Most of us are Facebook and Instagram users.
It’s quite a given considering we live in the age where social media has taken over traditional media in a lot of ways.
Did you know that by the end of 2017, the average amount of time people spent on social media a day was 135 minutes?
That’s 2 hours and 15 minutes of your time in social media every day. And yet we still say we “don’t have time” for something useful, like exercising or having a good dinner with our family members.
If you need more perspective, check out this research done by Reebok.
On average, we spend 41% of our entire human lives on our devices.
And it makes sense, right?
Because we all find ourselves scrolling through Facebook and Instagram when we are bored, commuting home, on the toilet (I see you), and in so many other moments of life.
As of April 2018, statistics show that Facebook is the leading social media network in the entire world, with 2.2 billion users. Instagram follows in the 6th place with 813 million users.
Discounting personal communication apps that lie between the first and sixth place, the only other social media site between Facebook and Instagram was YouTube.
So why are we talking about Facebook and Instagram?
Because that’s where the money (and humblebragging) mostly is.
Most businesses use social media for marketing these days. In the US alone, over 88% of companies use social media to market.
And that’s just in one country.
Let’s get a bit more perspective.
Like it or not, we all know who the Kardashians are.
And I bet you’re thinking now, what does all this have to do with humblebragging?
Humblebragging is quite directly tied to demand and supply.
Instagram feeds need to be of a certain ‘aesthetic’ to put them on the map and increase follower and engagement rates.
Facebook pages need to be visually appealing and growing in follower count so that you can make money from it.
That’s when brands start reaching out to people that fit their aesthetic to get them to promote their items. That’s when these people become ‘influencers’, and start getting PR packages and luxurious holidays – based on what their Instagram or Facebook feed is themed!
And that’s where humblebragging is key.
As an influencer, getting a huge bunch of free expensive things and trips simply for being attractive, or having a high SES ‘lifestyle-of-the-rich-and-famous‘ type of life, or just having a large following, outwardly boasting will turn followers off.
Which will affect popularity and engagement.
Which will affect sponsorships and money.
So on social media, you need that subtle hint of being better/having more, to make people want to engage with your content and buy into whatever you’re selling.
So that regular people who follow these brands, personalities and influencers can be sucked into a world where they feel the need to also attain a certain lifestyle and wealth class.
Basically, humblebragging sells.
That is why Facebook and Instagram are 90% humblebragging and 10% actual relevant content.
It’s the new place where this rat race is going on, but it’s still a rat race all the same.
It’s a powerful marketing tactic that trickles from top-down.
Did you know that a survey found that people who spent the most time on Instagram had the highest levels of anxiety, depression and ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out)?
Because we feel the need to also prove our worths, have a life that we can be ‘proud to show off’ on social media…an ‘aesthetic’ life.
And this really resonates.
I don’t see myself reaching to Instagram myself without my makeup on, tucked under my blankets, snacking while binge-watching TV shows.
Even though that is most of my life.
Instead, you’ll see me at my most glammed up, eating at expensive places, travelling all around the world. Yes, I have done all those things. But these moments are the minority in my life.
Most of the time I eat at the hawker centre right under my block but you don’t see that.
Most of the time I am saving up for the 2 weeks that I can travel but you don’t see that either.
You see what I want to show you.
In the same way, you see what everybody else wants to show you.
It’s in those Instagram posts that are captioned ‘when you drink too much and accidentally buy a trip to Greece! #adultingissohard’;
Or those Facebook posts that go ‘when your man buys you flowers, chocolate and stuff from Sephora for no reason at all! #blessed #couplegoals’.
Now, I’m not saying that they are not #blessed, but I’m also saying a lot of these couples end up breaking up a couple of months later and you’re just wondering…huh, I wonder what happened, they seemed so happy and #couplegoals…
(And, that’s because you don’t see the late night fights; the tears; every time he chose the world over her; every time she yelled).
In fact, couples who posted more on Facebook and Instagram are actually more likely to be very unhappy, dissatisfied and insecure.
I know that this is dark.
But this is our world now. Our world of social media that was once intended for the easy distribution of relevant information. Once intended as a platform for us to keep in touch with people that we cannot see every day.
Interestingly enough, Facebook is looking to bring back the past: in January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that people are going to see more posts from friends and family members at the expense of lower reach for media publishers (like Goody Feed).
This could only mean one thing: you’re going to see more humble-bragging from that friend you DGAF about.
But still, as of 2018, digital marketing via social media has become a US$192 billion dollar industry.
Telling you how you should be living and anything less than is just…not worthy enough.
Because of that, we have learnt to measure up our mundane, everyday lives to the amazing sponsored moments of influencers.
And the best moments of everybody else who is racing to also attain the unattainable.
And in doing so, we forget how to be grateful, to be appreciative, to understand the value of what we have.
Terrible vicious cycle, isn’t it?
And the thing is, it is not a crime to put up our highlight reels. We all want to remember the good moments after all.
But…do you feel grateful for the mundane and routine in your life?
Are you able to feel contentment with what you have, without needing to have more than someone else; without needing to show what you have to the world?
Are you content with who you are?
Never forget that companies have made tons of money by paying influencers to humblebrag…
By lavishing them with absolute dream vacations and items that they have a duty to post about.
They want you to think that you can also feel like you are a part of that lavish, extravagant, fulfilled and #livingmybestlife club by buying into their brand.
And you’re sucked into that, emulating them when you can’t even buy a Gucci slippers while influencers do a giveaway of Gucci slippers. Lest you’re not aware, humblebragging makes people hate you, but people are still doing that.
Basically, 90% of Facebook and Instragram is nothing but just humblebragging, because it has earned billions by creating a rat race by doing just that, and people are drawn into it.
The remaining 10% of information? Well, it’s being provided by sites like Goody Feed that have nothing to brag about anyway. Or your friends who just want to inform you that they’ve just got married (now, that is information and not humblebrag unless she shows you the diamond ring and claims that it’s too small when it’s gigantic).
Do come back to the Goody Feed app tomorrow for more commentary!
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