Over the summer I went up north to visit my son Randy and his family. He has two adorable little girls who are both under the age of two. Randy is a wonderful, very hands-on dad who really enjoys the simple things in life. While I was up there he did some cooking for us. One of the specialties of the Spelling household, not to mention one of my granddaughter Sage's favorites, is Randy's nachos. When Randy was done assembling the nachos that night, he proudly displayed his delicious creation. I of course was right there with my iPhone to capture the moment.
My next instinct was to Twitter the picture. Because Randy is so private and has made a point of deliberately stepping out of the Hollywood spotlight, I thought to ask him for permission first. It was an eye opening moment for me because Randy actually thanked me for asking him. I didn't push any more buttons until I knew he was a hundred percent comfortable with the picture I was about to send into the Twittersphere.
When I was in high school my friends and I used to go to the drive-in for carhop service. These days I go Twitter Hopping online. It's amazing what I find. Barbie has a very creative Twitter account where she tweets about doing yoga before she takes on her day. She also quotes her beau Ken complimenting the sparkle in her eyes. The United Nations General Assembly also has a live Twitter feed where world leaders can be heard speaking. This week, Iran's newly elected President Hassan Rouhani Twittered about his country's nuclear development program. Even my grandson Liam has a Twitter account. He has almost 50,000 followers, and he's only seven.
I recently watched an interview with Jennifer Aniston where she discussed why she doesn't use Twitter. She said half-jokingly that she'd spend most of her time defending herself and dispelling rumors. That is definitely one danger of being in the public eye. Another trap of all the Twittering, Instagramming and Facebooking we do is that in sharing those fun or precious moments we are not completely present in the moment when it's happening.
It's been more than once where I've been with friends at lunch or even more formal holiday meals and everyone is preoccupied with capturing the moment so they can post it. The flow of conversation is broken up by taking a "selfie." Other times nobody is making eye contact because they're busy photographing a festive table setting or uploading a jpeg of a beautiful appetizer. In those situations, I have to say I feel invisible even though I'm at a table full of people.
In our family, I have always been the keeper of the memories. Be it photo albums, scrapbooks or special mementos, all of it has always been my domain. This was my intention that lovely night with Randy and his family. The only difference is that these days my website is my live photo album. I really do think it's fun to share those special moments but I've learned it's also refreshing to live the moment while it's happening without reaching for my phone.