There’s nothing new about false modesty, nor its designation as a form of bad manners. But the prevalence of social media has given us many more canvases on which to paint our faux humility — making us, in turn, increasingly sophisticated braggers.
... a humblebrag is an opportunity for the attention-starved to stake a claim on our sympathy.
Indeed, this may be why false modesty is no less discomfiting to its audience (and is sometimes more so) than outright bragging. Outright bragging expects to be met with awe, but humblebragging wants to met with awe and sympathy. It asks for two reactions from its audience, and in so doing makes fools of its beholders twice over. The practice is also ineffably irritating because it ultimately and slyly asserts the triumph of business over the personal: given that there’s a higher tolerance for bragging in business than social circles, many falsely modest statements on Twitter and Facebook try to fly under decorum’s radar by whispering to their readers, “You’re my fan, not my friend.”
The humblebrag, unsurprisingly, appears from people in ministry at megachurches. Despite having mentioned almost completely in passing about how his church was even able to rent the city of Ephesus for a day a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody managed to tweet this.
Mark Driscoll@PastorMark 19 Jun 12
What do you call a guy expected to do what he cannot do with resources he does not have?
Could be a humblebrag, maybe.