It’s mid-way through December, and yet, we’ve received only six holiday cards by snail mail. At first, I thought people struck us off their list because I quit sending cards. I thought maybe we had cooties. But when I commented on it on Twitter and Facebook, I found out that other people are receiving the same dearth of holiday cards, too. Either we all have cooties, or, more likely, Twitter killed our Christmas cards.
I wrote this one last year, but it still holds true. Add another year of the recession and social media’s increasing popularity, and perhaps we all feel like this. Do you?
Twitter Killed My Christmas Cards
My Christmas cards are sitting in a bag inside my closet. Don’t bother looking for one in your mailbox this year. Or, very likely, any year. Twitter killed my Christmas cards, and I’m not sure that I care.
The cards in my closet are actually from last Christmastime, when, upon sitting down to fill them out, I drew a blank. What do you say after a year of battling cancer? “Hello, friends and family. We’re not sure yet if the chemo and radiation worked or if I’m going to need a bone marrow transplant in January…Season’s Greetings!” So I put the cards away.
But this year we know that the cancer treatments worked. I’m in remission, and I’ve got a curly mop of hair on my head. And yet, I still have no desire to fill out my cards. After a year’s worth of tweeting and blogging and uploading and sharing, simply writing “Happy Holidays” on a card, especially one designed by someone else, seems woefully inadequate. It seems so 20th century.
And it appears that other folks feel the same way. We’ve received fewer holiday cards this year, though that might be a function of the down economy more than anything else. Or maybe people struck us off their lists last year after I quit sending Christmas cards. It’s hard to know. I mean, it’s not like they clicked “Stop following” or “Remove from friends.” Snail mail is so one-way.
All I know is that this year, I wrote more than 150 blog entries here, and another 200-plus others on my own web site I produced nearly 500 tweets on Twitter and I commented on other people’s blogs, tweets and status lines all year long. As a result, I feel like I’ve said pretty much all there is to say about 2008, some of it in just 140 characters.
Meanwhile, I was friended or followed by all sorts of people, including my next door neighbor, a kid I went to summer camp with back in 1980 and my mother. And I followed and friended them back. I kept in touch all year long, not just in December.
Though I appreciate the lovely holiday cards some folks have mailed to me, I read them and thought I know. I know because I saw their vacation photos on Facebook, and I read their funny tweets from their college reunions, and I caught up on their blogs. I know, because social media has made us all more, well, social – except, perhaps, when it comes to Christmas cards.
So, in lieu of paper holiday cards delivered through rain, sleet or gloom of night by the U.S. Postal Service, I will wish everyone happy holidays in true Twitter fashion: @everyone Twitter killed my holiday cards, but not my spirit. So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good byte!