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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 11, 2013/ 29 Teves, 5773

I 'like' me, I really 'like' me

By Meghan Daum



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Recognize this pattern?

Brag brag brag

Bait for compliment

Self-promote

Promote someone else so as to be able to self-promote later

Brag

Wax indignant about political issue on which everyone you know agrees with you

Bait again

Brag brag

That, dear readers, is the footprint of your Facebook feed. Unless you're some kind of outlier whose friends post nothing but links to worthy charitable organizations and lost-pet notices, that is what scrolls past your line of vision on a daily, perhaps hourly (minute-by-minute?) basis. And that is why you occasionally find yourself wishing that everyone you "know" would just go away and never come back.

Yes, it's passe to complain about the wearying, navel-gazing, time-wasting, occasionally ego-bruising effects of Facebook and its ilk. We know that studies suggest that all those happy photos our friends put up can make us sad. We know we've become a culture of curators and show-offs, hand-selecting our most triumphant and photogenic moments and presenting them as everyday occurrences.

And I know that some people are right now finding me a pitiful and insufferable hater and saying, "Hey, I think Facebook is a fun and useful way to build community and keep up with old friends." To them I say stop reading this column and go post a photo of the "gorgeous salad" you just made.

Because if you're a normal, sentient being who's noticed in yourself a constant, low-grade irritation over the past year, you know what I'm talking about. Your relationship to Facebook has changed. It used to make you feel connected to the world, but now it makes you feel bad about yourself. That's because it's become less a place for exchanging ideas and events and more and more an unmitigated, unapologetic opportunity for public relations. It's a forum not for sharing but for bragging.

The most common and insidious form of social-network bragging is the "humblebrag." These are boasts that are loosely disguised as self-deprecation — "Spilled coffee inside my Maserati. What a dope!" — and they've become so ubiquitous there's even a book collecting some of the best examples from Twitter. "Just filed my taxes. Biggie was right, mo money, mo problems."

There are many more genres. For instance, the chest thumping-masquerading-as-self-esteem I call the "empowerboast." "Feeling so good about myself today. Realizing that I am beautiful and wise and deserved to be loved."

There's the travel brag, in which someone in an exotic locale mentions his whereabouts with a casualness that lets everyone know it's so not a big deal. "Can anyone recommend a bar in the Maroseyka district section of Moscow? My old haunt is closed!" (A corollary is sharing a travel itinerary by way of nothing more than coy airport codes — LAX-NRT, JFK-PRG — because your life is such a whirlwind of globe-trotting that you barely have time to spell out your coordinates before the airplane wheels leave the tarmac.)

Some are so common, they're trite: the mom brag, the meal preparation brag, the posting-of-hot-photos-of-yourself brag. Always, and often inexplicably, these posts will be showered with "likes" and approving comments that also manage to be competitively boastful — "When I was in Moscow I couldn't tear myself away from Winzavod. Very cool."

Maybe there's a metaphysical factor to all this. If something good happens to you and no one knows it, did it really happen? Moreover, if you don't publicize your accomplishments and good fortune are you essentially saying you don't care about them? Is bragging about yourself actually a form of appreciating — or even respecting — yourself?

Maybe, but here's what I think is really going on. We're a culture that can't distinguish positive thinking from hubris. We tell ourselves we're not bragging, just putting out good vibes. We're not putting the spotlight on ourselves, but rather spreading the light around so that others, too, will flourish in the glow.

Except that's crap. These aren't good vibes. They are advertisements for our insecurity. Posting a brag, humble or otherwise, and then waiting for people to respond is the equivalent of having a conversation in which all you do is wait for your turn to speak. That is to say, there's nothing to learn from it but we all do it at least occasionally.

I hereby resolve to stop.

So can anyone recommend a decent Olive Garden in Bakersfield?

See, you feel better already.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Meghan Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.


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