Yasmine Morrison

Posted on Nov 03, 2021Read on Mirror.xyz

The Evolution of Flexing

Photo by Adrianna Geo

Flex is a slang term meaning “to show off,” whether it be your physique, your belongings, or some other thing you consider superior to those of others.

Flexing is not something new. Humans have flexed since the beginning of time —120,000 years ago cave(wo)men wore jewelry to show their social status. Studies have shown that disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding and the activated brain area when flexing is the same as when we are having sex. In other words, flexing is part of being human.

The world wide web has taken the ability to flex to a whole new level. We can now show off in front of literally billions of people a far cry from the ≈100 people in total our ancestors meet in their lifetime. Basically flexing sucked back in the days.

Each century has given us a greater ability to show off in front of more people. Innovations around transportation greatly influenced the number of people we encountered, but the advent of information technology expedited the number of eyeballs we can flex in front of exponentially.

Number of eyeballs you can flex in front of and the development of the internet

  • Web 0 - (pre-1989) Flexing was difficult and the average Joe(anne) was limited to the people he/she physically encountered. For example, your Rolex watch would only really be seen by friends, family, work colleagues, and people that you'd physically meet. 
  • Web 1 - (1989-2004) marks the birth of platforms like MSN and early forms of blogging. MSN mostly meant connecting with people you already knew and potentially some 2nd connections. It allowed for mini flexing like posting a cool status or changing your profile picture (wearing a Rolex) but you didn’t have exposure to millions of people. 

  • Web 2 - (2005-present-ish) Suddenly we can show off by posting photos of ourselves wearing a Rolex in front of millions of people through web2 giants like Instagram. But there are a few problems here; your flexing is technically owned by the web2 social platform, you are locked into these web2 platforms, and you can’t prove your ownership of your flexing.  

  • Web 3 - (2022- ) Hello, maxi flexing. In web3 your flex is tri-fold. First of all, you can display your NFT on various social platforms. You can prove your ownership and scarcity on the blockchain (so no fake Rolex) and lastly, people can look up how much you paid for your NFT without you having to shout to the world how wealthy you are. 

It’s 2022, and it has never been a greater time to show off with flexing continuing to evolve through a blockchain NFT powered experience. Chose your preferred way of flexing and get to it 💪