Conscious Posting: The Difference Between Bragging and Gratitude

Facebook can be fun. Social media in all forms – can be entertaining. Instagram is cool because I like photos. I like to see the world through pictures. I, especially, like to see other people’s world through their eyes. Instagrams allows everyone to post the images their world is made up of. There is poetry in that, for me. But Facebook – well, Facebook is really the porn of social media.

It’s filthy. It’s a lie. It’s a huge competition. It’s a home base for cyber bullies. It’s an another addiction for addicts. It sucks and yes I have two facebook accounts and three other pages on Facebook for business. WOW!

Let me explain. Facebook is all the things I said it is – BUT it is also a place to connect with people you met in kindergarten and friends you lost touch with from college. It is a place to find out an old childhood friend suddenly passed away, and by seeing that post, you can then donate to the GoFundMe account established for the family left behind. Facebook allows us to create events – where we can gather our circle of friends for a Hurricane Harvey relief fundraiser and then our circle can share it with their circles and maybe we can raise a substantial amount of awareness and money to actually BE the CHANGE we want to SEE in the WORLD. Ok – so now I have spelled out the good and the bad of social media for you. An expedited version… if you will.

But here’s what I despise. What I despise the most about Facebook posts in particular… can you guess? It’s the MOM BRAG. Or maybe it’s not just mom’s, probably it’s dads also. Maybe actors, and entertainers and men, women and children too. Yes – Ok it’s everyone. But the MOM BRAG is what sends me through the roof.

I tap on my FB icon on my phone, and I scroll through my feed – just to see what’s up and there it is inevitably – “Johnny scored 500,000 baskets today at his 1st basketball practice ever. He ran faster than anyone on the team. He’s ambidextrous, so he dribbles with both hands and backward with his eyes closed. Oh, and did I mention he received all 5 on his report card. No, I know 5’s do not exist but they are better than 4’s and 4 is the best you can do, and his teacher said he actually is way smarter than a 4 so seriously he received all 5’s. He’s only in the 1st grade, but they are thinking of skipping him to 5th grade next year because well – he is really just that smart. Oh and lastly – sorry… I know I can’t help it. HE’S SO GOOD LOOKING. People stop me in the mall every 2 yards. I was asked nine times last week if we were interested in modeling and my friend who works for CAA had his pic on her desk, and Blake Lively saw it, and he’s going to play her son in her next film. I can’t say the name of the project because it’s super hush hush – but I mean… #blessed.”

Ok – slight exaggeration, maybe not 500K baskets. But mostly… for the most part – kinda almost all true. A post. From someone. That is. My “friend?” I gag. I vomit. I hurl. WHY? What’s the sick need? Really? I don’t know what kind of person posts something like that – but the really upsetting part is – it’s not just one “friend,” it’s not just two… it’s a handful. So I started thinking a lot about why this bothers me so much, and I figured it out. I asked myself if I’m guilty of it – do I do this? And if so why? The answer was no. I don’t do this. I’ll tell you what I do – do.

I write about my children. I post about some of their accomplishments. I share the things that make me proud of them – but honestly, it’s from a place of pure gratitude.

My children were gifts given to me by God. That’s my belief. They came in their own individual packages with their own pre-set rules and directions. I have no control over what they look like, what they’re good at, what they’re not so good at. It’s never been up to me whether things turn out completely amazing for them or otherwise. I certainly do all that’s within my grasp to make this life an exceptional experience for them – but that is really all that I can contribute. So – when I post about my children I’m writing with a true sense of gratitude for their unique spirits and one of a kind personalities. I am seriously in awe of their little beings and the fact that I get to walk with them on this journey for however long we get to walk together and through whatever the journey may look like.

It’s insanely difficult for me to fathom how anyone could boost about superficial attributes attached to their offspring and take the credit for it. Visualize: huffing on the inside fingers of your closed fist and then rubbing it on your chest. Pat yourself on the back. Go on. Take the credit. Are people really that lacking in their own self-knowledge and accomplishments? Are they that emotionally unintelligent? It’s desperate. Honestly – it really is.

Bragging: a pompous or boastful statement. 2. Arrogant talk or manner. 3. Cockiness

Gratitude: to feel grateful is to feel thankful for something. Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness.

What sucks when you read those types of boastful posts is: not all children are capable of achieving the non-existent “5” on their report cards no matter how hard they study. Not all children will ever be athletically inclined no matter how many practice hours they put in. Not all children are physically attractive enough to be Blake Lively’s son in her next film even if their only dream is to be in the movies. So if you’re a mom with a child who works really hard in any of these areas and feels the sting of not ever really accomplishing them in the way they wish they could – these blind, cold post by narcissistic parents who never learned empathy can cut so deep. Do they not look beyond themselves? Or do they not care to?

I have no problem admitting I have posted some indirect, pointed, nasty posts in my cyber lifetime. Yes, intentionally and well aware that the person/people they were aimed at would feel the burn. Mature? No. Not at all. Effective? Yes. Necessary? No. Not at all. But that’s a different story for a different day. This is about the “BRAG” post. Not the “INDIRECT” post, so I digress.

The way I see it …Next time you post ask yourself; Why am I posting this? Who will it serve? Who will it hurt? Is it worth it? What’s a better way to word it – or is it something that I can keep to myself?

Conscious, considerate posting. Can we do it? Should we do it? I think so.

Photo Credit: TerryChen – Blooming Beauty 綻放美麗的力量 Flickr via Compfight cc

One Comment
  1. Now I can’t help but want to boast about how gifted and handsome my son is. Yes, I’m smiling, but it’s true (in my opinion anyway). Great points. We have no control over how intelligent, athletic, or good looking our kids are. Those are God-given and/or genetic gifts, just as our kids may inherit genetic curses, like mental illness and migraines. I don’t boast about us burdening out son with brain disorders. Interestingly, I do feel guilty, like it’s somehow my fault my kid has struggled so much.

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