Think about the last time you had good news that you wanted to share with the world. But think again. Is it really the world you want to share with, or just a few select people who you know will care more about it? So you can Facebook it, or tweet it, or Instagram it, or blog it, or whatever, but who do you tell first? For me the list is short, and it depends on what the news is that I want to share (at least after I get past the first two people on the list anyway).
My wife is first, of course, because I know that she can look at all sides of it objectively. She revels in my excitement, but she also provides good perspective to keep me sane — so I don’t lose my mind in the ecstasy of it all. She keeps me grounded, which is great when there are side effects to the wonderful news.Of course she’s always first when it comes to devastating news too, and for the same reasons.
I would tell my mother too, because she has always been the one person who stood behind me from the moment I could even appreciate it and before. Sometimes, when the news is bad, I dread talking to her, knowing as I do that she won’t pull any punches. But I need that, the tough love that helps me get motivated to keep plugging away in the face of rejection. And she’s always so ecstatic when I share positive news too.
Then there are the people I call my close friends, but I use the term “close” loosely. I call them, or text them, or leave weird emojis on their phones just because I can, and sometimes they get back to me with a “great job,” or “I knew you could do it,” or “well that sucks,” or “dude, call me.” Sometimes they don’t get back to me at all, though, and I try not to judge them for it. Because, you see, my friends are all always so busy that sometimes they forget to respond to me. I really do try not to judge, but the times when they don’t respond make me sad.
The list dwindles from there because it’s just not as exciting to tell acquaintances, unless of course they are somehow connected to the news. Like if I got a teaching job I would tell all of my teacher friends because they would get it, they would completely understand the heights of my job. And if I didn’t get the job I would tell them as well because they would get that too — the agony of defeat.
That’s when I finally tell Facebook, when I send that quick tweet, when I blog about it and wait for the responses from the network of people who I’ve interacted with in some way at some time, who take the time to “like” whatever I post, who validate my thoughts and who commiserate with me when they don’t even know what’s wrong. There’s something to be said about a network like that, even if half of the time they don’t even read my posts. It’s those important times that count.
Because it’s not in the telling itself. It’s in who I tell. And when. That’s most telling.