Should parents be bragging about their kids’ academic achievements on Facebook?

Ok, so I’m one of those sheeple whose first activity after getting out of bed in the morning is to check their social media timelines. That shameful admission out of the way, I’ll get to the point of this piece. Today, I discovered just now, is obviously the day after the announcement of the results of a variety of college entrance exams. So what do I find clogging up my Facebook feed today? Parents of kids who passed whooping it up over how Jojo, Kat-kat, Gi-gi, Dangdang, Dingdong, Jing-jing or whoever, passed the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) or the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT).

ateneo_up_entrance_examWell, gee whiz, a former boyfriend of mine who studied at the Ateneo High School said that anyone who landed on the 99th-plus percentile of examinees of the standardized test of his time, the then-named National College Entrance Exam (NCEE), an “achievement” which students of good private schools normally bagged, will have passed the ACET and the UPCAT with not much of a sweat. I, for one, applied to take only the ACET and the UPCAT. No need for a “backup”, if you know what I mean.

Even during my time, there were no review classes for high-school standardized tests and college entrance exams. We just marched into the ACET and UPCAT examination rooms thinking of the movie we were gonna watch with friends after we got the whole thing out of the way. You gotta pity Filipino parents nowadays, shelling out all that cash for these prep courses must’ve really punched a hole in their wallets. Yikes! No wonder they need to pimp out their kids as trophies on Facebook when they make it in. There is, indeed, quite a strong motivation for an ROI on that huge outlay!

As I recall, the question that buzzed across our graduating batch at the time was NOT whether we merely passed the ACET or the UPCAT but whether we made it to one of those plum quota courses in UP and Ateneo. You know; those courses that assure you a queue of recruiters from big multinational corporations bugging you for a copy of your CV when you graduate. Otherwise, you’re just another one of the run-of-the-mill ACET and UPCAT passers in our social circles.

I’m not saying parents shouldn’t be proud of their kids. They should just learn to observe the same courtesies and mindfulness we observe in more traditional real-life social situations — like face-to-face conversations. I mean, would you openly brag about your kids’ straight-A report cards in a gathering of mere acquaintances none of whose personal circumstances you may know in detail? Like, what if one of them had a child with a learning disability or if some of them had other priorities for their kids in mind? The thing with this social-media-driven world is we’ve all tilted to a degree of narcissism and level of self-absorption that, in the past would have come across as obnoxious. Today, however, obnoxiousness has become the new normal thanks to all that misused technology.

I guess it is that word I used earlier that sticks out: mindfulness

We need to put that mental virtue in the forefront again. Social media and all this technology has dulled the very thing that sets us apart from the apes. When we are on autopilot most of the day and mesmerized by the color served by our devices, we become less of the mindful creatures we were meant to be and, as a result of that, less human.

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37 Comments on “Should parents be bragging about their kids’ academic achievements on Facebook?”

  1. well, social networking site users by now know that this technology is great when they want to “humble brag”.
    be it the food theyre about to scarf, their outfits of the day or the celebrity they happen to stalk

    humble bragging/ pretentiousness?… its the ‘virtue’ of this tech savy world…

    great article Ms. Kate… something to think about before posting anything at a SNS

    1. Nice term, “humble brag”. I tihink it would be better if you combine it into a single work so it becomes a unique word all its own: humblebrag. lol!

  2. Nice conclusion, Kate. I remember beeper and tamagochi then Nokia cellphones was the most in thing in my college days. My blockmates’ beepers would beep every now and then even during classes and kamustahan about their “pet” manipulate their conversation. Their heads were always bowed down looking and pressing at the small gadget like what people do today with their mobile phones. During those days though technology is limited with 150 characters per message so they cram on sending and receiving messages. What I’m saying is social media is tapping something inherent to every person that now is being revealed thanks to modern technology. That people are easily manipulated and what they say and do in public is the manifestation of what’s important to them, the kind of values and education they have and learned. There’s this movie Lose Yourself where Eminem during one hip-hop “laglagan” face off spill his own stinking secrets that way his contender can’t use it to his advantage. He’s not proud of his mistakes of course. Now people err fast without realizing that they do because they lose control. Filipinos should realize that the era of social network (the “it’s all about me” thing) is fast declining in other countries and is now being replaced by social circles characterized by sharing selectively and group dynamics. As other country realize the need to focus more on productivity and real-life interactions and close relationships, the Filipinos are still high on marketing themselves.

    1. True. We will only have ourselves to blame when we suddenly find ourselves completely under the control of machines and the people who program them. Well, looking around us nowadays, it seems that’s already the case. A lot of the way people behave as a group today is driven by social media and it becomes faster to trigger those movements now because of mobile devices (we no longer need to wait for people to get to their desks to absorb the latest ‘directive’ from our top “influencers”).

      In fairness though, that also used to be done traditionally by mainstream media and social media now dilutes that power because everyone now has the power to publish to a big audience. That and other advantages and disadvantages vis-a-vis the traditional and the current increasing prevalence of the “new” media is the subject of a lot of debate now.

      1. Feeling bored. Feeling sad. Feeling natatae. Here at starbucks drinking overpriced iced tea. Now watching pirated twilight with my hubby and cute pero stupid son. #boredatwork #fbmunahabangwalasiboss.

        Lahat sinasabi sa wall post kaya unfollowing and unfriend buttons are great newsfeed savers.

    1. I agree with Tank. And they’re growing in numbers each day. Small percentage na lang ng fb user ang di pa baliw at adik sa kakaselfie at pagpost ng mga useless public whining.

  3. Well I guess these proud parents are just more visible to now more than then because of social media. Let me share you a little bit of relativity. Here abroad (specifically the international philippine school in xxxx), if a graduating high school student passes the upcat, parties are thrown and huge tarps are displayed in the high school gymnasium for 6 or more months. Basically the student’s achievement is turned into an advertisement. Less than 5 students pass the upcat per year. Whereas back in my day, failing the upcat is basically unacceptable, and landing a quota course was the norm (just because my school was not under the dept of education and had different standards). Of course, my parents were proud of me, but never had to urge to brag about it – not when youre in a graduating class wherein 99% of a 200+ students have all passed the upcat.

    1. Bragging about it also sends the message that living up to that standard mold of being a UP and Ateneo grad is the only way to succeed in society. I mean, c’mon, all these crooked politicians we hate today, many of them are Ateneo and UP grads!!

      But look at the biggest businesses in the Philippines today. Many were founded by Chinese immigrants who probably did not even graduate high school.

      1. True. The problem is with recruitment: there is a very big bias in our HRs that always put those from the prestigious schools in front of those from the unknown schools (or barrios). i eventually dropped out of UP (“you dont go to UP to study. you go there to learn”), and went to the local college in my hometown, but if it werent for a recruitment program i joined after graduation, i wouldnt be where i am today.

        1. inggit much, haters gonna hate, wika ni taylor swift. #hindinakagraduatesaUP or #diPUMASAsaUPCAT #henceBITTER

      2. Wait, so your main issue is with parents boasting about their kids gaining admission to UP/Ateneo because it reinforces elitism in Philippine society? Not so nitpicky about other academic achievements like getting into other colleges or winning an award?

  4. Maybe it’s just the trend. Nakiki-trend lang. O siguro hindi nila inaasahang pumasa ‘yong mga anak nila at makapasok sa Philippines most reputable universities that’s why they feel the need to share it. Achievement nga naman. Entrance exam pa lang ‘yan. LOL

    In social network though anybody can share anything they want as long as they don’t breach FB’s terms. If people don’t like it there’s a report or block features. Imagine if you report or block this person and your reason is “because she shouldn’t be bragging about what she think is her kids achievement”. Thing is, this thing could still be pardonable if it’s shared to selected people. It’s like just sharing to someone important to you what’s new with your kids or family or what’s the latest (or siguro may kumare lang na pinariringgan – there goes the trend). To those people where that information isn’t helpful or doesn’t matter because they are not close or related to the parents, they could simply ignore it (anyway if it doesn’t concern you why be affected). Better if you read Facebook’s updated terms. There’s Privacy basics there.

    1. There’s also the ‘Unfollow’ button on Facebook. If you don’t want to see any posts of a certain person on your news feed, then you can just unfollow that person.

      1. “So what do I find clogging up my Facebook feed today? Parents of kids who passed whooping it up over how Jojo, Kat-kat, Gi-gi, Dangdang, Dingdong, Jing-jing or whoever, passed the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) or the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT).”

        Mukhang andaming ia-unfollow ah. Matrabaho.

        “When we are on autopilot most of the day and mesmerized by the color served by our devices, we become less of the mindful creatures we were meant to be and, as a result of that, less human.” after the shameful admission “Ok, so I’m one of those sheeple whose first activity after getting out of bed in the morning is to check their social media timelines.” Mindfulness.

  5. Yes, agree…the human has descended backwards as technology marches forward.

    A good way to rid yourself of the remarks of the ludicrous individuals gushing about Juan’s entrance exam scores is to just not have,or to ignore, a ‘facebook’ account. I have not looked at mine in 2 years, at least, and do not miss it at all.a ludicrous invention if ever one existed.Think about it? No one gives a shit about 99% of what people actually post there, so why bother?

  6. children’s achievements are always a source of pride for parents. sharing it with friends is a joyous event. Facebook is a tool to connect and share with friends and relatives.significant events in people’s lives. 🙂

    1. Stupid statement. Intelligent people will not parade their kids in fb like circus dogs even if their children are genius. People posting their children’s grades, honor medals, dextrose and hospital check up have mental issues. They’re suffering symptoms of fb addiction, inferiority complex and narcissistic complex.

  7. Yes it should. We survive on a status culture, let’s brag about our kids achievements at schools so academically bankrupt they have no recognition in any developed country. Congratulations on the achievements of our brainwashed sheep. Mabuhay!

  8. I, for one, applied to take only the ACET and the UPCAT. No need for a “backup”, if you know what I mean.

    Even during my time, there were no review classes for high-school standardized tests and college entrance exams. We just marched into the ACET and UPCAT examination rooms thinking of the movie we were gonna watch with friends after we got the whole thing out of the way.

    As I recall, the question that buzzed across our graduating batch at the time was NOT whether we merely passed the ACET or the UPCAT but whether we made it to one of those plum quota courses in UP and Ateneo. You know; those courses that assure you a queue of recruiters from big multinational corporations bugging you for a copy of your CV when you graduate. Otherwise, you’re just another one of the run-of-the-mill ACET and UPCAT passers in our social circles.
    ==========
    Social media. Bragging in social media. The new technology. That’s the culprit and I’m serious about it. Why?

    The paragraphs above proves that even the author is not immune from it.

    Oooppss! 🙂

    1. Lol! But of course. As I said, I am one of the sheeple who are forever glued to their smartphones and the timelines it displays.

      But there is bragging and there is bragging. I do it on a blog. All the rest do it on Facebook posts. If you gotta brag, do it properly. 😉

  9. Parents bragging children , who scored high in the test? It does not mean that their children are “know it all”…they studied the right lessons, that came out on the test…so, they scored high.

    We are all endowed with some kind of skill, talent , intelligence, and capability. What I am good at; you cannot do. What you are good at; I cannot do.

    My field is Science and Technology. My wife’s field is Psychology. We compliment each other. Besides, she is good in balancing the family’s budget.

    So, that bragging is nothing…it means those parents just don’t understand the reality of life and living in the real world.

  10. I would like to give credit where credit is due: the parents who work hard to send their children to good universities no matter how expensive. As we all know, good universities is equal to quality education and that kind of education can give them a good life and help this country get out of the mess it’s in. Remembering Kristel’s case, not only for the students, it’s harder for the parents not to be able to send their kids to school especially if they want them to have a good life which I believe is every loving parents desire for their kids. Of course bragging about their kids passing the entrance exam for everyone to see is a different issue but mostly kids are the source of their parents’ joy and pride especially when their hard work is being paid off by the achievement or progress they see in them (still, it’s no excuse to forget about decorum). Jeez, it’s no joke to be sending your child to a university which name alone could land you a good job and as we all know, in the Philippines, life is tough. #SavePWU

  11. I know it is a bit annoying for some of us to see these things but please be considerate. Not all of us has it as easy as some have experienced. Many did almost everything just to get their child finish high school and sometimes just elementary. Many have created a family without even entering college. So in a way i do feel their happiness when their child manages to do things they can’t. This means that their hardship was finally paying off and are proud that their child was able to return a favor. Is it really that hard to feel happy for someone getting this achievements? for many of you guys this seems the norm but for them it is like a dream starting to come true.

    We live in a time where the school you came from is one of the major basis why a company will consider to hire you even if you are fresh grad. So this is like a stepping stone for them to start improving their lives.

    This is big for them let them enjoy it let them shout to the world that they are proud of their children and show that love them and their achievements. If it happens that you can’t scrolling down is much easier than ridiculing them.

    We are Pilipino and a real pilipino always cherish those who are close to us and we show how proud we are of their achievements.

  12. The logic applied here seems to be “My kids’ grades are awesome, therefore I am an awesome parent. I am so demonically hungry for approval and appreciation, so please click LIKE kthxbai!”

    Yes, approval-seeking seems to be part of Filipino culture that will never ever go away.

  13. I haven’t encounter post like this that’s why I can’t make such comment. The bragging post that irritates me that I recall as I read this post is those people who greet their mother, sister, brother, and so on and so forth with such emotion and dedication as if they truly mean it. They’re just bragging how nice and sweet they are although in reality they’re really an annoying one. Just sharing =)

  14. Tsk, as if passing the UPCAT is already like graduating from college. Parents shouldn’t make too much of their kids if they want to teach them the value of humility.

  15. Social Networks are a means of sharing things that are meaningful to you. You can either see people as being proud, or yourself as being envious. Never belittle the achievements and dreams of other people. It reflects more about who or what you are than of what they are.

    1. Posting achievements of one’s kid/s doesn’t mean bragging.

      It is the parents’ discretion to post, or brag if you prefer that term, anak nila yang mga yan malamang proud parents sila! Wag mong maliitin ang achievements ng iba. Ang simpleng bagay para sayo may mean the world to someone else.

      If you are too envious that no one has bragged about your achievements aside from you, na todo explained sa article mo, just please don’t be silly. Wag mainggit, if you know what I mean.

      When you become a parent, look back on your article. I bet you’ll have your thoughts a total make-over.

      Ciao!

      1. In fairness to Kate, it is very obvious of how some people can get to be narcissistic in their way of posting thoughts. Yon lang konting delikadesa because as she said paano naman yong mga parents na may special children when they achieve just reading A B C hindi tuloy makapag post kasi obviously it appears demeaning to his special child. Again, please don’t judge the writer as “lacking appreciation”. I salute her for seeing and looking at a different perspective. Maramimg Salamt Kate Natividad

  16. Parents can be proud of their children, but to brag means they suffer from narcissism. They might just be the parents who dictate what their children will do, for example the children love to do science projects, but the parents want them to sing instead, just to have something to boast. I believe parents don’t have a right to use their children for selfish purposes.

  17. What’s irritating for me is opening facebook and getting flooded with selfies about every angle of face, part of the body, food, something new, something old,every movement, every thinking, emotions felt for every minute of everyday (thinking about 1,440 minutes in each day..WOW!!) basically every waking moment a person can use to post something on facebook..that’s irritating.

  18. This article is so wrong. It’s like saying it is the fault of a woman to be raped because of how she dresses not because of the rapist.
    In the end, it is not reality that shapes us, it is our mind that shapes our reality. Being envious is all inside your head.

  19. You gotta pity Filipino parents nowadays, shelling out all that cash for these prep courses must’ve really punched a hole in their wallets. Yikes! No wonder they need to pimp out their kids as trophies on Facebook when they make it in. There is, indeed, quite a strong motivation for an ROI on that huge outlay!

    _ are you a mom ? Students nowadays are very competitive (so as thy parents) what is wrong with “shelling cash” for your child’s education anyway? I don’t pity parents like me who will give everything just to make sure my child will make it to quality schools, I salute my type of parents and NOT PITY THEM cause earning money is hard! As for posting it on fb, I was guilty of posting my child’s achievements but I found the advantages because some were asking for tips and advices (I deactivated my personal fb years ago and not post about my child anymore, yes it’s becoming a bragging venue rather sharing happy memories so I stopped and now I found the ugly side of it that is why I came across your mindful blog) cheers!

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