There are two reasons to read a book: one is to read it, and the other is tell people you read it. — Bertrand Russell
First, let’s state the obvious: you need a bit of ego to maintain a Twitter account. Not to experiment, but to keep doing it. To do so you must believe that the world wants to hear about you and your life.
So it naturally follows that when people tweet they’re usually trying to impress someone. This can be done by describing an impressive activity, like:
Wow, five continents in five days. That’s just TOO much.
…or it can come in the form of an insight, like:
Most Twitter posts are, in some shape or form, an attempt to disguise outright narcism using wit. 1
In both cases the goal was to make the reader say, “Wow, that guy’s cool!” This may not always be a conscious goal, but for this type of poster it sits under the surface of most
How to Hide Narcissism
Here are a couple of the methods for obscuring outright lovemeness.
This is by far the most popular method. The most common implementation looks like this: “I’m so stupid: trying to build a 100K+ user Rails app in a weekend should be left for the Gods.” Translation:
I not only build Rails apps, but I do what you could never do in a weekend. Oh, but don’t worry, it might actually take me until Monday.
Notice that the first quote about traveling five continents employed this as well. He’s basically saying, “I’m not durable enough to do this many cool things.” Even though he already did them.
The Name-drop + Thanks
Another excellent way to cover your self-love tracks is to execute the brag–which consists of talking about all the cool people you hung out with–and then to thank people profusely for their work that made the get-together possible.
Man, non-stop party with Chris Brogan and Tim Ferriss this weekend. I just want to say thanks to Chris Pirillo and Gina Trapani for making the whole event possible! You guys rock!
See? He wasn’t really talking about how cool he was, he was just saying thanks!
Anyway, now you have a keen insight into the inner-workings of narcissistic Twitter posts…all because of me. You can find more of my brilliant insights at https://danielmiessler.com. ::