Are you on Facebook? Well, then, you get the title of this post don’t you? Whether you have 50, or 500 friends, you will get it. Because, for some reason, birthdays happen in clusters. On my friends list, it’s summer. July & August are a veritable birthday feast. Every damn day I sign in and see the dreaded Birthday Reminders. It’s never just one. For two solid months it is 2 or more every day.
You look through the list of names and click on them and start in:
First one: “I hope you have a fantastic birthday filled with love & laughs!”
Second one: “I hope all your birthday dreams come true!”
Third one: “Have a great birthday!”
Fourth – 100th: “Happy Birthday!”
Ok, that last line is not true. After four, be honest – do you even leave a message? Or do you start with the bargaining when you see a day with a long list? Lemme see, her her & him, I *have* to leave a message. Him? Eh – he wont care. Her? Hell, she has over 1000 friends anyway – she wont even notice! Him? Aw crap, I’m going to see him later today and how weird is it NOT to leave a message when I’m going to see him?
Yeah. Don’t want to be caught making THAT Social Media etiquette mistake!!
So you dutifully fire off little messages through gritted teeth because you don’t want to seem rude.
If not FOR Facebook would you even know when everyone’s birthday is? Think back 10 years ago…I’ll wait, I know it’s hard. Try not to get distracted by a tweet as you flash back….
How many of your friend’s/co-workers/heck, even family members birthdays did you KNOW? How many were in your little black book or important dates to remember calendar? 10? 20? 50 tops? Did it matter if you were not telling people Happy Birthday? Heck no!
But now? You check Facebook to see what your friends are up to. Check for any newly loaded incriminating photos or videos…er…cute..I meant cute, not incriminating (why would I say that? :-)) and you are guilted into writing out birthday wishes on wall after wall.
And just when you think you are DONE! There is NO WAY this can possibly matter worth a damn to people, well, your birthday rolls around.
And there they are. Wall post after wall post wishing you a Happy Birthday or some variation thereof. And as you read each one they make you smile & make you think of that person & why you know them and perhaps some fun memory you share. And then there you are at the end of the day posting the obligatory “Thanks all for the birthday wishes!” response. Only it isn’t really obligatory. It is, in fact, very sincere because you *have* enjoyed every single one.
And so when you sign in the next day and see those Birthday reminders you heave a sigh and click into each page and leave a message with perhaps somewhat less tightly gritted teeth.
Still, when you are in the midst of a birthday wave as I have been this summer, you cannot help but break into a grin when you see this lovely image in the top right corner of your home page staring at you when you sign in:
NOT A SINGLE BIRTHDAY REMINDER!!! WOOT! Now that’s cause for celebration