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Have you heard about... #personalnews?

Have you heard about... #personalnews?

Tuesday 07 May 2024

Have you heard about... #personalnews?

Tuesday 07 May 2024

Have you heard about #personalnews? This buzzword is perhaps a little more under the radar than others I’ve covered previously in this column, but you’d better believe I’ve got some strong opinions about it!

When people announce on social media that they have #personalnews, it is often bookended with ????two ???? (siren) emojis.

What follows is mostly major and often smug announcements of cool things that have happened in their life. This could be a promotion or a big career announcement or an exciting development in their personal life including engagements, pregnancies, and other very joyous occasions which quite rightfully warrant a spot of humblebragging on the Internet.

And I'm happy for them, really, I am – SUPER HAPPY, in fact. Can't you tell?!?!

Upon spotting those two screeching emojis on my newsfeed, I imagine most people strap themselves in for the inevitable rollercoaster of emotions that happens when you become aware of a stranger's success. Obviously, I am secure enough in myself and my career aspirations to be able to celebrate others' achievements without spiralling into self-doubt. However, if I had to hazard a guess, I reckon the aforementioned rollercoaster would go a little like this:

Initial admiration: Oh wow, that's incredible what amazing news! And to such a deserving person, that's really, truly wonderful.

Deep dive into their profile: Perhaps out of an urge to ascertain their secrets in the hopes of being able to harness their brilliance through some kind of digital osmosis.

Continued, but slightly dwindling admiration: The shine is coming off your response at this point, the negativity starts to creep in.

Full-blown cynicism: A completely mean and ungenerous critique of the #personalnews poster, in a vain attempt to somehow explain why they have succeeded at something you're yet to achieve (i.e. 'Well, if I had landed an agent straight out of uni I'm sure I'd be announcing my second book deal by now!').

Guilt: Feeling bad for being so mean and ungenerous.

The self-admonishment spiral begins: It strikes you that not only are you mean and ungenerous you're also completely without any worthy #personalnews to share with the world. The target of your cynical, mean thoughts is now directed at criticising your own life and decision-making.

Drafting the congratulatory comment: Once out the other end of your spiral, you decide you must restore your karma by being nice in a public forum and therefore draft an encouraging comment for the #personalnews sharer to enjoy.

Err, or, you know, or something like that – obviously I wouldn't know personally because I'm so self-assured that nothing can impact my inner peace.

The thing is, everyone has been on both sides of the #personalnews announcement. Of course, you should share milestone moments online. Of course, seeing these announcements shouldn't make you question all of your life choices. But it's an unwritten rule of the Internet that we do and it will. And even if someone else's #personalnews has made us feel insecure, we will probably not hesitate to post our own when that moment comes. It's a vicious cycle.

I think that a mentality of having community with your peers rather than being competitive is the answer and the more you surround yourself with people who lift you up and inspire you, the less their #personalnews announcements will impact you negatively. But hey, we all know that's easier said than done.

And, in some #personalnews of my own... I am super excited to finally announce that this is the end of my column.


This column first appeared in the March edition of Connect Magazine, which you can read in full below...

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