Sunday 21 January 2018

Out there: One-upmanship is a pain in the butt

Aine O'Connor

From early days, we define ourselves publicly. Our clothes, our allegiances, our accents, vocabulary, hobbies – they all act like the chalk lines around our living bodies. It's normal and natural, up to a point. We all fall into some kind of type. There are the glam types, the achiever types, the mammy types, the people reading this thinking "I'm not a type" types.

It can be organic, as in people are just a product of their environment and don't seek to change that, or much more deliberate. Some people work really hard to manipulate how others see them.

It would be easy to believe that this is a modern phenomenon, born of the chance to pout into a camera phone and post it online. But recently I was reminded of one of the forerunners of extreme social media self-definition – name-dropping.

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