 months ago from Escondido, CA

A very interesting provocative read for my first cup'pa coffee recommended by a friend. Not mentioning name, though sure you know, for I feared bragging of a friendship. ;-) Sharing is this was such a delightful read as I discovered many friends commenting from a near past when much more active here at HP and, too, FB. Is that bragging of inactivity? hmmmm . . .

I must be careful with this comment as I may wander from here to there and more too. So, I will copy/paste this and develop further for a fun writing exercise this morning exploring seeking discoveries of self. Thank You Martie :-) Was that bragging? hmmmm . . . possibly.

Now, some is bragging, while is thankful for a bit of exploration seeking self-discoveries.

** This bit is edited from a 869 word reply still being developed. (Once could have been a supportive Hub, yet, alas, is HP today?)

** The author of source #1 and mentioned in source #2, Jason Mitchell, bears my last name. I am famous too Ha-Ha said with a giggle + giggle

** Is in a social network, is in fact bragging, and did from source #2 cited did provide "spurts of heightened activity . . . (likened to) sense of reward and satisfaction from food, money or sex".

Adding too, a quote of an old U.S. TV show – Guns of Will Sonnet a western series of ’67 – ’69 is “No Brag, Just Fact”. That was used when confronting an evil villain in a confrontation before the gun play.

Thank you for sharing this article . . . while allowed me to come somewhat of a recent year or so shell . . . it most certainly was pleasurable ;-) Possibly a fruit of . . . learning :-)

Mr.B 15 months ago

Excellent hub Martie, will it be bragging to say I'm so glad you are in my life? ?. Well if it is then I am bragging.

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Jodah 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting hub Martie. Regular bragging by anyone can be a turn off but everyone likes to brag occasionally about their outstanding achievements. I don't like blowing my own trumpet so to speak but always feel pride if someone else praises something I have done. I like the quote shared by drbj. Well done.

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billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

What gets me, more than bragging, although bragging chafes my butt, are selfies. My God, people, how many times do we need to see a picture of you...and how many times do YOU need to see a picture of YOU? Not you, Martie, but I think you understand what I'm saying. :)

always exploring profile image

always exploring 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

My favorite comment was from Rebecca, but I definitely thought about the times I wrote about my new pickup truck, and then my new Honda, both meant to be funny. Nobody likes a bragger. Very detailed hub. You certainly gave me food for thought. I might add that there are too many homeless and poor people around the world who would love to have something to brag about. Well done my friend. Hugs..

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

DzyMsLizzy – I think when we use our 6th sense and consider the thoughts and feelings of our friends, we will not make ourselves unbearable while sharing whatever’s on our mind and heart. Then, too bad for those who can’t handle our posts. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 15 months ago from United States

Very appropriate hub, Martie...LOL

What I like/dislike is status's reading, "having dinner"

some people need all the love and attention!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

MsDora – Thank you so much for coming over for the read and for your encouraging comment :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

shanmarie – dissecting things to the bone is actually my forte :) When you follow the links I have left in the hub, you will indeed read more about the psychological studies that were done on the topic. Very interesting!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 15 months ago from Texas

Thanks! If we had those emogi icons here, I'd use the little red, bashful face for embarrassment at being caught not fully reading. Hehehe. Actually, I'd love to follow those links and will do so when I find more time to read further.

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mckbirdbks 15 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I brag all the time. I have the most talented people on tha planet as friends - you know who you are. I see most of their names here in this comment section, and those I don't see well - they are talented also, just not punctual.

Great Hub Martie.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

kallini2010 – you’re such a treat! You are definitely not a bragger. You should actually share more of yourself and Daniel. Oh, and you may indeed describe your posts and comments as ‘witty, elegant, exquisite, etc.’, because that is exactly what they are, not to talk about your versatile works of Art. Seriously!

Well, there is a saying: Children, fools and comedians cannot lie. And this amounts to the way we present the truth. Not so?

Interesting: your belief that very little of what we say, either about ourselves or about something/someone else, is heard. Perhaps because humans have that fantastic ability to hear/see only what they want to hear/see? Not to mention what they are able to comprehend.

Svetlana, I enjoyed your videos so much. May I suggest that you publish your performances – the scripts - on HubPages, or on your personal website? is quite easy to manage, and the free version is good enough for me. You can even publish e-book anthologies. I think you are a born comedian!

Thank you so much for your comment!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Ronel, what a surprise to see you leaving a comment. As you know, in your capacity as my bright and beautiful daughter, and mother of two of my beautiful grandchildren, and my friendly, supportive neighbor, and very smart colleague, and best friend, I just love to brag about you :) I want the world to know that I am proud of you and everything you do. Love you so much!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear drbj - now that quote of Richelle E. Goodrich belongs in this hub. Thanks for drawing my attention to it. I'm putting a series of brags about my fellow-hubbers on my To-Do list. You are most certainly the wittiest of all. Take care, dear drbj :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Kimmie, fortunately in our capacity as grandmothers we have the most bragging rights of all. How can we not brag about our beautiful and clever off-spring? If ever this becomes against the law, I'm going to launch a serious demonstration of protest :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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Nellieanna 15 months ago from TEXAS

What an interesting and valuable study, Martie! Well done! I’m really impressed. I like the way it’s stimulated most of us to turn the searchlight on our own online behavior, in the interest of better realizing and understanding it as it relates to the perception (or subliminal intention) of bragging, by any or all of the possible accurate definitions.

It’s stimulated many very interesting and good comments, too. I wrote a much longer comment, but think it too much to post, especially in addition to your inclusion of my FB comments on the hub itself.

Maybe each responder needs to be invited to write our own follow-up hubs in response! Hugs and thank you for this hub! Thumbs up!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

A.A. Zavala, you are so kind, bragging about me without sending me a bill. Or should I send you a bill? :))

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Nellieanna 15 months ago from TEXAS

By the way, one of my amazing grandchildren, Stephanie, who has a beautiful family, and is also acing Med School, just won first place at the 2015 Kentucky Academy of Science Annual Meeting for Cellular and Molecular Biology. She’s also officially scheduled to interview Nov. 30 with the University of Dayton Physician Assistant Program.

Indulge me for proudly boasting about her personal and scholastic accomplishments and excellence. I am not shy about mentioning that she is only one of my 7 outstanding grands (6 living now and ranging from 39 to 15) and my 12 great-grands ranging from 20 years old to newborn! Perhaps they are the best validation for my being born.

I'm also proud of several step grands and greats, as well.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Tsmog! Good to see you! Now that's something to brag about - the genius, Tsmog, used my hub for a writing exercise. The theory that we enjoy talking about ourselves as much as we enjoy eating, having sex and spending money, is quite indisputable. Having nothing good to say about ourselves must be the same as being hungry, alone and poor. Now this explains the true bragging of typical braggarts, while they should rather become self-motivated and competitive on a level where they can achieve something to be really proud about. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your wandering thoughts, Tsmog!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Mr. B, it is hard for a woman to be humble when she has a perfect partner :) I remember in the beginning I couldn't resist bragging about gifts you have given me. But that was because I was totally flabbergasted, not used to be spoiled with everything my heart desire. Another sign that (true) bragging is rooted in a deficiency of love and recognition. By now I am so used to your love and gifts, I seldom if ever mention how privileged I am to see one of my dreams made true by you again. Bragging about our gifts is one way to say thank you to the giver. Mmm, I should write a hub about you and your instinctive urge to turn dreams into reality :) Thank you for being the special man in my life :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Jodah - you just reminded me of all those beautiful idioms about bragging. Blowing one's own trumpet. Brag is a good dog, but hold fast is a better. There is no art in boasting. Talk is cheap, but money buys the whisky. He plumes himself. He crows over his achievements. He glories in his achievement. A cute one in my language, directly translated - The baboon has found a mountain (or a high cliff).

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Billybuc - oh dear, selfies! It can so easily provoke an addiction to compliments.

I must say, I often get fed-up with my own profile picture. Truly fed-up. Although I pretend to be pretty self-assured, changing my profile picture takes a lot of guts. Because, after changing it, I have to handle the attention it draws, and too many compliments from my dearest friends - or not even a like by those who pretend to be my friends just to know what goes on in my life. As you know, Billy, compliments, like insults, are like hot potatoes. You just can't hold them in the palm of your hand. So, dropping it on a plate and stare at them until they become 'edible', is another agony.

Who said life in cyberspace is easy?

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Always, of course we must share our happiness with others. Getting a new car, a new house, a new partner - how can we keep it to ourselves? Keeping it a secret would be totally abnormal! We must distinguish between 'showing ourselves' and 'showing off'. Thank you so much for your support, dear Ruby :)

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marcoujor 15 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Well I knew I' d enjoy the research and spin you put on this subject, dear Sista...

...however, Princess Francesca has me splitting my sides with the giggles...

Love you and that curious mind that triggers such fascinating topics, mar

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Ruchira - oh really, status updates about the ordinary things we do surely irritate. But some people have indeed nothing to say online. Eating and going to bed are the highlights of their lives. What else can they post to show that they are present? This also explains the tendency of some people to share each and every quote and video they find in their feed.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Shanmarie - I miss the like and dislike button in HubPages :) I hope you get the time to read those articles. Instead of repeating what others have said, and run the risk of committing plagiarism, I rather post links.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi mckbirdbks, I'm saying exactly the same thing. That's why I posted 'I don't want to brag, or anything, but I have the best friends online.' I wish I could introduce all of you to the people I know in real life. We are so privileged in cyberspace, having the opportunity to pick friends from all over the world. As you know, in our personal zone in reality, finding a kindred soul is about a miracle. Thanks for your continues support :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Nellieanna, I always take your comments to heart, as they are like bright lights, assuring me that I'm still on the right track. That quote about friends seeing each other's status updates, whether in the form of words or pictures, as sharing, while our enemies see it as bragging, is so true. I like and love you in all the ways you show yourself online!

Now see, how can we keep quite about the accomplishments of our relatives and friends? Your Stephanie deserves to be congratulated by all of us. Keeping quite about it, would make you look like a cold and indifferent grandmother. You, all of us, have all the right in the world to brag about each and everyone who makes us proud and happy. My heart goes out to those who have nothing to brag about.

Thank you so much for your supporting comment, my dear CM :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Dearest marcoujor, in your capacity as my online sista and personal editor, I just love to brag about you. Princess Francesca took the cake. She deserves a trophy for Best Bragger of the Year. Thank you so much for being such a solid friend and supported, dear Maria. You know I love you to bits!

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Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

What an in-depth, well-written article, Martie...and impressive. I think I'm more of a hide-your-light-under-the bushel kind of gal -- well, at least for the most part. For example, I have posted a couple of favorite photos on FB -- one of my son's wedding and another of my cherished granddaughter -- but I don't view this as bragging. Sharing good news because one is happy about something they accomplished or experienced is one thing; excessive boasting to achieve attention or validation of some kind of superiority is quite another. It is the intent behind sharing that tells the tale. :-)

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pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

My whole thought on facebook is to not take it too seriously...for some it is a forum to share EVERYTHING. And that to me is fine. If someone goes on too much, I skip along.

I am not on very much at all---only checking in every few days to see if new posts of dear friends or family appear.

If the remarks some put on offend, the reader should move on and not judge them for they have written.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Genna, I've noticed you are quite stingy when it comes to sharing :) Feeling comfortable and happy in cyberspace is actually all that matters. In real life, too, we are who we are, and we can sense each other's intentions.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Pstraubie, thank you for the angels :) Life in cyberspace is just as real for me as real life, although more convenient. Take care!

DDE profile image

DDE 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I don't spend much time on Facebook. You have an overwhelming feedback here. Bragging is often used on Facebook. You have written an interesting and informative hub, greatly researched.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

DDE - I spend up to 2 hours a day on FB. I honestly love the interaction. Fortunately it is not like a bar or another bad place. I see it as a live magazine and a gateway to interesting news.

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Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Lol...I loved your comment. I only wish I had more time to spend on FB; I envy those who do, and I'm still trying to figure out how it all works. I keep making mistakes, and feel like a twinkie as a result. Hope you are enjoying your week. :-)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Genna, I haven't noticed any mistakes in your hubs? To be honest, I don't spend as much time in HP as in the beginning, I just have too many other things to do. But I still love this site and enjoy the time I spend in here, writing and reading.

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moonlake 15 months ago from America

Bragging is when you're telling everyone what you paid for your new car. The same people will try to get you to ask them what they paid for their new car another way of bragging.

Announcing a new grandbaby or retirement are sharing and not bragging.

If the person brags in life they will brag on facebook. Those same people will try to get information out of you that you do not want to share.

I like announcements I don't like braggers and I cut them off on facebook.

The other things I dislike when someone comes on and says how wonderful their wife or husband an example, "He's a wonderful husband my best friend he bought me a ruby bracelet."

I also don't like Christmas cards that tell me all about their vacation to Ireland, but I do like Christmas cards with photos of their family.

I never brag about my Christmas gifts. Enjoyed your hub.

Genna East profile image

Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi Martie...

Thank you. Actually, I meant FB (Facebook), not HP. :-)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Moonlake, so good to see you! I belief there are indisputable brags, and disputable brags. The latter depend on our interpretation, which is formed in the dark tunnels of our sub-conscience mind. In the past I regarded announcements about the obtaining of things I am not able to obtain as bragging. But in the meantime I have come to terms with my abilities and circumstances, and I can truly be happy on behalf of a friend who manages to get something I will never be able to get. Thank you so much for your comment :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Thanks for the correction, Genna :)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting hub, Martie. You've certainly given your readers a lot to think about, especially those who use Facebook regularly!

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Alicia! On FB one has to brag, but stylish and discrete - the only solution! :)

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FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

Oh, the name dropping and selfies from every angle (I think it's intended to be bragging) and the look at my kid because he got a certificate for farting. Instead of "like" I wish there was an OK or Acknowledge button.

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bravewarrior 15 months ago from Central Florida

Martie, throwing Paula's comment into this hub was a hoot!

I find I use social media more for promoting causes I believe in. I'm not very active on social media because I don't want the world to have a window into my personal life. I share things that strike a chord with me : outstanding musicians, animal topics, veterans, etc.

I post my articles, not in a braggart sort of way, but more to let my friends know I've written something new. Whether or not they read them is entirely up to them.

I'm more the phone call-type person when it comes to announcing good news or something I'm really proud of. My accomplishments are personal and only shared with close friends and family. I think if anyone were to go thru my FB page, they'd find little to nothing about my own accomplishments.

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Flourish! I so agree with you, FB needs an Acknoweledge button - there are just too many status updates one should acknowledge instead of like. A certificate for farting? Well, that may be the beginning of a successful career as comedian :)

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MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Shauna, I could not have explained true bragging better than Paula. She is indeed a hoot :)

I really don't mind exposing my personal life to the world. I have nothing to hide and I honestly welcome critic. How will I value my own standards and perspectives if I don't allow others to judge me? Or to, at least, share their personal opinions about me with me and others. Even behind my back. As long as they talk to and about me, I feel alive. But this is me and I do respect all other views and approaches towards personal privacy. Getting on the phone to share personal news, will be a full time job for me. My family is too big, and my circles of acquaintances and friends are even bigger. I am truly in touch (online) with people who are interested in my experiences and views, whether for negative or positive reasons is not my issue. As long as they are interested, and as long as their reasons keep them contented, I feel I mean something to them.

The majority, if not all, use others like they use mirrors. They will hate those who reflect their ugly sides and love those who reflect their pretty sides. Shauna, this is really a personal and sensitive issue - how much of ourselves are we willing to expose for negative and positive evaluation. We should simply bear with each other, or unfriend those who upset us with the way they conduct themselves.

Thank you so much for your comment. It is really good to know how others feel about bragging and sharing :)

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Nell Rose 14 months ago from England

I have a friend on facebook that goes far and beyond bragging, she drives us insane! every single picture is 'me and my boyfriend on a beach' or ' I just got engaged'! I had to laugh at my other friend, she posted back ' oh good for you!' LOL! yes there are various forms of bragging so being big headed others just telling the world, but sometimes they drive me nuts! lol! interesting stuff, nell

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MartieCoetser 14 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Nell! For some reason some people just never grasp the meaning of 'moderate'. I tend to post too many political stuff, while the majority are not at all interested in politics. I was in fact unfriended by two relatives who couldn't handle my liberal views. Anyway, we will never be able to please all. Thanks for the visit :)

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Nadine May 13 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I must be very fortunate not to really have Facebook friends who brag, the way you mentioned. Yes they are promoting their work, but only on group or fan pages. Since many of us ( graphic designers) have to do a fair about of marketing to get product sales, I personally rarely post these designs on my main timeline Facebook page, instead I have several fan or group pages for them. I also have and joined a lot of groups where it is appropriate to market our work. My timeline is for sharing what I feel is interesting,funny,cute,inspiring or just amazing. If people do want to find out about me personally, my main Facebook timeline is where they find it. I do not hide behind symbols or none descriptive logo's. I do sometimes post photos of Robin and I about outings where we live, but very rarely. I do post our book publishing events, or a new title on several book publishing pages, and on our private authors group but rarely on my own timeline. That also goes for my own novels. I find it very awkward to (boost) about my own novels, so I promote them through my blogs, who then I hope gets exposure through the article I have written, like my hubpage articles. I never publish our daily happenings ( the lows and heights) like some people do, that is private. After all Facebook and other social media sites are to expose our interest, work and to share what we personally found helpful, funny, beautiful or inspiring. None of our authors are bragging about their books, but we as their publishers wished they sometimes promote them more often. Thanks for that interesting article Martie.

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MartieCoetser 12 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Nadine, thank you for your interesting and thought-provoking comment. I have a fb page for my travel hubs, but realise now, after your comment, that I should have a page for my other writings too. Personally I think you should post links to your writings and artwork on your personal page as well. At least just after you've published. Or maybe a link to the relevant page, to announce a new addition.

I love to post photos not with the intention to brag, but to share whatever makes me happy, sad or angry.

I hope you are having a wonderful day :)

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 10 months ago

You are right Marti, you have the best online friends, and so do I and I am glad that we belong to this "Mutual Admiration Society."

I really did enjoy this.

Blessings and hugs.

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MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Shryon, I love the name 'Mutual Admiration Society'. Being from South Africa, I am not at all used to any admiration. Down here the majority of people are generous with critic and stingy with compliments. At their best they rather keep their thoughts to themselves. So, the extrovert who loves to share highlights, often feels like a clown on a stage, in front of a non-responsive audience. Well, this is how I sometimes feel... so, I'm not sharing as much as in the beginning. Thanks for the visit!

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marcoujor 7 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Coming back to say HI, dear Martie - loved seeing drbj's sassy comment, only 8 short months ago... :(

Love you much, mar

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MartieCoetser 7 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Mar, missing drbj is a sad reality! Please take care of yourself, I would hate missing you!

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Great article.

I like social media, but don't use it alot, except for business.


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MartieCoetser 5 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Deborah! Sometimes social media reminds me of an addictive soap opera :) Better to use it for business only!

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