SO WHAT do I need to send out the right message on New Year’s Eve? Streamers, balloons, a party hat, a glass filled with champagne. That should be enough for a selfie for Instagram.

Oh, and I’ll need a snappy caption. Should it be ‘Be sparkly, babe’ or ‘Put on your party pants’, or possibly ‘I’m just here for the champagne’? There are plenty of suggestions online, with websites devoted not only on how to look good on your social media photos, but what to write underneath them.

One advises: ‘You’ll obviously need that perfect caption to encapsulate your glitter-filled NYE - after all, it’ll be your first Instagram post of 2020 (and of the new decade)!’

No pressure then. In the same way as people splashed out thousands to make their Christmas dinner tables look great on social media, they are cajoled into making their end of year celebrations look amazing, even if it means stunting up photos and using someone else’s words.

I feel sorry for them, having to work so hard to show the world they are having a good time. It must be so stressful to spend the evening searching for photo opportunities. At least in the days when I went out on the town with my friends we weren’t playing to an audience.

We simply had fun, without pausing dozens of time throughout the night to take pictures of ourselves. It’s a strange world.

And while revellers are busy promoting themselves, there will be thousands of others with no plans for new year, no party invitations and no prospect of popping corks, who will inevitably feel they are missing out.

When I was young you could spend New Year’s Eve slouched on the sofa watching the televised countdown, without having other people’s fun - even if much of it is exaggerated - thrown in your face.

Tomorrow night Instagram, Facebook and the like will be awash with beaming smiles against a backdrop of fireworks and confetti. If you’re staying at home it must feel like the whole world is out there partying, while you’re not.

But if that is the case - if you are one of those people who are not going out, and who are likely to see in the new year with a cup of cocoa don’t feel sorry for yourself.

New Year’s Eve is a time of enforced jollity. In reality many people will probably be having a terrible time, squashed in crowded pubs, standing in queues at nightclubs or stuck in kitchens at parties arguing over Brexit. Of course their social media posts with their zany captions won’t reflect this.

My life is not in any way exciting enough to warrant an Instagram account, and even if it were I don’t think I’d want one. But I am on Facebook. I could always stick my head in front of the telly and get my husband to take a quick snap, to make out I’m living it up at the London Eye. But anyone who knows me would suspect it as a case of fake news. And the dressing gown would be a giveaway.

My ‘NYE’ will certainly not be glitter-filled. I’m not painting any town red, and, if the previous decade is anything to go by, I will be in my pyjamas by 10pm.

There’s no shame in spending a night in. In fact a survey of 2000 adults, including millennials, carried out prior to New Year’s Eve last year found that 70 per cent of people were planning a quiet evening at home.

What’s needed are a few social media posts of people on the sofa wrapped in a duvet with a mug of hot chocolate - whipped cream on top - and words along the lines of: ‘Can’t beat this to see in 2020.’