I don’t get very many Christmas letters anymore. I suppose that with email and social networks they are becoming a thing of the past. But in my generation there are still people who don’t have computers or who have them, but seldom use them. So I enjoy hearing about their families and their trips and their jobs via their annual letter.
I got a letter yesterday that reminded me of how different some of my friends are from me and how much I enjoy their adventures. I have friends who are still camping and hiking and doing all sorts of wild and crazy things that my old mind and body can’t imagine. They are healthy and tough and super sports fans. Always have been. Their letter was filled with things I wouldn’t even believe if someone else had written it.
Christmas letters used to be the fodder for a plethora of jokes. People only included their offspring’s greatest achievements and grandest plans in their annual letters. Trips were always postcard worthy. Careers always lucrative and personally fulfilling. So of course everyone ended up sounding perfectly perfect. Nowadays no one is perfect and none of us care. Social networking, YouTube, and email have made everything so immediate that there is no time or reason to sugar coat the truth. Although I suspect some people are doing some serious photo editing! Lol
I’m grateful to the internet for some of the changes that have occurred in our culture in the past decade. Of course the media has always done their best to bring our darkest, deepest secrets to the forefront, but the internet has served to let us know that we are not alone, we are not that different from anyone else, and we do not have to suffer in silence. I think we’ve all learned that we’re human and fallible and it is the friend who accepts the real us and our real life who is worthy of our time and attention.
I still like a little privacy. I don’t tell you everything, believe it or not. But I think sharing thoughts and feelings is a good thing. I think the more we connect with each other, the more likely we are to care about what happens in other communities and states and nations. We’re all in this together.
So keep those cards and letters and emails and status updates coming. I enjoy them so much! I haven’t learned to Twitter yet, but who knows. It’s going to be a new year soon. You never know what I might do next!