Why are Cantabs so afraid to promote themselves?

We all know the feeling

cambridge achievements cambridge life cambridge social media cambridge student Facebook headshot Instagram play selfie Snapchat twitter Varsity

We all know the feeling, you’re about to post that latest bomb profile picture. Perhaps its a classic May ball pose or even a promotional Varsity or play headshot. You carefully plan your caption and prime time upload whilst surreptitiously asking a few close friends to like it as soon as you post, just to get the ball rolling. If your friends are like mine they will simply screenshot this request and post it in the comments section – thanks guys!

No shame

I, probably more than most people, am fairly accustomed to asking people to like Facebook pages, come to events and follow my twitter accounts and would confidently state that I have no problem with promoting both myself and causes that I’m passionate about. Most Cantabs do not however share this confidence, people go to great lengths to avoid looking like ‘a beg’ especially on social media and will even go so far as asking friends to promote things or upload photos on their behalves.

Maybe its my distinct lack of Britishness which causes me to disagree with most people on this topic, but I really am baffled as to why showcasing your talent or in fact just your outfit on social media or otherwise is something that is treated with such disdain. How many times have you seen somebody upload a play headshot only to be met with the comment “omg do you act?” or a varsity profile picture met with the painfully unoriginal “wait, are you a blue?!”.

I shamelessly asked people to like this

Whilst I’m aware that these comments may all be meant in jest between friends, I do think it says something about the nature of Cambridge culture and indeed our wider society when people are vilified for being proud of their achievements or passionate about certain organisations and causes that they work with. At the end of the day, we are at Cambridge. Everyone here is intelligent and probably really talented or interesting in some way and nobody should be afraid to celebrate that about themselves. Somewhere along the line it became incredibly ‘uncool’ to be proud of your own achievements or show them off in  any way and I find this truly sad.

Being cast in the main role in a production or achieving a blue is something that takes a lot of hard work and dedication and so who can blame anyone for wanting others to know about it, they haven’t put in that much effort for no reason! To be honest, true friends really shouldn’t have to be asked to like your latest Instagram but if they aren’t showing it the love you believe it deserves then what’s the harm in reminding them? Hey, I’m sure that selfie is fire and the whole world really does need to see it and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

In reality we all promote ourselves in some way, as subtle as that may be and so why look ridicule others for being straight forward about it? It would save everyone time and stress if we all stopped being so prudish about something that honestly we all do anyway.