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The Age of Braggarts

Has posting updates online of our dinners out, our work promotions, our vacations turned us into a nation of braggarts?

Catherine Devine, 22, reads instant messages on her laptop screen at her home in Kings Park, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. (AP) Composite with Facebook comments. (Dean Russell/WBUR)

Catherine Devine, 22, reads instant messages on her laptop screen at her home in Kings Park, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. (AP) Composite with Facebook comments. (Dean Russell/WBUR)

Check out Facebook or Twitter, and you’re likely to hear from a lot of friends. About their kids, their big night out, their promotion, their vacation. Is that bragging?

For a whole lot of people it may just seem like life as we now know it. We share. Online. Social media. Telling all – or at least a lot of stuff that, subtly or not-so-subtly, makes us look pretty good. Or at least, we hope, as good as everybody else.

My guest today says “hang on, we’re becoming braggarts.” This hour, On Point: how great, how fine, how sweet, how cool our lives are, as told online. The charge of “braggart nation.”

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Elizabeth Bernstein, columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Her latest piece is headlined: “Are We All Braggarts Now? Boasting Epidemic Goes Viral; Crowing Boosts Self Esteem but It’s Annoying.”

David Gerzof Richard, professor of media relations, social media and marketing and founder and president of BIGfish, an integrated social media, PR, marketing and social influence firm.

Keith Wilcox, professor of marketing at Columbia Business School.

From Tom’s Reading List:

Wall Street Journal “Friends, family and co-workers: I think you’re fabulous—just not quite as fabulous as you think you are. Consider your Facebook status updates.”

Huffington Post “Next time you post a status update about what you had for breakfast, keep in mind that some of your friends will be less than pleased.”

ModernMom “A while ago, my friend Louise relayed that she was horrified to learn that a woman she knows ‘unfriends’ people on Facebook who brag about their kids a lot.”

Playlist

“Let Me Twitter Dat” by Andy Milonakis

“Give Me All Your Luvin’ ” by Madonna (feat. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj)

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