Public Service Announcement: Have a Slice of Humble Pie

Sep 14, 2011

Lately when I log into Twitter I feel like I’m viewing a job board where people can post their accolades to be reviewed by potential employers or something. The spammy weight loss links are bad enough, now it’s plagued by disingenuously humble self-promotion. Ish like:  

"Omg! If my coworkers and I keep having brunch at Ruth’s Chris on the company’s dime, I’m going to gain a 1,000 pounds yall! #GoldmanSachsSwag" @SelfPromotingSally

I spent time reflecting to make sure that my annoyance wasn’t a result of jealousy. But when I saw a tweet that said something like, “Lady at the cleaners told me to pick up my clothes between 9a-4p; doesn’t she know that only people with jobs get their clothes dry-cleaned,” I knew it was less about me and more about niggas reaching what Ryan O’Connell calls the “Race to the Great First Job”:
“It’s a race after college that no one really talks about—the race to find your dream job and have bragging rights. When you graduate college… you flaunt your professional life as a way to make ‘friends’ feel bad about themselves.” (source)
Besides, when I consider all of the people who have caused me to feel a bit jealous over the years, 99.9% of them are humble oddly enough. They’re usually folk who recognize that they had help to get where they are and that success (which is relative) doesn’t make them any better than those around them.

Ultimately, I think there’s a trend by post-grads, and even undergrads, to put what they DO in the forefront in an effort to define themselves. People constantly feel the need to sell themselves to friends, family, and a bunch of randoms who they’ll never meet in real life. But Arri explains the issue with that:
"Who I am is not what I do. This is a distinction that is often lost in American culture. The language of capitalistic self-valuation is demonstrated when we ask 'What do you do?' 'What are you?' The assumption is that being employed makes you somebody, and being un(der)employed makes you nobody. I happen to be un(der)employed after graduating into one of the worst recessions in recent history." (source)
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being appreciative of what you’ve accomplished. It just becomes a problem when you start attaching self-worth (or lack thereof) to your achievements. *slides piece of humble pie across table*

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