Everybody knows that the primary purpose of Facebook is to give people a way to rant, brag, and pretend that they made the witty memes they repost. And when it comes to bragging, what is more brag-worthy than an online degree? What is more satisfying and worth pitilessly pile-driving into your beloved friend’s Facebook faces than completing an onslaught of a college’s top online graduate courses and having a certificate of completion to show for it? When someone reminds a friend of the online degree he either has or will soon have, he is not just saying: “I am more educated than you are.” No, he is saying: “I am more educated than you are – and I got that education for a fraction of what your state university education cost you! And I never had to leave home!” After all, why should society expect people to leave their homes to go to school when they are not even leaving their homes to socialize?
You may be reading this and thinking: “My friends don’t brag about their degrees on Facebook…” However, while some methods may be overt, others may be insidiously covert. Here is a list of common tactics:
1. Educational Background Update:
The simplest and most legitimate way to brag about an online degree is by listing it under the “Education and Work” heading of one’s Facebook profile.
2. Online Graduation Ceremony:
Those who receive online degrees usually do not get to walk across a stage in absurdly impractical clothing in front of thousands of people who are not paying attention to them. To compensate for this tragic loss, they celebrate their graduation by posting a status update something like this: “I just graduated from (enter online university name)!”
3. Rubber Congratulations:
They are called “rubber” because they bounce back to the person who issued them. This tactic is used in many different instances, but it is common for online degree bragging as well. An example: You announce that you have just finished your studies at Arkissippi State University, and your friend Sue responds with something like: “Congrats! I know how awesome it felt when I graduated from (enter online university name)!” This may or may not be followed by a reminder that you spent a lot more money than she did.
4. Fake Sympathy:
When you complain about how much you hate your professor or TA, Sue tells you how sorry she is for you. She then reminds you that her online program does not involve messy things like human relationships.
5. Guerrilla Bragging:
This is where your friends scour your photo albums and look for any possible opportunity to draw a vague connection between your life and their academic prowess. “Little Timmy looks so funny covered in spaghetti! I remember when I studied the nutritional value of spaghetti in one of my online nutrition classes. I have a degree in nutrition, you know.”
6. Name Changes:
Your friend – who you did not even know was studying – inexplicably adds a “Dr.”, “PhD”, “Esq.” or “Master” to his Facebook display name.
7. Semi-Obscure References:
Your friend will start referencing people and ideas that lie outside of common cultural dialog but well within the most basic precepts of a particular field. 90% of these references will involve either Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung. And a cigar.
8. Strange Goodreads Activity:
Oh, so your friend likes On the Origins of Species, does she? One of her favorite reads? Grabs a Snuggie and a hot chocolate and curls up with it at 7:00, does she? She must have a degree in either biology or classic literature. Or both.
9. Sudden Political Awareness:
Without warning, your friend starts using Facebook to rant about how high education costs are destroying the future – and how the government should provide free online education for everyone.
10. Comments with Credentials:
Your friend closes every Facebook comment with something like this: “John Smith has a PhD in gender studies from…”