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.
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!