The rise of humblebragging, and why your friends hate it ...


"At some point, likely somewhere along Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram's rise to social prominence, an annoying thing started to happen. In place of honest, straight-forward boasting ('I won this award!') and seemingly-earnest displays of humility ('I'm so grateful for my parents, who worked their butts off so I could pursue art'), sprouted a much more sinister type of sharing. People began softening the blow of how cool, rich, unique, and generally awesome they were by veiling these announcements in complaints.

"The practice grew so common that it was given a name—the 'humblebrag,' and an official definition—'an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud,' according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which added the word last year. There is a book all about 'the art of false modesty': there is a ranking of the top humblebraggers, which includes Oprah; there is even a New York Times trend piece to consecrate its reach."

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