Thursday, March 1st, 2012

How To Share Your Good News With Friends

Getting into a PhD program, getting a prestigious residency, getting a book deal, getting married, getting a raise — these things happen. (YAY! GOOD JOB!) But so often, it seems, they happen to people who have no idea how to judge who's an appropriate audience for their understandable joy. The Internet has made it harder to figure out how and with whom to share, we've heard. But one thing even otherwise clever people with otherwise good judgment seem not to have figured out is how not to be obnoxious when their lil' cups overfloweth. So let's talk about it, and figure out handy rules that will help eliminate the possibility that our braggy ways are making everyone hate us.

1. But I'm so grateful!!

Send a note. Thanking the person responsible for pushing your Kickstarter project that crucial $10K past its goal by shouting something @them on Twitter isn't a real thank-you, it's a brag. Get out the notecards and stamps and give the USPS something to do with its waning days.

2. I'm grateful to GOD.

Pray silently.

3. Got into Harvard/Yaddo! Whee!

Tell your friends and family in a series of IRL interactions or phonecalls. Not. Facebook.

4.Okay,  so, I'm going to disobey that last one and post the list of graduate programs that accepted me on Facebook.

Fine. Maybe don't include a link to those school's respective rankings in your status update?!?!

5.Wedding/ baby photos!!!!

Unless you can get People magazine to pay money for them, they're for people you know. Know as in "have met."

6. That's crazy. Letting people know about my awesome life is what my online presence is FOR.

I just want you to use your judgment and not go overboard with this.

6. But I have a blog! Aren't you for that? Aren't you, like, the patron saint of oversharing?

I'm for telling stories.  "I won" is not a story. Or it is, but it's a pretty boring one, no?

7. That thing you just said about baby photos is straight-up insane. What's wrong with you? Why so bitter?

Look, use your judgment. But like, someone could troll your baby photos! Ick. Your poor baby! Let her wait til she's old enough to responsibly make the decision about whether to blog.  So like, in three years.

8. I think the baby thing got us off track.

I agree. Uh, this is awkward. I think I mostly wanted to say, like, don't rub people's faces in your joy or your pain. Consider your audience.

9. What about flippantly saying "I'm so broke," just curious how you feel about this

Never, ever do that. You have no idea what someone else's "broke" is compared to your jokey-broke. You sound like such a horrible ass.

10. But, so … if it's really obvious something good happened to me, do I have to be cagey about it?

No, that's also annoying. But you can still, like, not go on and on about it.

11. So … never complain, never brag, always be telling a story … anything else?!

YES! GO FORTH AND INTERNET! There is so much freedom within those rules!


49 Comments / Post A Comment

Lizz (#222,575)

This is wonderful.

ericdeamer (#945)

What if I never really have any good news?

Tyrantanic (#13,751)

I prefer to precede news on Facebook with "GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!" so all my friends who are Futurama fans automatically read the rest of my post in Professor Farnsworth's voice.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I feel like mentioning how helpful and timely this post is, as I just got a piece of very good news, is in itself a form of bragging and face-rubbing. So, like, just forget I said anything.

Rollo (#3,202)

I'm not sure you understand just how cute my baby is.

SeanP (#4,058)

@Rollo Pics or I don't believe there is a baby

Rollo (#3,202)

@SeanP I don't have any on me right now, but she's wearing a tiny bear suit in all of them.

Multiphasic (#411)

If only someone had warned me in advance that getting into my grad program was not good news.

Matt (#26)

Cool post, Catbus.

hapax (#6,251)


migraineheadache (#1,866)

@hapax yes – there is a big difference between not making any money and having spent all the money.

Rollo (#3,202)

@hapax I'm too broke for tattoos :(

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@Rollo Ever They raised the price of happy hour drinks and now I can't pay my rent :(

Alex2012 (#222,821)

@hapax Agreed completely!

theamoral (#223,506)

@Alex2012 I agree too… :)

City_Dater (#2,500)

Facebook is a Baby and Pet Photo Delivery System, or it is Nothing.

NinetyNine (#98)

"I think YM just posted their SAT scores."

Matt (#26)

Are you sure you didn't name yourself after the character in Get Smart?

NinetyNine (#98)

@Matt I was on a University of Delaware LIST-SERV in 1994.

NinetyNine (#98)

@NinetyNine "theeinternet said: not esoteric enough"

sefa (#178,747)

This sounds like advice for people who have "friends" not friends.

Awl Commenter (#222,597)

I think the moral of the story is, don't be friends, with people you are not friends with, on facebook.

BoHan (#29)

Speaking of, whatever happened to that Guy Gabe with the underwear spread?

BoHan (#29)

Or Julia Alison. Memories.

C_Webb (#855)

@BoHan Am I wrong, or is she in the Verizon posters on the NYC subways, usually with her eyes scraped out? (Although they do that to everybody.)

Tulletilsynet (#333)

They do it to everybody but they don't do it deservedly to everybody.

Maxine (#1,795)

These are all very solid points and I, too, need to keep #9 in mind. I wonder if there could also be an addendum, something to the effect of "being genuinely happy for the success of others is an awesome feeling. And also makes sharing your own successes a little less awkward." Wordy but also, I think, true.

I thoroughly agree with every single one of these, except for the ones that apply to me, obviously. LOOK AT MAH GODDAMN BEY-BEH.

Emily (#20)

@Nicole Cliffe@facebook oh well no, that's a professional obligation so you're exempt

Conal Darcy@twitter (#197,399)

The same rules apply for your sob story. Facebook is not the medium to broadcast that you have cancer, or got divorced, or lost your job.

@Conal Darcy@twitter Agreed, I'd like to see this for grief. Nothing worse than a braggy dead grandma post.

ragemartin2 (#223,525)

@Conal Darcy@twitter yeah I agree…

russell brandom (#7,699)

A homeless guy on the subway told me I was the next John Lennon. Just putting that out there.

@russell brandom A homeless guy told me I looked like a plain Nicole Kidman! And when I tell people that, they look…convinced.

sigerson (#179)

I think of the former colleague who humblebragged about her election to the "young leaders" division of Davos in between non-stop posts about her travel to exotic locations (mostly to do charitable good works). WE GET IT. YOU'RE FILTHY RICH BUT SUCH A SAINT. CONGRATU-FUCKIN-LATIONS.

barnhouse (#1,326)

Gah, I don't know. Am I weird, or old or what? I don't mind a bit when people do these things. I guess everybody should just send all their bragging to me; I shall be delighted and full of congratulations. God knows there is little enough good news out there.

C_Webb (#855)

@barnhouse Yes. I get more annoyed when someone I know posts "CONGRATULATIONS TO (SOMEONE I DON'T KNOW)!" as their status, and I can't figure out who they are or what they did to be congratulated.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@C_Webb Haha even at this remove, I am desperate to know.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

You said God. Emily G-uld says you have to pray silently. Obey unreasoned prohibitions!

bennimaddi (#314)

A fun thing to do which i have done to great effect is to just write CONGRATULATIONS TO ME! on your Facebook wall and wait for chaos to ensue.

Emily (#20)

@bennimaddi OMG I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

Anarcissie (#3,748)

What if I want everyone to hate me? I guess I could make up stuff, like how I was elected Pope, and grant everyone a plenary indulgence or something.

buyoufavs (#223,451)


Matt (#26)


trevorgon (#223,528)

why do you want everyone to hate you.

asclepimed (#223,861)


Post a Comment