My birthday is coming up soon, and frankly, I am dreading it. Why?
Not because I am getting older (but that sucks too).
It’s because of Facebook and their infernal mother-farking birthday function. It’s ruined birthdays for me, and has taken the fun out of my celebrating the birthdays of people I care about.
For the record, I no longer wish people “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, or any other social network for that matter.
I really don’t want my greeting buried under hundreds of others.
So, if you’ve been offended that I haven’t said anything to you on your BIG day well, sorry, but I am not losing any sleep over it.
Because most of what I see and hear isn’t genuine, and stems from one simple fact:
From half of my Facebook friends, I hear from them one day per year. And yeah, you guessed it: it’s on my birthday when I get the perfunctory “Happy Birthday [insert name here]!”
And it doesn’t help when you attach one of those motion-GIFS. Frankly, that’s your attempt to make it “more” personal. Despite the fact that I will receive 100s of those on the big day. All they really do is clog up Facebook’s servers.
These particular Facebook friends who pass along greetings once a year NEVER like anything else of mine. They never engage with me on my content. Never comment on stuff I share, whether it is on music, photos of my activities, food I eat, issues of the day, etc.
Now, it’s a VERY FAIR question to ask why am I connected to someone who only contacts me ONCE A YEAR? Yes, #truth. And the subject of another essay for another day. And I bear my share of responsibility in this too.
Frankly, when I observe others on their actual birthday, I am quite saddened when they are spending time ON THEIR ACTUAL BIRTHDAY responding to birthday wishes on Facebook. Do you not have other things to do on this special day? Really? You have to get out a little more friend…
I also hate the standard “Thanks for all the birthday wishes, I am very blessed, and I have the bestest friends” notes that people post, you know, so they don’t have to acknowledge all of these greetings. Probably from people they also only hear from once per year.
So yeah, at the end of the day, I’ve stopped doing it because I don’t want people to think of me the way I think of others who do it to me.
No, on rare occasion, I will send someone a birthday message via Facebook, but I’ll make it a point to personalize it and make it legitimate. Or, I will take advantage of Facebook reminding me, and send them greetings through another, more personal, medium.
And for the record, I am grateful when someone I know and interact with year round sends me a real, human, personal note.
Social media has changed the world. It connects us in ways that most never dreamed possible, and its wonders continue to marvel and hint and what’s still possible down the road.
But the downsides are its automation and lack of a personal touch.
I’ve been binging the AMC series TURN, about George Washington’s spies. Seeing them write meticulous letters on parchment with a quill pen and ink, that correspondence seems so real and genuine…
…verses the automatron scanning today’s list of birthdays on his Facebook page, and BANG-BANG-BANG-Done.
Ok, good. Moving on to the next task…