The days of rolling your eyes at those who post health updates on social media are dead, because it actually works. Thanks, Science.
Well, Facebook narcissism is dead. For those of us who have silently toiled upon the humble road of self-improvement, with nary a Facebook post to update the unfeeling faces of our next of kin, know that we were wrong.
A recent study proves it; the humblebrag is beneficial to one’s health.
Scientists call it “accountability”; colloquially the act of “putting up” or “shutting up”. A collective of white coats who furrowed many a brow en route to publishing the study (titled Weight loss social support in 140 characters or less: Use of an online social network in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention) found that annoying Facebook friends with one’s lofty goals seems to embolden oneself to achieve said goals. Perhaps primarily to avoid questions like, “You said you were going to the gym?” (subtext: “Why are you still fat?”).
On a humanist angle, it makes sense. We all seek social inclusion and/or positive reinforcement of our many achievements, no matter how pedestrian that achievement may be, or especially if it is negative (“I had popcorn for breakfast”, “I slept with my ex”, “Do you want to know how I got these scars?”). It’s what social media is for – actioned hubris. It is the straw that stirs the coffee.
So, next time you want to achieve something outlandish, tell everyone about it. They may or may not listen, or support you with their thumbs, but that’s okay. It’s not about them. It’s about you.