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Pots And Pans On New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2011 by staff 

Pots And Pans On New Year's EvePots And Pans On New Year’s Eve, The countdown begins. The ball drops. The clock strikes 12. Time to tweet. That’s the new midnight moment. Kissing a loved one, banging pots and pans and generally reveling in the first moments of a fresh new year now involve, or have even been replaced, by posting one’s thoughts to social media platforms.

The trend broke records on New Year’s Eve in 2010. Japan set an all-time record for tweets per second just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2011, according to Twitter’s blog.

“Japan wasn’t alone,” according to the blog. “On New Year’s Eve, we saw epic Tweet activity around the world as people in each time zone inaugurated 2011. The East Coast time zone alone almost amassed the same amount of tweets at its peak of 3,000 (tweets per second) as the entire world did during the peak moment of the World Cup.”

This year, one of those tweeters will be Alexis Quinn, 16, of Derby. She said she already posts during important life events on Facebook, like on the midnight of the monthly anniversaries of her relationship with her boyfriend of a year and seven months. She will be on both Facebook and Twitter in the first seconds of 2012, she said.

What she will post, she doesn’t know yet.

“Something will come to mind,” Quinn said.

After she is done, she’ll probably spend the next few minutes scrolling through all her friends’ posts, she said.

Judy Paneto, 47, of Bridgeport, said last year at midnight, she posted about how it was a sad New Year’s Day, since it was the first one since her mother died. The count down is a sacred 10 seconds, she said, but immediately after she plans to post about how this New Year’s Day is a better one. (“Hopefully it will be,” she said.)

Emily McNeil (@Mcneilyx), 16, of Shelton, said she won’t tweet at midnight. She’ll probably wait until at least 12:04 a.m.

Her older sister, Sarah, 17, won’t tweet at all.

“It should be more of a moment you share with your friends and family,” Sarah McNeil said. “It shouldn’t be so cyber.”

Sarah McNeil’s friend Rachel Hannan, 16, of Milford, agreed, but said she was probably in the minority.

“I have a feeling that whatever party we go to, everyone’s going to be tweeting,” Hannan said to Sarah McNeil.

“Yeah, when you look around, people will all have their phones out,” Sarah McNeil responded.

People have always wanted to greet each other in the new year, said Alex Halavais, associate professor of interactive communication at Quinnipiac University. With platforms like Twitter, they are no longer bound by geography.

“I would be really surprised if most people were with their closest friends and family on New Year’s Eve,” Halavais said. “You’re usually with whoever happens to be in the city you live in now. Honestly, people are probably tweeting because there are people who are more important to them than the people in the room.”

There is also a sense of gamesmanship on the Internet, Halavais said. Just as commenters vie to be the “first” to comment on news articles, or how people try to earn mayorships for locations on Foursquare, people will compete to be the first to issue a New Year’s greeting.

Australian tweeter @PrestonTowers started the trending topic #nyeathome last year when tweeting about the New Year’s Eve he and his partner were spending alone because they hadn’t gotten any party invites.

“I wasn’t about to just sit there and drink, however,” Towers wrote on his WordPress blog, The Preston Institute. “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.”

The hashtag quickly spread through his followers and became a trending topic in Australia. This holiday, he started the similar #xmasathome to connect people who would be alone on Christmas and wanted to connect with others.

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