Happy New Year! Now, Just Calm Down.



As 2011 unfolds, so too will the deluge of New Year’s texts and tweets, posts and pings. The world will be all Dick Clark This and Drunkfest That. The first New Year’s baby.  The first earthquake. The first bird that flew by a window. Resolutions. Wedding proposals. Thong colors. You know, the usual updates we share with all 3 or 300 of our followers and friends. 

And why not? 



All the World’s an Open Tweetbook

The world’s become one open Tweetbook, all Snookified and a bit out of control: Characters with limits. Everything on full display —loud and proud— all in the name of showcasing the us that we are. Or were. Or want to be.

Suddenly colleagues know that not only do we prefer morning meetings, but that we’re attending them in a hot pink bra.

They know so, because we posted so.

Family members know we enjoy Grandma Petunia’s pancakes, but they also know we enjoy grooming a certain region of our body in the shape of a Christmas tree.

They know so, because we tweeted so. 



A-Merrily we Text Along?

It’s no wonder then, that with every tweet and text, it’s often assumed that an all-access pass to our personal psyche comes standard. Little by little, the world begins to think that every topic, about every person and in any social setting, makes for appropriate conversation in the public domain.

Just because the world’s merrily tweeting along and Ville-trading pigs for goats or goats for soap at work, at home, on the bus, in the bathtub, does not mean our innermost thoughts should be put on display at work, at home, on the bus, in the bathtub. Yet it happens. It’s almost as if the thought process is, “Well, heck, everyone knows I’m wearing hot pink sweet nothings, so what’s the big deal in telling them the real reason behind my fear of mashed potatoes or (fill in the blank).” Alternatively, others think they have the right to prod and push, asking the intimate details of another individuals private life —at a restaurant, at work, during a family outing— because, “after all, they took that ‘who were you in a past life’ quiz and let everyone know about that time (fill in the blank).”


We All Have “Stuff”

As one character on a Grey’s Anatomy episode said this year, “We all have stuff. It doesn’t make it drinks conversation.”


Granted, her colleagues’ prodding wasn’t due to texting or tweeting. Yet it illustrates the point, in this texting and tweeting world of ours, that there’s something to be said for the privacy, and respect of that privacy, behind our own thoughts and decisions. The thoughts that only we own, that stand tweetless and treasured for reasons far more meaningful than any status update could ever convey. It could be a hope, an embarrassment, some peculiarity, a grand notion or an obscure thought stuck marinating in our muddied gray matter. 

Don’t get me wrong. I log on regularly, reading with interest about friends who successfully kept their post-burrito bloat at bay last evening. I enjoy how daily lives unfold in song lyric status “code.” And yes, I admit to posting my bra color during that facebook craze. I’m also pretty sure plenty of folks roll their eyes when up goes yet another one of my Eddie Money or Boston videos or “watch the meteor shower” announcements. This New Year will be no different. 

I’ll be reading posts and posting posts and writing on Post-it® notes about posts I want to post . . . you get the idea. But those private thoughts and “stuff” I hold close to my heart?

Well, it’ll all unfold as it should.

I know so, because I believe in it so.

I’ll keep you posted.

– J

The author, 1970s, one with her own thoughts.

 Jennifer Lilley, 36, says it’s her party and she’ll post when she wants to.


© Jennifer Lilley and Jen Lilley’s Thought Buffet, 2010.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Lilley and Jen Lilley’s Thought Buffet with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.