Brag: For those who think Facebook and Instagram aren't narcissistic enough

Technically Incorrect: Brag is a new social network that allows you to be who you really are: a desperately egotistical, self-centered narcissist who just wants to show off all day. And who wants to be proud of it.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Look at me. No, no. Look at me. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I'm going to tell you a story about me.

There is even more of me than you might have already seen. I have so much me that I could never just love one person or share one thought.

I might post the occasional picture on Instagram or Facebook, but I'm not what you think I am. I am far, far more egotistical, narcissistic and up (and into) myself that I don't know how to explain.

Now, thankfully, there is a way. For now there is Brag. This claims to be an app that takes the modesty out of Facebook and Instagram.

You probably regurgitated coffee or, perish the notion, sauvignon blanc, all over your prized gadget on reading that last sentence. You were probably under the impression that these social networks were the apogees of narcissism.

But let me tell you, because I know and you don't, that you have no idea.

The people behind Brag insist that, for example, on Instagram there's a dull etiquette that tells you not to post too often and to ensure you use a certain decorum in content.

Brag rises above that.

It works, according to its blurb, like this: "Users upload or capture a photo using Brag's timed camera, select one of 15 beautiful filters, write a caption, add a location, tag friends and then Brag it, with the option to share on Facebook, Twitter and more. Brag's user interface allows and encourages a limitless daily stream of social photos that connect users with every aspect of each other's lives -- be it food, drink, location, daily fashion, etc."

Naturally, this app was created, as are all apps, by 25-year-olds. So I wanted to see if these people had created Brag just for themselves.

Co-founder Amanda Nieto told me this creation was "dead serious." But, I asked, won't this be the ultimate app for the sorts that ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="cf569976-1d6c-4f13-a832-f8b40bf6fa17" slug="comcast-apologizes-after-re-naming-customer-with-expletive" link-text="Comcast calls " section="news" title="Comcast apologizes after renaming customer with expletive" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"cf569976-1d6c-4f13-a832-f8b40bf6fa17","slug":"comcast-apologizes-after-re-naming-customer-with-expletive","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"culture"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Culture","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> ?

Nieto told me: "The ratio of overbearing users to casual browsers is leaning heavier and heavier to the former. So much so that it has created a phobia around becoming 'that person.' Our collage-style user interface displays 5+ photos at once and keeps 'that person' -- the selfie-indulgent -- from blowing up your feed with their constant full-page self-advertisements."

Brag exists to help you get over your phobias about you. See?

Nieto explained: "We have made overbearing users less annoying, and in turn made it more socially acceptable to be overbearing from time to time." Because, of course, being overbearing needs to be made socially acceptable. Otherwise how can you be you? How can you (over)bear it?

I tried, as gently as I could, to wonder whether, potentially, Nieto's own vast narcissism -- and that of her co-founder Derek Witte -- had led them to this revelatory creation.

Nieto said: "The inspiration came from a combination of our desire to post the occasional selfie or show off what we're wearing and our deep-seeded fear of being persecuted for doing so. Mostly I think Derek was tired of only being able to Instagram cheeseburgers and sunsets."

I feel sure, because I do, that Witte must have suffered greatly from this vast constraint he felt inside. To be liberated beyond a cheeseburger must indeed be an exalted feeling.

Nieto insists, though, that Brag is just an attempt to make bragging occasionally socially acceptable. She told me: "We are not doing this for attention, and we are not on a quest to gather every self-centered soul on the planet under one roof."

Perish the thought that anyone suggests they're doing it for attention. Theirs is merely a compulsion toward making the world a better place.

After all, as Nieto enlightened me: "We saw a need and designed a way to let you refriend that guy from high school that takes copious gym action shots or the sorority girl who loves to let you know when she's sitting by the pool."

We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving.

I know that you'll be rushing off, seeking the ultimate social liberation of your ego, to download this app and become fully, if only occasionally, overbearing.

Now let me tell you about me.