Dear 2013: Goodbye!

Dear 2013 Farewell and goodbye. My hope is that as you fade into the final seconds before 2014’s arrival, you will take with you all those impossible to avoid photos and appearances of Miley Cyrus and her tongue, anything Kardashian and the incessant news reporting about what is trending on Twitter as if it were real news.

You certainly made it easy and sometimes understandably preferable to deliberately distract ourselves with an occasional visit to TMZ. Everyone at some point needed a moment to veer from such things as the messy implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Zimmerman trial or yet another inexplicable school shooting.

I’m thinking that after all you delivered this year, your successor, 2014, might appreciate if we all step back, take a deep breath and work to be more thoughtful about our behaviors.

My dear 2013, it troubles me to say this, but you never took the high road and encouraged us to think about what we said, what we tweeted or posted on Facebook. You never inspired us to think about the trail that we’ve left behind on the social media platform – forever. I know I stated a couple of times that being first doesn’t mean being right, but you never really supported that concept these past 12 months.

As someone who specializes in crisis and reputation management, I’m certainly grateful for the job security that comes from poor judgment, mistakes or an organization or individual being attacked by another. I’m also grateful for having a public relations firm that has the reputation for solving and assisting in fixing such problems and with integrity. I must say that as years go you provided a pretty good one for Sara Brady Public Relations to show our muscle. And I thank you for that.

But I must tell you 2013, I’m hoping that your replacement will do more to encourage respected news organizations to show a little less reverence to twitter content as if it had been vetted, air fewer videos of nearly naked young women as if they represented hard work and achievement, and to discourage intentionally confrontational and meaningless chatter as if it provided real or purposeful information.

Dear 2013, as we send you on your way, those of us here at World Headquarters intend to give 2014 something to think about. Happy New Year!