Last year, whilst being in Melbourne, away from our home of Sydney, my partner and I were wondering about our New Year’s Eve options. We hadn’t been given invites to any parties. We could have tried to go somewhere, take alcohol with us – but I wouldn’t be able to drink. Blah to that – we had a selection of fine drinks sourced from various wineries and breweries of Victoria. Plus, crowds aren’t particularly wonderful at NYE, or is post-NYE traffic or public transport. So we decided to stay at home.
I wasn’t about to just sit there and drink, however. I remembered vividly the acute pain of being alone at NYE as a young, socially awkward adult who hadn’t been invited to any parties and watching a Pee Wee Herman movie. So, I had an idea and an iPad and thought of tweeting what we were up to, what we were drinking, what we were watching. Gave it a hashtag – #nyeathome. Tweeps who followed me started tweeting and retweeting and suddenly we had a community all sharing under the same tag. We started sharing youtube videos we liked, our favourite moments of the year, least favourite moments, resolutions for the year to come. Basically, it turned into a giant NYE party without the troubles inherent with getting places and getting home whilst drunk.
Most importantly, it made people who were at home for NYE a community they could have feared would not be there for them. People are at home for NYE for a variety of reasons and Twitter provided chance for these people to connect. And get a chance to do a collective eye roll at Richard Wilkins. The hardy souls of #nyeathome got that tag trending at No. 2 in Australia – ironically, battling with Richard Wilkins. That meant that a whole lot of people were connected and involved. It was a great night.
I am hoping this year that we can get something happening at Christmas for those who, for whatever reason, can’t get out at Christmas and are at home, needing a connection. That’s why it would be great if we could get #xmasathome happening as a Twitter party, sharing reflections, dreams, whatever. That would be a lovely way to start the Christmas / New Year period. And then, we can get #nyeathome happening again.
Merry #xmasathome, tweeps, and a Happy #nyeathome