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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are You A Self-Promotion Douche?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:00 AM


I am seriously on the verge of friend-dumping someone because his use of social media is so douchey and self-promotey. He posted a link to his profile three times in one week on Facebook, then LIKED it. Not to mention the constant (multiple!) tumblr promotion and the tweeting! My main question: is his social media indicative of his personality? Is he really a douche or am I just perceiving him that way because of his terrible use of social media?

I know many perfectly sociable, respectful people in the real world who become famewhorey, inconsiderate jack o'douches when they get their clutches on the internet. There's something about the instant gratification, the validation, the quazi-anonymity, and the ease with which we can tell the world all about our digestive problems and our cats' surgeries that can make otherwise normal people trigger happy over-sharers online. 

For instance, I'm constantly amazed at how many dudes' online dating profiles contain references to how well-endowed they are. Not saying that they aren't, as I always ask for photographic proof, but can you imagine if someone dropped that bomb at the office water cooler? Constant self-promotion is the same way. It's about as gauche as proclaiming what an excellent bowel movement you had earlier to your girlfriend's parents, whom you are meeting for the first time.

"The basic concept of self-promotion is that even if you're uncomfortable blowing your own horn, you must at least let people know that you have one," says Steve Balzac in this CNN article, whose references to his horn didn't make me the least bit uncomfortable.

We're all guilty of "liking" our own links on Facebook occasionally, so I give him a pass there, but it sounds like someone needs to tell him that it would behoove him to blow his horn a little less frequently. That someone might as well be you because you have recent examples of his zealous self-promotion, and if he defriends you for it, then you STILL win, if you catch my drift, which you should because I am blowing it pretty hard on you, because I am really enamored with this horn metaphor, clearly.  Of course, it's easy to block over-sharers from your Facebook home page as well. Simply mouse over an entry from Toots McYaksalot and click "hide." But don't take the easy way out this time. Be blunt. Ask him if he wants to go down in history as the guy who can't stop liking his own social media profile? Then answer for him and tell him to knock it off. Tell him he is being the online friend equivalent of a 24-hour Waffle House and, if he's a hipster, that you don't mean that as a compliment. And perhaps most importantly, tell him his constant self-promotion is having the opposite effect that it should have. When he starts to cry, just send him here, which will have the two-fold effect of cheering him up and showing him that the real power of social media lies in anal birds.

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @SFWeekly 

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