Originally published in Local Connections Halifax
People throughout history have loved a good party, and monumental celebrations took place even in ancient cultures. Solstice and Harvest festivals were celebrated in Ancient China and Mesopotamia, maybe earlier, and as cultures developed so did the celebrations of their people.
Olympic Games, May Day, Lantern Festivals…Celebrations lasted days, weeks, sometimes months. The people celebrated good fortune, healthy harvests, winning battles, births of kings. They gave thanks to the gods; they revered men of great power. Some civilizations throughout history didn’t need a reason to party…they celebrated day and night as an integrated part of their culture.
Fast forward to today, and we have thousands of celebrations around the world: Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, el Dio de los Muertos, St. Patty’s Day, Christmas, Passover, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Thanksgiving…
We celebrate personal milestones with birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirements and even wakes, and we still hold the Olympic Games as a celebration of all countries, their peoples, and the diverse yet unified world in which we live.
Now, however, the celebrations held in one location can be shared virtually around the globe. Social networks have provided forums in which people from one corner of the earth to the other can rally together to celebrate for any and every reason imaginable.
We celebrate birthdays with thousands of people. It costs nothing, and yet the feel-good value of all those wishes is priceless. When babies are born, friends and family can be there in the moment, even when they are hundreds or more miles away. People hold Twitter parties that take place entirely in “the cloud.”
Sometimes, however, it’s the small day to day celebrations that are impacted most by social media. Why? Those are the celebrations that previously went un-celebrated, except by oneself.
A successful business moment, an unexpected pat on the back, a hug from your child for no reason at all, the joy of seeing a beautiful sunrise…
Before social networking, these moments were difficult to share. Now, however, we have a choice. Keep them to ourselves for as long as we like, or share with the world and in the time it takes to smile, friends are celebrating with us.
In a way, social networking has made every moment we live into more of a celebration. Why? Because we are able to share those moments with others.
So the party goes on around the world, day and night, without end. People celebrating people…life can’t get much better than that!