This year has been notable for more than the usual number of cataclysmic events. Even before Cats was released.
Yet at the end of the year the story that most occupied many people was of a dim-witted social media campaign to interfere with sales of a biography of Jacinda Ardern. Social media have become a very mixed blessing and it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the ways in which they can irritate.
So for 2020 I'm proposing a set of guidelines for your social media. Do yourself and the rest of us a favour by promising you will no longer post:
• Surprise findings: Is social media really hurting your mental health?
• Premium - Crisis Management in the era of social media
• Dad takes over daughter's social media accounts as punishment - now he's gone viral
• Teachers could be using your child's images for social media clicks
Any video of a musical event you attended, recorded on your phone so that all you can hear is the people around you talking and all you can see is some vague backlit figures on stage in the distance.
Expressions of any-not-really-controversial opinion accompanied by the phrase "don't @ me"
Passive aggressive put-downs of your children consisting of pictures of them behaving inappropriately and captioned: "Someone's having a bad day today - me."
Photos of boarding passes to exotic destinations.
Pictures of expensive bottles of alcohol captioned "the only thing better than one bottle of Veuve is two/three/four bottles".
"This is just brilliant" comments on posts by people much more famous than you in the hope they will engage.
"Look at me look at me" posts along the lines of "have something big coming up, can't say anything now but will let you know if it comes off".
Before and after gym shots with stats, or any other record of your weight-loss journey
Healthy alternative recipe hacks - take your gluten free cauliflower pizza crust and feed it to the hens.
Anything with "hack" in its name
Pictures of your hens.
Our family in our matching Christmas T-shirts challenging your family to beat that.
Pictures of your pets, unless they are doing something really interesting.
Strongly held views about any Star Wars movie.
Political arguments. (It's my woolly-headed dream that one day everyone will wake up to the fact that social media are not an adequate outlet for complex thought).
The phrase "I'm not crying, you're crying" accompanying any sentimental image.
Challenges involving books, music or movies.
Close-ups of cuts, bruises or any other results of accidents.
Photos of me in my hospital bed without telling you why, in order to make you ask.
Anything by Banksy
Latte art made by "my fave barista Charlie".
Hilarious fake controversies about things like pineapple on pizza.
Outraged dobbing-in posts about the likes of rubbish strewn on berms, especially in Devonport.
Photos of unmown berms in Devonport.
Pictures of your pets in clothes.
Anything you've grown in your garden to eat.
The following individuals should also be permanently banned:
People who obviously really need other humans in their lives and don't have any, especially the variety that posts along the lines of: "Here I am after my husband left me for my sister, dancing like I just don't care."
Ballet dancers on holiday doing jetés in front of ancient monuments.
People who after notifying you that they have been married to their "best friend for 25-plus years" need to reassure you they have "never regretted it".
Technologically challenged individuals asking "My screen's just gone blank and I can't remember my password, can someone help?"
I know these are bad habits because I've done pretty much all of them myself.