My Year, According to Social Media

I think many would agree that 2012 went very fast. Some may have enjoyed the ride, while others are glad that a new year is just around the bend. In an attempt to recap this blur for myself, I turned to my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. This exercise made me wonder how fully and accurately the images portrayed by social media reflect our lives—and if the content we share with virtual communities somehow has the reverse effect of informing our experiences.

I will try to address these ideas after presenting sample highlights from my online existence this year:

January: On the 6th, I made a New Year’s resolution not to procrastinate. On the 6th.Brownies

February: On Valentine’s Day, I baked gluten-free double-chocolate walnut brownies for my husband.

March: It rained on my birthday, the 31st; I celebrated with champagne and the best burger in town.

April: I began avoiding chocolate, wine, and fried foods (i.e., all the things that make life worth living), due to a GI issue.

Dogs YawningMay: On the 7th, I photographed two of my dogs yawning at the same time. On the 8th, I received my first writing assignment from my coach, due the next day (the metaphorical equivalent of walking over hot coals).

June: On the 23rd, I attended the annual Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara. (There were mimosas.)

July: My husband grilled on the 1st, a Sunday, which pleased me. On the 15th, I attended a wedding out of town. I must have caught a cold on the trip, because I fed it with Chinese food on the 20th.

August: On the 21st, I announced that I was considering starting a blog about writing a novel, which struck me as the perfect way to avoid actually writing the novel.

September: On the morning of the 19th, I accidentally wrote a haiku: “Shiver me timbers! / It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. / Too early for rum?” I got bangs on the 20th, and made a big deal out of that.Novel-Gazing

October: This blog went live on the 2nd!

November: Between the 1st and the 30th, I wrote the first 5,000 words of my novel. (I wrote just about as many words regarding the process.)

December: On the 20th, I had a pumpkin spice latte (with whipped cream), in case the Mayans were right and it was my last day on Earth.

These mundane things really happened, which is not hard to believe. What may be hard to believe is that, in some cases, I snazzed up the events for public consumption. For example, on December 20, I was meeting a friend for coffee and would have had a pumpkin spice latte anyway. Still, I enjoyed the beverage a little bit more due to the backstory I had created for it in a Facebook post. So maybe the effort to make a moment sharable with a network of friends actually enhances it.

On the other hand, there are times when my dogs are doing something cute, and they’ll stop if I make a move toward a camera; so the moment becomes even sweeter, because I know it is only mine to enjoy.

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