Tuesday, October 4, 2011

#9 in the Birthday Series - 600+ Facebook friends (Facebook birthday)

As my subscribers/readers know, I am not a person immune to guilt. (HA!)

Facebook brings a lot of publicity to birthdays. Facebook aside – I have been yakking about my birthday for weeks. Partly from pride and joy at attaining the 5-0 milestone as an at least semi-functional adult – partly from negative emotions that I’m trying to process (that’s what the Internet is for, right?, processing with an audience...I love that about the Internet).

I have allowed, even encouraged, the Internet to make my life public, and this is a not unexpected aspect. Ahem.

Now, if on the 19th I get 200+ (just an estimate) birthday greetings, courtesy of FB reminders, should I:

1. smile inwardly and take no outward action
2. obsessively click “like” to each birthday comment on a prompt basis
3. spend hours writing a “they like me, they really like me” thank-you message that can only be addressed to a limited number of addressees and becomes a logistical hassle like last year (FOR EXAMPLE).

Guilt – hmmmm – when Facebook reminds people of a birthday, do they feel guilty if they don’t say HBD? That would be guilt #1. Then my reading and response-lack of response-2nd guessed response would be guilt 2/3, depending on timing and degree.

Geez – is this worth it?

Yes, I think so.

As in a zillion other ways, the Internet brings mixed-blessing enhancements. It’s an automatic birthday reminder, and provides an automated means for response. That doesn’t eliminate sincerity – hardly brings it into question – but it’s an alteration of previous experience (which wasn't all so great, IMHO = Internet lingo for, In My Humble-haha Opinion).

But as with almost everything else Internet-wise…do we want to go backwards?


At least, not till after my birthday.

P.S. A humble, apologetic, shy?, anti-tonight post may be coming soon.


Jenna said...

Sarah... I love this post! Spot on! My non-Facebook family and friends don't get Facebook. The simplicity of simple day to day contact through Facebook with my friends/family (who have joined) is actually one of it's strong points.
It doesn't replace a good phone call or visit, mind you, but connecting daily with my FB friends/family is, for me, delightful.
So, I choose to believe that just because FB makes it really quite simple to wish one a Happy Birthday, it doesn't mean the well wishes aren't sent sincerely.
I look forward to being one of the 200+ when your day comes around to wish for you, (from my heart), a very Happy Birthday.
(imsert smiley face here)

Becky said...

Sarah, I love the FB birthday musings. In 2010 I did not allow my birthday to show up in my FB profile and I was sadly disappointed to not receive birthday greetings. So in 2011 I did allow the date to show, and I was so thrilled to get each and every Happy Birthday message!!

My sister also takes her birthday very seriously due to some shocking neglect and forgetting of the date when she was a child. She has learned to be very proactive about making her wishes known well in advance of her birthday so people will remember to celebrate it with her.