It’s a Braggy-Brag World

By Hildie Westenhaver

Several weeks ago a friend posted a picture on Instagram of her four children with their teacher who had helped every single one of them through the Gifted and Talented program in elementary school. I probably shouldn’t have replied how I did, “Lucky you. I only had one of six make it into the Gifted program. I guess my children are a lot dumber than yours.” She was rather shocked at my reply, claiming that I misunderstood her meaning. But let’s call a spade a spade and admit that she was bragging.

We live in a very strange culture of social media. Between blogs and Facebook and Instagram we have an interesting choice that most people have never had to worry about before now: how to present ourselves. The closest we really have come to this in the past was the annual Christmas card. But now we can give people a thoroughly sanitized, filtered and retouched version of the best parts of our world on a daily (hourly!) basis.

I do this. I am not about to put a picture of myself out there that is not super flattering. If I take a shot of my kids and the dirty kitchen is in the background, I repose everyone so the kitchen is nowhere to be seen. I completely fess up to trying to make my life look better than it really is. There. I said it.

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