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HappyBirthday56

Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook.

216 Comments


So one of the things that I have done now for a while now is stopped saying happy birthday on Myface… err… Facebook.  So what i mean by that is… I’m not being an arse by not saying happy birthday to you on your special day, however, I feel it needed to actually be said in person to have much more of an impact.  Now before I get to deep into this I must address the points I wanted to make in this blog:

1) How have we allowed ourselves to become distant with our friends over social media sites?

2) Is a person any less of a friend if they do not wish you a happy birthday on said social media site?

3) Do people even care?

3 is a bit more harsh than 1 & 2 but it has me wondering just what exactly we’re saying.   Anyways… My personal reasons behind not saying happy birthday is simply because I feel like a jerk if I don’t actually say that to a person in person.  By that, I also have been thinking really hard about who I have listed as friends on my social networks and conversely, why they have me on their social networks.  The fundamental principle seems to be voyeurism of which allows us to peer into the thoughts and minds (albeit incomplete) of another person.   Another thing that ups the ante is pictures.  The old cliche that a picture is worth a 1,000 words?  Seemingly we are increasingly growing our communication channels by pictures and sights, not words.   So what does saying happy birthday on a media site mean to you?

To the second point, am I, Aaron Hockett any less of a friend to any of my friends by not poking, tweeting, commenting or giving you the thumbs up by liking something you’ve posted?  There have been some recent studies of narcissistic behavior in using these social sites.  One them (link to the PDF here ) dates back to 2008 in a time just before Facebook really started to take off after Myspace.com numbers started to dwindle.  In that study, people were found to be self-promoters.  The more recent studies (study up in Toronto here at York University) tend to show the side of ourselves in which to say… we’re probably least proud of?  So regardless of how many status updates you have, how many friends you have, why someone hasn’t responded to a facebook message or whatever, what is the difference if someone doesn’t wish you a happy birthday?

Now the flip side of this of course is positive re-enforcement and a level of acknowledgement in which I get and for those who do, keep on doing… but perhaps like we all realize from time to time… asking ourselves why we do it instead of just doing it.

To the last point… does anyone care?  One of the things I’ve talked about with some friends (because I do have a morbid sense of humor sometimes) is ensuring that my Twitter account keeps on tweeting after I pass away.  Not sure if I need to arrange in my will who will manage my account and make sure everything is auto-mated but isn’t that kind of weird to think about?  Aaron’s facebook page and twitter account getting updates after I’m physically gone.  Aside from that being absurd (which is why I love it) it begs the question I brought up in the beginning.  What is it we offer to each other and what do we give in return?  Is there a line in which we say enough or stop caring what people respond to?  Who knows.  Makes me wonder who is watching… and on the flip side… who is listening.

Until next time.

-A

Author: drumboytwo56

n/a for the time being.

216 thoughts on “Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. « Memento Vivere -- Topsy.com

  2. so have i! its just so annoying and i refuse to say it via FB! its better in person!

    • I totally agree, why just on a social connection site, it’s like getting an e-card or a mass text. What can no one make a 5 minute call to send best wishes?! How insensitive is that?

    • I liked your post and agree with you totally. I have become so annoyed with FB that I have taken myself off it completely! I signed up, looking forward to getting in touch again with out school friends. I mean yes, we found and added each other-but that was it! The joke is, most people I know use FB to stay in touch with people they see every day??? It is scarily addictive and I have given up on the whole thing. There will be something new out soon – there always is. FB better enjoy it while they can! :) MissDerrie

  3. I recently spent my birthday on a little island and didn’t have any internet access. ABout the first thing I did when I got home was check my notifications on facebook.

    I’m not obsessed with social networking. I only have about 55 friends on facebook- only ever adding people I would actually hold a conversation with in public and spend time with.

    However I have recently moved to another country which makes calls and text expensive, so many people don’t check their emails regularly due to the amount of spam they receive so facebook really is the best way for me to keep in contact with my true close friends.

    After 2 months away it was so nice to see that so many of them had taken two mins to wish me a happy birthday in the only method of communication we have :)

    • Oh no doubt Haribo. Living across continents is probably harder for people to realize and the internet has made that a wonderful way to communicate. I guess the whole point of the blog was to address my attitude and attitudes of others on “auto pilot” that just do it to do it… you know?

    • I totally agree about being in another country. Yes, social media does all kinds of awful things to the already too isolated American population, but for me it allows me to connect with friends in Italy, Peru, Egypt as well as friends from other states in day to day ways that would otherwise be impossible. Happy Birthday to everyone, well, that’s another story…

    • excellent point. i.e. – the original POINT of social networking is working for you – good!

  4. How true. I often find myself having to ask why I am posting something on a social site. About 90% I decide against the status update. Good post!

    • Yup it’s weird isn’t it? Twitter and Facebook have now gone beyond the one liner hooks and are now bordering on the absurdly stupid. Often I’ll go a day or two without tweeting or a facebook update and I wonder if people think I’ve gone missing. :)

  5. I don’t say happy birthday because I pride myself in remembering everyone (I know)’s birthdays. Using Facebook is a bit of a cop out (I feel), so, I usually just wish them when I see them/call them. [because I remembered and didn't have to go onto facebook to remember.]

    • Well it’s one of those things that is nice to have but ultimately having a real calendar or even a reminder on your personal email seems to work best for me. Getting auto notified on a social network site about “You should reconnect with…” or “Wish xyz a happy birthday!” makes it feel a bit disconnected. Keep up the good work on remembering and staying connected. :)

      • Yes, I fully agree. It de-values the birthday wishes, reconnects, pokes, etc. It de-values the whole thing because I know that the machine will have prompted the other person.

  6. I don’t really count who says Happy Birthday to me on Facebook and who doesn’t. And if you say it once, you don’t need to repeat it on every form of communication available.

    But I like that Facebook reminds me of other people’s birthdays. For closer friends, if I can’t see them on their birthday, I make sure to call. Acquaintances will generally get a Facebook greeting because I clearly know it’s their birthday. It doesn’t cost me anything to type a two-word message.

  7. Great 2nd point (and follow up research). Everyone self-promotes on social networks whether they do it it consciously or not. FB is kinda like the answer to high school geekdom. Back in the days (before the Internet was a dominate force) superior social interaction was only reserved for the coolest people, but now…*dramatic drum roll*… thanks to the World Wide Web and the magic of Facebook, anyone can be cool and have the friends they never would have had if they were forced to do it face-to-face. ;)

    Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  8. This is a great post. It’s interesting where these social sites have taken us. Good job!

  9. Good points.

    I am too is having issues on people’s attitude in Facebook, and Twitter. =)

  10. 1) How have we allowed ourselves to become distant with our friends over social media sites?

    How? By allowing the ‘barrier’ of an online site be responsible for our obligations as friends to actually care. I do not have a Facebook account, and would rather stay in touch on a “face to face” (or phone or email) basis. I hate it when I get a text message from a “real” friend asking what the problem is, when I have no clue what they are talking about, and they were only responding to a post on my wife’s Facebook page about me being “cranky.” Which goes back into your statement, “The fundamental principle seems to be voyeurism of which allows us to peer into the thoughts and minds (albeit incomplete) of another person.”

    2) Is a person any less of a friend if they do not wish you a happy birthday on said social media site?

    No. People can be just as distant of a friend “online” as they can be in real life. The trick, I would assume since I do not participate in social media such as Facebook, is to keep your friends list as small as your “real” friends. I prefer people to tell me happy birthday in person, not because they were given a notice on Facebook.

    3) Do people even care?

    The obvious answer is yes, seeing the number of people who are obsessed with social media sites. But I think it goes deeper than that. Sites like Facebook allow a person to remain somewhat anonymous or dislocated to a situation and therfore more brazen. As an example, my wife became very upset over a very “nothing of a matter” comment on someone else’s ‘wall.’ The comment was made in ignorance, and should have just as well been ignored. But, no. Having the opportunity to act in an obligated manner with the shield of Facebook in front of her, she and a few friends continued to argue with the original comment maker.

    My whole outlook on social media sites is this: if the person really is my friend, they have my phone number and email address and actually make contact. Yes, because of distance we do not see or speak that frequently, but the effort to call every once in a while to see how things are going is much more of a satisfaction than I think getting an obligated “happy birthday” (because I saw it online on someone else’s wall) could ever grant me.

    Sorry for the long comment. I appreciate your frankness on the issue as well. Great topic.

    • Great points Hemlock.

      I think we have allowed ourselves to get a bit too soft when it comes to anonymity in the social media sphere. Most of our focus is on being connected but we often do not stop and ask “should we be?”. I too have struggled with having Facebook and was a late adopter of it. Now it seems though that if you don’t have it (as you mentioned) that you’re somehow labeled an outcast or not normal because you don’t use it. The topic I think delves deeper into another issue I hope to hit on here in the coming weeks and that is how we have changed the way we think thanks to the internet. Should be interesting and thanks again for the comment.

  11. I think I understood what you mean…
    as for number 1: these social networking sites can be a good option for people-who aren’t so close-to post greeting from time to time.Because not all people restrict their accounts to those they consider members of their inner-circle.so I might have some acquantinces on my FB,I wanna say happy bday or whatever, and I feel like it would be too much,or awkward to call them in person,so fb will be of some use to me here.

    I don’t know about friends who distance themselves from normal human interactions and only post online stuff,I think its weird.

    as for number 2, I do agree with it. You do make a good point.
    but for number 3, of course not EVERYONE cares,but a few people do I suppose…I used to think about the same thing myself..

    • Hey Yasmine,
      I agree on the proximity of people in regards to social networking as that is one of the big benefits of having social media available to connect with those who are further away. Still though it has to be said that if it’s as easy to type a message on a facebook page, couldn’t you pick up the phone or write an email?

      Thanks for the comment. :)

  12. I can’t agree with you more on the last point. As if people do really care when they send you a tweet or a shoutout. It’s probably just another reflex of theirs to greet you or something.

    As some may probably mean their greets and whatever, most people just do it because other people did.

    Just to add another point to that point, Do they even know who they greeted on Facebook and Twitter?

    • Makes you wonder doesn’t it? I think people have been able to filter through the garbage of updates/tweets and such and actually hit the real updates. I know for me, trying to be anyone but myself in a status update comes off as me looking ridiculous! Thanks for the comment.

  13. I love reading all of my birthday wishes on my facebook profile when it’s my day. I think it’s cheery. Those people thought of me for a moment and sent me a kind word.

    That’s why I still say “happy birthday” to others ♥ I wonder why you don’t like the way it feels doing it, who minds receiving extra wishes?

    Maybe you’re the one who’s only thinking of yourself?

    • Ah yes.. well perhaps I am Lisa or perhaps I’m not. I think you got the blog though in terms of what is the common preference that people have and judging by the comments I’ve gotten it seems to be split which is to be expected. Now what you might find funny is I don’t mind (and enjoy) getting the birthday wishes on my page but I don’t take that as a litmus test of who my friends are. Now granted to your point, it does always feel good to get that extra validation but I think I’m calling into question more the validation through social media.

      Anyways, thanks for the comment and the conversation.

      • I feel that happy birthday’s are forced on FB so I wouldn’t say I feel anymore special about them. Since you are reminded by FB to tell them happy birthday. In reality your real friends will contact you outside of FB. FB really means nothing in a way of anyone actually caring, birthdays or not.

  14. It is actually nice to get Happy Birthday wishes from some friends from high school or college from all parts of the country. Some of the birthday wishes from friends close by can even surprise you with their wisdom. At least, that is what I saw last week when my birthday came around. Then again, I have been out of high school for 20 years and college for at least fifteen years and the two schools were on opposite ends of the country and I don’t live in either area now. Also, I work for the church in Youth Ministry and religious education, so the contact with the kids on their level is vital. I personally think that social media is morphing into something that will not even look the same when it is done. Great post, because I love to hear others point of view on social media. God bless you!

    • Good points Jason. I too think social media is transforming (and rolling out?) into something that neither facebook or twitter will be able to control and I think that’s the beauty of it. The contact with people is great and social media is an extension of that, hopefully not a replacement. Best of luck in your ministries.

  15. I’m with you on this. It;s nice to see a full wall of messages on your birthday, but do any of them feel more special than getting a phone call from your friend?

    http://danjswade.wordpress.com

  16. All I can say is, you blogged my feelings :)

    http://sulfonix.wordpress.com

  17. Very interesting thoughts there.

  18. Some people do take it to heart if you forget their birthday. I know, because I forget all birthdays, and this year I forgot my own until two days later.

    However, On Facebook and similar places the idea is to keep up with the Johnses.

  19. Sorry, here I am again. As I am not a native speaker of English, I am sorry to see that I got that name wrong:

    It is the JONESES.

  20. While I don’t wish all of my facebook friends a happy birthday (doesn’t mean I don’t care), if I do so, it’s much more likely to be a private message than via a wall post.

    I feel it’s much more sincere when only the recipient knows you cared enough to write than to share it with the facebook universe.

    • Indeed. I’d be willing to bet though that you’ve got a firm idea of what close friends are and how to keep in contact with them. Keep it up Ammon and thanks for the comment.

  21. I think you’ve got a great point. I’ve made a point to only wish people a happy birthday on Facebook if I will also get the chance to wish it to them either face-to-face or via telephone. What’s the point of wishing some high school acquaintance a happy birthday? I just don’t get it…

    That being said I sure did feel popular on my birthday when I got all of those wishes!

  22. brilliant organising of your posts. Why do nerds like the black colour? I wonder. Keep blogging and smiling. Cheers..

    • Thank you, thank you. Yeah I’m thinking the design needs a refresh here early next year to lighten the mood up a bit. I guess dark just seems more clean to us nerds. 8) Thanks for the comment.

  23. Umm, yeah, it’s a tad deep.

    1) Some of us aren’t able to see the person in the flesh to wish them a happy birthday in person. So, this is the best way to give them best wishes. I agree, sending a birthday card is just as personable. You could do that too.

    2) Long distance and even local phone calls are getting expensive. Even with cell phone calls.

    3) It’s always fun when someone writes on your wall. Narcissistic? Well, yeah, it’s your freakin’ birthday! Isn’t that day suppose to be all about you?

    4) Most people don’t care if you wish them a happy birthday on Facebook. It’s actually quite appreciated, that you remembered, or took a second to see the reminder on the right hand side and think “Oh shit, that’s right!”

    Hey, it’s just Facebook. And no, you shouldn’t feel like a jerk.

    • To all of the points I would say that facebook does help to stay in communication with the people we care about. That is one of the main benefits from the site. I think the issue (as I’ve stated down in other comments) is that if it becomes a replacement for calling, emailing, seeing in person. Thanks for the comment.

  24. I agree with you and have also ended the whole Facebook-birthday charade. I have even (albeit briefly) mentioned it as one of the things I hate about Facebook:

    http://paulbeforeswine.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/facebook-thing/

    My birthday came and went in early August. I appreciated those who remembered my birthday (sans a Facebook reminder) but did not care about the 90 other “friends” that did not.

    • Yeah, the friends bit I think was a bit of an add-on from Myspace. Facebook has never handled that well because it wasn’t “meant” to really act or function that way aside from when it was strictly a classmates thing. Wonder how many people actually remember that after the years? Thanks for the comment.

  25. Very interesting. I agree with you, but I often find myself “liking” and “commenting” and such on Facebook. Even I usually wish people a “happy birthday,” but for some people I don’t know very well, it feels awkward…. LOL. Great post!

    • So I guess a follow up question to your comment— What do those people do in return to your wishing them a happy birthday? Do they wish you one in return or feel obligated to comment on a status update of yours after you wish them a happy birthday? Aren’t people weird like that? 8) Thanks for the comment.

  26. Pingback: Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. « M.

  27. People think I am a jerk because I won’t use facebook at all. I find myself explaining over and over again why I will not get a facebook page and why I will not look at theirs (Your post illustrates one of my main gripes with social media sites). The end result? I find myself invited to fewer events, and am completely in the dark when it comes to knowing the ins-and-outs of my family in friends. Most of the time, I am better off.

    • Again I think you make a good point about involvement and being “in step” with social media. I personally am trying to get more and more out of the social media and more into social interaction both in person and over electronic communication. Is it hard? Heck yes but as you’ve pointed out, maybe being on the dark on some things is ok. Thanks for the comment.

  28. I quit Facebook several months ago; I rather dislike what social networking has done to any sort of personal communication…

  29. ah… finally! Number three is harsh but totally true. Awesome post you got!

  30. Valued friends get a birthday wish in person, via a card, a phone call, anything more personal than a Facebook post. But a lot of FB “friends” are really just acquaintances that you’ve known in your past life – you can’t classify them as friends, but you still sort of, kind of keep in touch with them via FB. You say hello from time to time, see what they’re up to…and well, you wish them a Happy Birthday when their special day comes along…

    • I fully agree with what you say about “friends from your past life”. You can stop phoning people if you suddenly find you no longer have anything in common, but taking them off your facebook would be downright rude.

  31. Valued friends get a birthday wish in person, via a card, a phone call, anything more personal than a Facebook post. But a lot of FB “friends” are really just acquaintances that you’ve known in your past life – you can’t classify them as friends, but you still sort of, kind of keep in touch with them via FB. You say hello from time to time, see what they’re up to…and well, you wish them a Happy Birthday when their special day comes along…

    Plus, like Haribo said in an earlier comment, when you’re living in another country FB is the best way to keep in touch.

  32. i just celebrated my birthday weeks ago and i did find it a bit disappointing that some preferred to greet me via fb rather than in person when they could have!

    but i do greet people on facebook though, those i have no means of greeting in person or thru sms/call. or people i’m not that close to but still i consider my friend. but as much as i can, i go for greeting in person or via phone. because i want to make them feel valuable. besides, it’s their birthday!

  33. So many people are wondering and thinking about how people have become socially distant because of FB. I believe it’s true. People are more anti-social and untrusting.

  34. Oh boy, I can go on & on with the Facebook/Twitter social networking issues and losing touch with our real friends!! I would rather talk on the phone to my REAL friends any day– real communication! Check out my blogs — I have written at least two Dissin Facebook & Real Friends & Phone Talk! Good Post & Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!

    evelyngarone.com

    • Good deal Evie. I’ve often toyed with the idea of getting rid of facebook and going the twitter route which some people have done. I personally love having real conversations in person as with the problem with IM back in the late 90′s, so much can be taken out of context which can be avoided by talking to the person one-on-one. Thanks for the comment!

  35. It seems to me that birthdays seem to mean less to the birthday person in question once they have kids, or they pass certain milestones (turning 20, 25, 30, etc). I do agree with you though, saying happy birthday does indeed mean less than saying it to the person, in person. Plus, if you do it through facebook, it makes you look like a lazy wanker.

    • Indeed. That’s why I’m of the belief that personal contact will always trump social media contact. Thanks for the comment Matt.

  36. I often find myself on similar ground. I have taken time lately to clear out my social network ‘friend’ lists as a lot of people merely use the sites to get their next bit of juicy gossip. Sadly social media (and the Internet in general) are the cause of a lot of trouble these days, but will there ever be something new to phase it out, like the Internet did with those distant memories of pen and paper? I blog with no knowledge of who, if anybody atall, reads my posts. But it’s a satisfaction in itself to clear my head of thoughts which may other wise be stuck there forever. Great post, thank you for sharing it. :)

  37. I say Happy bday on Facebook to friends and family, because I live in another country and don’t always have the ability to say it to their face.

    Friends who live near me… will get a happy bday on facebook and on the phone, or face-to-face when possible.

    I love social networking :) I’ve kept up friendships I would otherwise have lost a long time ago.

    • It will be interesting for me since I’m planning to have a stint overseas and I can see facebook filling a social gap. Thanks for the comment.

  38. I would very much like to stipulate in my will that one or more of my friends will be required to update twitter with ghostly messages from beyond after I’m dead. Ya know..things like “This corner of heaven smells kinda like a subway..”, etc.

    • Yeah that’d be pretty awesome. I think building the database of responses would be as fun as actually going out and tweeting things in real time. Who knows though. 8) Thanks for the comment.

  39. I love this post. I think our society is getting farther and farther away from personal communication. The virtual world is taking over. It’s like watching a movie and not knowing what is real and what isn’t. And not caring.

    • Its true it seems. We define our days more and more by what we do on the internet and less and less about what we’ve done in real life. Scary to say the least. Thanks for the comment.

  40. You make a valid point when you could just say it in person or over the phone. Some people I have friended on Facebook are not close friends but I still would like to acknowledge their anniversary of their birth. Great post.

  41. This is why i deleted my Facebook, but kept my twitter, its just better in every way.

    • Yeah I’ve toyed with that idea and we’ll see if that happens or not. Have you found it to be a freeing experience? Thanks for the comment.

  42. I personally feel that social networking sites are a complete waste of time.. Am not a part of any site and don’t feel the urge to be in one as well.. Most of my friends constantly keep sending me requests to join but am trying to avoid as much as possible because I feel that it has somewhat reduced interaction and increased the communication gap!!!

    addykuamr.wordpress.com

  43. I hate it when the most random people tell me happy birthday on facebook!! Its so annoying cause im not on fb the whole time and I always forget to say happy birthday on their day :(

    LOVE.
    SUMMER.

    • Yeah I posed a question to an earlier person of what the proper conduct is when a random friend says happy birthday to you…. what do you do in return? Thanks for the comment Summer.

  44. Nice blog entry! I have to say that some people do care…it is nice to see pages of comments on your facebook page wishing you a happy birthday but at the same time you have a really valid point that calling or saying happy birthday in person is worth so much more. Sometimes facebook takes away from moments like that. One thing I really dislike about facebook is that you see all your friends all the time. I love that feeling you get before you meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in years…that anticipation of “what do they look like? How have they changed?”And then the joy of rediscovering them… but now with facebook all about I find that my anticipation diminishes a little when I go to meet that old friend…I now know what they look like and what they’ve been doing with their life. It takes away from life a little I think.

    Last Monday I decided that I missed real interaction and “deactivated” my account (since deleting is apparently not an option) Kudos to saying Happy Birthday in person!

    • Way to go! Ironically I tend not to change my facebook picture for months at a time as it does leave some of that mystery to the person or persons who may be in contact with you. I think we agree that at the end of the day, social interaction in person out weighs the facebook interaction. Thanks for the comment!

  45. Pingback: Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. (via Memento Vivere) « money idea Blog

  46. I don’t have a Facebook account and I don’t plan to ever get one. When it’s somebody’s birthday, if I really do like them, I not only will say happy birthday to them but will also get them a card too for it. I just love cards, it seems to be a forgotten way of communication with email, texts, and Facebook being so huge.

  47. Its an interesting question you raise. I moved around a lot when I was young and the main reason I set up a facebook account was to try and reconnect with people that I had no other channel for finding again. And in that regards social media is great. Of course now that I have all these people as friends on Facebook I NEVER talk to them.

    To the matter raised in this article, my rule is if it is someone I talk to by other channels (phone, face-to-face), I’ll wish them a happy birthday the same way. If its someone I only talk to through facebook then it’s ok to wish them a happy birthday through there as well. And to the people that I don’t even talk to through facebook? Then I don’t say anything to not feel like a hypocrite.

  48. I agree with a lot of what you said. We definitely are addicted to social networking websites. But at the same time, I still get happy when someone wishes me a happy birthday on facebook :). Guess I’m just as addicted as everyone else.

    • Well as long as there is balance… I think you’ll be good. 8) Thanks for the comment.

  49. I understand why people would stop saying “happy birthday” on Facebook, but it’s nice to log in to your account and see all of the notifications from your friends. I try to only comment on people that I know fairly well, since most of my ‘friends’ on Facebook are my friends in real life. That way, there are no hard feelings if I don’t say “happy birthday” to someone I don’t interact with on a regular basis.

    • That I think is the best rule to follow. Also it seems like “Friends” might be a little strong of a word for people that you simply know from HS or College. The basis of this was to look at the point of things being trivial on facebook and simply doing it because other people do it. Thanks for the comment.

  50. I don’t know…I still say happy birthday on FB and it’s primarly because I live away from many of my family members and friends that I attended high school or university with. Most of those people know that I prefer to not use the phone, and seem to be fine with keeping in touch via e-mail or FB. I refuse to join Twitter as I detest what it (and SMS texting) have done to the English language. I’m also not a fan of people I know believing they are friends of a celebrity simply because they follow them on Twitter. Ugh. Oh, how our lives have changed over modern conveniences…

    On another note, I’m very much enjoying your background. I’m also a fan of the distortions created by the Lambert Cylindrical projection.

    • Good thoughts. Thanks for the compliment on the background. Like I told another poster, I will probably be re-doing the blog sometime in early 2011 to put a fresh spin on things. One thing to say to your comment on twitter and sms, I’d say you can actually have a brief snippet on twitter and not sound like an sms message. It’s difficult but I find the social interaction on twitter more lively than on facebook these days. Thanks for the comment.

  51. Nothing wrong with saying it on facebbok, if you you have actually met the person. People also post “thanks for all the birthday messages guys” as their statuses. I get a lot of birthday messages but I know which ones are heartfelt. Plus I like to say happy birthday through sms, facebook, twitter, mxit, phone and face-to-face. Sometimes I do a couple of them to the same person. Cos I can. And it’s fun.

  52. It depends on your motive for having a Facebook account. I use it more for networking. Some of my inner circle are my friends on the site but that’s not my sole communication to them, more of an additional mode of communication.

    I love the happy birthday feature, using it and receiving it. Maybe I’m narcissistic. Maybe we all have a little “narc” in us. Dunno.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing a different perspective. Great job getting freshly pressed!

    Mon Trice

    http://www.montrice.com

    • Yeah I think when I pointed the narcissistic tendency of social media people, I was also pointing at myself. Thanks for the kind words montrice!

  53. At the beginning of the year I went on a facebook fast. Albeit, I’m contemplating making a new one for the ‘new people’ I meet through my travels. Decisions decisions.

    Facebook can wait. I like the no-drama.

    Congrats on freshly pressed!

    • Yeah what’s funny about your comment is I’ve meet some people that end up having 4 facebook pages. One for old friends, one for current friends, one for work people and other for new people that they’ve meet. I can’t imagine trying to juggle that type of social interaction. Eek!! Thanks for the comment.

  54. FB has made birthday wishes way too convenient, whether it is the weekly reminder of birthdays or shouting out on someone’s wall. Friends, family and even mere acquaintances whom you don’t speak to are free to say “Happy Birthday!” with great ease.

    With such huge quantity of birthday wishes on your wall, honestly, it’s like spam (especially the ones from mere acquaintences).

    However, it’s not all that bad. How about trying something more personalised that could convey your heartfelt thoughts and make your message more meaningful. Perhaps you can text your friend instead when FB sends the reminder. And if you do really have to use FB, how about sending a private message instead? You don’t need the whole world to know your message, just send it to the rightful recepient (:

    • Yup I agree. The automation of it just seems to make me feel disconnected and as others have stated, they seem to feel the same way. Having things be personal I hope hasn’t lost its meaning quite yet. Thanks for the comment.

  55. I used to wish my ‘friends’ a happy birthday on Facebook, but after a while, questioned what the point in it was since a lot of times, they didn’t care at all.
    Now, if I see a friend of mine in person, I wish them a happy birthday just because it seems less impersonal.

    • Keep it up Adriana!! That’s what I’ve been doing and its been great! Thanks for the comment.

  56. A very interesting post! I can see where you’re coming from completely. I still wish people a happy birthday on Facebook for a few reasons. One of them is kind of guilt I suppose – for example if x wished me a happy birthday on my birthday, I feel I owe them a Facebook happy birthday. It’s so stupid, I know. It’s not that I get upset if they don’t wish me a happy birthday though (mostly because I hate my birthday lol). Another reason I still do a bit of my communication with good friends over facebook is because a lot of my good friends have moved away to go to school, and though it’s hard to keep long distance friendships, I’d like to try.

    But yes, I do agree with some things you’ve said – everything is much better face to face. Great post!

    • Isn’t it funny how we feel guilty if someone ends up wishing us a happy birthday and we don’t wish them a happy birthday. Good points Cherlyn and thanks for the comment.

  57. You have a valid point. Sometimes I think that we’re so caught up in the business of Tweeting and Facebook status updating that when we see friends in real life, there is nothing to talk about. Why talk and have an actual conversation when their status says everything?

    I personally don’t post “Happy Birthday” to everybody on my Facebook friends list. I only do it to a couple friends that I’m close with (ones on my Facebook that I would actually talk to a few times have day, few times a week, etc).

    I know that for my last birthday, the majority of the birthday wishes were on Facebook. It was a little odd to have them there, instead of having my phone go off all day due to calls and texts.

    I guess it is a double sided coin.

    • I think as long as the people out there understand the significance of one over the other then that’s good. When people start doing that in place of, well then that is the slippery slope. Thanks for the comment.

  58. I’ve stopped saying “happy birthday” on Facebook also, but only because it seems to utterly fake. When people you despise wish you happy birthday, yet people you care about don’t, you have to ask yourself the significance of wishing someone a happy birthday over a social networking site. It’d be interesting to see how many “friends” remembered someone’s birthday without the automatic notifications which Facebook deems necessary to send out.

  59. I’ll say Happy Birthday, it isn’t a big deal to say it. I do not think it makes me more or less of a “friend”

    But I do not ever get birthday wishes….and that would be because Facebook thinks my birthday is some other day. I always know who my close friends are because I get several messages saying, “Facebook says its your birthday, but we celebrated your day back in ….month, right?”

    I’m a fan of Facebook for reconnections with people far away. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with some High school friends and trading barbs during sports season, and I love using it to “create an event” and invite people form work to come out for some fun (I work in a department that runs 24hrs a day and has over 150 employees kind of hard to reach them all personally…)
    I don;t really think though that it’s a great place to build actual friendships. Much more fun to do face to face. It becomes an issue when people do start counting friends or “likes” or substitute FB interaction for normal interpersonal interaction…
    Everything I suppose, in moderation.

    Not sure I’d like to keep getting twitter messages from the grave, but yb the time I pass on, I imagine there will be a variety of other ways to socially network!

  60. But sometimes it is nice to say happy birthday to those who do not live that close to you and that you do not meet everyday!! And sometimes we don’t have the phone number either, so it could be ok to just give a little thought!!

  61. You have a point. Although if it can’t be said in person then I would rather have someone tweet it or facebook a happy birthday to me if it can’t be said in person. I’ve also wondered who will update my social networks when I’m dead. But, I guess no one will care anyway if they even really care now.

  62. Pingback: Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. (via Memento Vivere) « Christina Jeanne’s Blog

  63. I don’t actually have FB share my birthday with my so-called ‘friends.’ To me, saying ‘happy birthday’ to someone you never speak to otherwise just because FB told you it’s his/her birthday lacks all emotion and meaning. I think that’s what you’re getting at with preferring to say happy birthday in person instead of online. Going out of your way to personally wish your friend a happy birthday shows that you care.

    My most recent birthday, not a single one of my ‘friends’ remembered without FB telling them. Makes you wonder…

    I agree with much of what mizunogirl said, and probably what others have said, too, but I don’t want to go back and read all 101 comments…

    • Good thoughts Ishana. As I’ve said in previous replies, it’s all about being personal that counts and that interaction with that person is where the meaning or value is held. Thanks for the comment.

  64. Pingback: Counting Blessings: Day 3 | Opal Odyssey

  65. It’s always better in person. FB’s only if you cannot wish him/her in person.

  66. Smile :)
    ninjawiththeorangetshirt.wordpress.com

  67. I also avoid happy birthday comments on facebook, and I’m glad someone feels the same way because most people don’t get it when I try to explain it to them.

    I don’t feel that it’s very personal to add a few ASCII characters to a person’s wall when they already have 50 other people saying the same thing. And when I have 1-3 friends’ birthdays every single day I don’t feel that it’s very personal for me to ritually click and type the same things to each of my friends, either. On the flip side, I also feel impersonal when people write happy birthday on my wall and I haven’t heard from them all year… actually, maybe not since my last birthday…

    However, if you’re going to write Happy Birthday you can at least make it unique and personal. A few people can actually make me laugh with their message, and I’m grateful. Usually, though, I just try to exploit their ritual behavior by changing my Facebook birthday the next day and seeing how many do the same thing again…

  68. Saying happy birthday on facebook is ridiculous! You figure it all out when it’s your birthday and you get however many hundred “HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!” from all of your “friends” who were just so freakin bored they decided to write on your wall.

    Pretty much, those people aren’t my real friends…the ones who say happy birthday in person or send me a card or take the time to post a video on my page, are the real friends who do something a little extra on my “special day” :)

  69. yeah, it all boils down to the thought and not the impersonality of a net message :/

  70. For me wishing someone a Happy Birthday on facebook depends on my relationship with that person…… I would send the birthday wishes via facebook and also on the phone or even have them over for dinner, if that were the relationship I had with that individual.
    If they are in another city and a family member I would send a fb message and call…. If they are an aquaintance , i may not even send them a fb message… Birthdays carry with them all kinds of different socila expectations and as I see it that is no different on fb.
    I take your point though…..sometimes fb birthday messages often times prompted by the computer program are meaningless or at least seem that way to me, the sender, which is probably why I follow up with other things…
    Me the receiver, however ,likes to get those messages…

    • People holding the meaning is the biggest take away of which a lot of the people who have commented get which I highly value. It seems we humans do have the ability to create something create and to also become part of the status quo. Thanks for the comment!

  71. I agree so much! Social media are taking over too much of our daily lives and habits. Internet has helped me to publish books and to keep a well-read blog (mostly in Dutch, sometimes in English), but on the downside of it all, it also became the place where we only communicate in quick/short messages to each other. “Happy birthday” being only one of many.

    I’ll post a link in a new post on my blog referring to yours. It’s important that many people read this.

    Thanks for your post.

    • Good deal Jeroen. It’s fun to see how many people share the same feeling as myself and those who may be wrestling with the same things I was. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.

  72. Well, I say happy birthday to friends when i’m feeling especially nice that day. When I’m feeling super nice I send them a Happy Birthday post on their wall AND add a link http://www.bdayspecials.com – so they can see what free stuff they can get on their birthday. I figure, it’s a virtual gift that acts as a gift certificate! =)

  73. I have a problem. I honestly do not remeber anyone’s birthday- sometimes not even mine…lol..so I love my friendly Facebook reminder…yes, I may not have remembered to send that card (and forget about gifts) but at least that gives me half a chance to get it right… :o)

    • And reminders are a good thing!! Just don’t let the process become automatic and do it without any meaning behind it! Thanks for the comment.

  74. Well said. Like a jaded type happiness. 150 happy birthdays from people reminded by face book.

  75. I agree with you! It’s so much more meaningful to say it in person than via Facebook. Great post!

  76. Gotta embrace change though. Some people have moved from normal sex to phone sex and now webcam sex. Same with other forms of communication. Soon humans will evolve into species with no vocal cords…

  77. At the very least, a pretty thought-provoking post.

    I wonder though…what’s the difference between someone saying happy b-day on FB, and them saying it in an e-mail, over the phone, or in person? Besides the e-mail, I suppose the main distinction is that you might have to keep talking to them. Right? And talking to people takes up time, requires listening, necessitates paying attention, mandates that you express some interest (genuine or not) in that person (allegedly your friend) and what their doing other than acknowledging that “today” happens to be his or her date of birth. Happy day to you! Agggggghhhhhh! It means you actually have to communicate – good ol’ fashioned listening, thinking, and talking.

    How inconvenient? lol Seriously, FB and other social media (like wordpress) are revolutionizing the way people interact. It makes things easier to stay “connected” but also allows someone to stay several steps “removed.” It’s not the same as the good ol’ days. It’s not even like it was a decade ago. In some regards, we’re more connected, but in other ways we’re more distant. Anyway, this is what we have. Plain and simple “happy b-day” comments on our FB walls. Or sometimes we get an occasional “!” from someone who was apparently super excited that it was our b-day.

    Btw, I’m not sure it qualifies (b/c I always have to check the definition of this word) but isn’t it a bit IRONIC (or at least INTERESTING) that you are critical of how social media can be used in an almost disconnected, obligated, passive way from your friends while you have managed to generate some relatively thoughtful AND voluntary comments from strangers who you will probably never ever meet in life AND who probably wouldn’t stop to listen to you speak if you were on a soapbox saying the exact thing you said in your post? Oh the power of Freshly Pressed. lol

    I ramble sometimes…but only online b/c people can’t interrupt me.

    • Mind = Blown. 8) It’s true though that through freshly pressed I’ve meet all of these people including yourself which I may have otherwise not have met. It’s crazy and awesome all at the same time. What has been a little overwhelming is all of the comments and responding to them but I knew that if I didn’t, the conversation wouldn’t happen and thus the topic would just rest at what I wrote which isn’t why I wrote it. I wrote it to see what other people thought and have their voices heard on this issue. Gotta say I’m impressed with how the social media does tend to pick things up and run with them. Thanks for the comment and we’ll see what happens on the blog soon. :)

  78. I like making special e-cards for my friends myself with photos I took. It’s still digital, but it takes more time and I have to put quite a bit of thought and time into it – not as good as being there in person, but that’s not always possible.

  79. I hate how these social-netowrking sites make us devalue the real interactions we have, and emphasize the ones we have online instead! It’s like how now, we don’t even know our neighbors!

    (http://teknophilia.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/long-distance-neighbors/)

  80. Great post! I totally agree. I put fake birthdays on my FB account so that people will be forced to wish me HB more often! And hopefully realize how silly it all is anyway.

  81. I think most FB users will get over it!

    As far as your Twitter account outliving you, I once wrote a story about that from a slightly different perspective:

    http://testazyk.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/what-goes-up-must-come-down.pdf

  82. totally agree with the author.

  83. Agree with you! i used to do it and I quit! It was lame. As this point I will only say the term to my friends who I know.=]

  84. I agree completely, as with most others. People do not remember when you say “happy birthday” to them on facebook, just in person. Just as people with over 1000 friends, does it really even matter? It’s just an ego boost, which is sad in our society.

  85. na-naa! actually you try to mean that facebook messages are showing up, am l right? or let me say…l think like that at least… l seriously dont understand why we have to send msgs on profiles if we see somebody face to face everyday? why people scream their love on profile…or the most l hate is

  86. na-naa! actually you try to mean that facebook messages are showing up, am l right? or let me say…l think like that at least… l seriously dont understand why we have to send msgs on profiles if we see somebody face to face everyday? why people scream their love on profile…or the most l hate is WHY PEOPLE HAVE TO PUT PHOTOS LIKE THEY ARE BEGGING TO HEAR “OH YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL” and did u realise, they really get those messages. (in an old lady voice) lm tired Aaron, lm tired…(l guess ur name :) ),
    ——————–

    http://konusasimvar.wordpress.com

  87. So true! People say Happy Birthday to me on FB and I realized I did not speak to these people in years :)

  88. It’s definitely less personal to say Happy B-Day on Facebook.

  89. I totally agree. If I am close enough to the person, I say Happy Birthday to their face or over the phone. If I’m not, then I dont…

  90. I am with you! I would rather someone call me and wish me a happy birthday or even come party with me instead of FB’ing me. I think the facebook comment would be better if the people remembered the birthday, but FB reminds you TWICE, once with an email at the beginning of the week and once on the day of. I would rather my friends know my birthday instead of having to be reminded.

  91. I like your post. I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I have considered canceling my account completely. I have tried to limit the number of “friends” on Facebook. But you have a very important point which I have thought of myself. These social sites seem to be an easy way for us to be aware of other people’s business without having to make any commitment with them. We can wish anybody happy birthday on Facebook, without having to visit them personally, buy then a gift, or anything else that would make us truly human. I dream of a society where we are not afraid of reaching out to the other person without the fear of rejection or being judged. Facebook is just an artificial way of doing this. Thank you for your post. By the way, I like the theme of your wordpress blog, what is its name? Also, how did you manage to receive 4,000 views? That is truly impressive!!!

  92. Why are you blogging and have you thought about what will happen to this blog too in addition to your twitter account after your days? While writing this up, did you wonder who all would be reading it from across this world?
    I am not a great fan of FB or twitter, but would like to highlight that there have been good and productive use for all these things and even your blog (and wordpress to for that matter).
    Well, its upto us for what we use each of these services.
    BUt well, coming to the specific point of wishing a friend on his birthday, I agree that it definitely deserves to be done in person.

  93. I have to agree that the internet has taken over peoples free time .. although, I also have to admit that its nice for my Facebook friends to take 10 seconds out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday.

    Most of the time I think its hard for people to even remember your birthday unless you talk to them all the time, and therefore, they know its coming up. I know my memory is short =/

    Regardless, great post and congrats on freshly pressed!

    ~Elle

  94. Careful, you’ll end up being called a Luddite! :)

    You should check out Jaron Lanier’s new book, “You are not a Gadget”, see http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Not-Gadget-Manifesto/dp/0307269647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284083934&sr=8-1

  95. If we aren’t close enough to at least have each others phone numbers you are not getting a Happy Birthday from me. Sorry.

    Besides, if I say “Happy Birthday” on FB I feel like the only reason I’m remembering to say it is because of the reminder. In many cases this is true, so I just skip it.

  96. I normally will try to say “Happy Birthday!”, and most people will comment thanks. But some don’t, but It doesn’t bother me. :)

  97. Awesome blog post. I think that social media has some definite advantages, but in terms of relationship building I think it puts distance between people. Thank you for the courage to write about this…

    Sincerely,

    A Facebook Free Blogger.

  98. Glad to know I’m not the only one who feels like this! It’s sad that the more we can keep in touch with the masses, the further we grow apart. Sure, facebook has it’s upsides – but I kind of feel like we’re selling our souls to the devil or something. Like he pulled up beside us in a van offering facebook candy and we all just decided to get in!

    I just finished a post about the same thing almost.

    http://www.dominojames.wordpress.com

  99. It’s true that social media has kept us more in touch, but what is the substance of that connection. Because truly there are only so many hours in the day and so many friendships you can maintain at one time while living your life and feeding yourself mentally and emotionally. Social Networks do not encourage such behavior and before I left the social network scene it had become a parasite to me. And I found that after leaving my friendships not only didn’t decrease in number but increased in substance. I’m not advocating a mass exodus from Facebook but simply suggesting that people speak face to face every once and a while.

  100. Yes, I think that sometimes the “happy birthday’s” can seem a little insincere. I’ve decided that, if I wouldn’t usually say happy birthday to this person in real life; then i probably shouldn’t do it on facebook, it’s unreal and mechanical.

  101. I love the fact that FB consolidates all my contacts’ birthdays. I rarely forget to wish far flung extended family members a wonderful birthday now. That said, I do feel a bit of a dilemma with people I don’t know so well now. However, I figure that just because someone is not as present in your everyday life as they used to be, doesn’t mean they won’t get a buzz from your kind wishes.

    • True Violet; That is the balance I think every person needs to make on their own. I guess best judgement is needed in when to comment or when not to. As an ever popular phrase in the IT world “It depends” seems apt in this context. I know for me, the excitement from it just isn’t there. Thanks for the comment!

  102. I completely agree with you. Although I still say happy birthday to them on FB, and the ones that I do care about I also tell them in person.

  103. Pingback: Why I dont say HAPPY BIRTHDAY FB style « RE done.

  104. Wonderful ! This is a great story and good for my experience.Thank you for your sharing.

  105. Great post! It’s true though, it feels like some people only commenting and like things to validate themselves and not really to get in touch with a friend, especially someone that you don’t usually talk to or aren’t particularly close to. It’s probably why there’s people that have over 700 friends…

    • Well I’m sure those people have 700 friends for self-validation but probably for various other reasons as well. I tend to think that the spill over from the Myspace.com era of “friends” gets used too loosely on facebook. If they had a section for “acquaintances” maybe that would make more sense. Thanks for the comment.

    • l just loved this comment!
      ————————
      http://konusasimvar.wordpress.com/english/

  106. I love your philosophical analysis of this topic . . . I wrote a similar piece a few months ago called Facebook Forensics, and many of my FB friends were not happy! But I think the trend toward socializing primarily online is a dangerous one for our society, so thanks for addressing this….and, oh yea, happy belated birthday!

    • Thanks for the wishes Lisa! 8) It was amazing to see how polarizing this topic was. People mostly were one or the other. Bringing that social awareness though hopefully maybe some of your fb friends think about it a bit more. Thanks for the insight and comment!

  107. I really agree that you should say this in person, but I usually do both.^^

    Voyeurisme, ok maybe, but that’s fun. I find FB really handy in staying above what’s all happening with friends and loved ones! I’m from Canada but living in Belgium now….soooooo!
    I find it quite handy!

    Love your background btw, and congrats on being pressed!^^ How does it feel like?

    • Well to some extent I’d say we all love to look at peoples’ lives from a 3rd party perspective. Akin to people watching at a Starbucks almost, we have this tendency to just want to watch and listen. Facebook seems to take this to the next level which, unto itself is a little creepy. In terms of being freshly pressed, it is overwhelming. Having had almost 8,000+ visitors to my blog in less than 36 hrs + almost 200 comments makes for some busy typing! I believe it also gives me the encouragement that blogging with facts to backup a peek at a subject is really where blogging is going. Done (in my opinion) are the days of the social soapbox and long live the educated bloggers! 8) Thanks again for the comment, I appreciate it.

  108. Pingback: Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. (via Memento Vivere) « Sail to Explore

  109. Good Post! Sometimes the essence is lost, specially if you post or greeted through FB. I would rather greet the celebrant or event personally.

  110. i agree!

  111. couldn’t agree more, the idea of social media is gettin as all together, but in reality we are actually fallin apart. in place of saying happy birthday personally to people and on the phone, we now have made up automated msgs we paste on peoples wall, come’on folks where is the luv……you can visit ma blog on http://www.benawyn.wordpress.com..thanx

  112. Great post. I agree entirely. I actually took it to a whole new level and permanently deactivated my FB account at the end of last year. I realised that I had about 600 friends, half of whom I didn’t really know and the other half I didn’t really like, so it wasn’t a particularly big step for me.

    I always used to get annoyed with birthday notifications. The moment you go over the 100 friend mark, if every one of those friends post a meaningless and generic Happy Birthday on your wall, finding old wall posts because such a pain because they’re hidden beneath a mountain of people trying to make an average birthday message stand out from the crowd and seem like something exceptional, which is impossible to do.

    Also, people would go the entire year without contacting me at all(in real life or online) and then drop my a happy birthday message once a year. Why would they bother? Who do they think they’re trying to fool? It’s like instead of just having the one distant grandmother who only ever calls on my birthday I now have 50.

    • Gets to feel disingenuous at best right Kell? That’s the underpinnings of why I didn’t want to contribute to that pile any longer. As with all people who have deactivated their facebook pages, I’d love to hear more on how thats gone for you. Thanks for the comment.

  113. In the past I didn’t bother to say happy birthday to someone on my Facebook friends list because it seemed kind of silly to say it just because I was auto-reminded. However this year, for a couple of unrelated reasons my birthday was kind of a sad day. When I got home I found lots of messages from friends and former students sending me loving wishes, and it completely changed the timbre of my day. It reminded me that sending someone a hello on their birthday is another way of sending loving energy their way, and that little bit of love can really matter.

    So now I do send birthday wishes to my Facebook friends. I think of something to wish them for their next year of life and send it off with lots of love. We can all use a little of that and I like to do it. Now that I’ve decided what it is I’m sending.

    As for making sure your Facebook status updates and your Twitter entries continue after you’re dead…really?? Talk about being disconnected…

  114. I completely agree with you. But for me, I have friends literally all over the world so it does get kind of hard to talk to them sometimes. I guess social networking has made it way easier to connect with somebody but I don’t like how impersonal that it gets. Some of my contacts have over 1,000 “friends” and I wonder how they keep in touch with everybody and still keep a good enough relationship to call them friends.

  115. First of all, cool post topic. Great one, actually. I agree to an extent, but on the other hand…

    The point of social networking is to keep in touch with people you don’t speak with often, right? I live 2000 miles away from all of my family and 600 miles from most of my closest friends.. it’s a nice reminder to be remembered (okay not ‘remembered’ if it’s told to them via FB)…in this day and age of “im too busy to do anything for anyone else”, i’m pleasantly surprised when anyone takes 2.5 seconds of their life to say happy birthday to someone else.. or anything else really.

    Do you remember when facebook first began? Our “walls” were FULL of stuff written by other people, not by ourselves.. its completely changed.
    I hope someone’s doing a sociological study on this.. I’m sure they are. If not, someone should for sure!

    Cheers –

    http://sociosound.wordpress.com

    • Great point Sociosound. I’d say with the twitter integration, the site has gone from Faceyou to FaceMe in terms of content. Very perspective observation. Thanks for the comment.

  116. As a person with over 200 FB friends and not one birthday wish, I disagree. Even after I posted in my status update: “Going to Predators at 7:45 2nite 4 my Bday any1 in?”
    All it takes is at least a ‘like’ on an update like that. I don’t even care if you don’t show up–which nobody did. Enough is enough. What are we going to do? Just forget about someone completely? Maybe we need an even easier way to express the continued respect for one’s dignity. Maybe an iPhone app that just automatically generates a birthday txt message for people at random times throughout the year. Even a wrongly remembered birthday wish is nice. So…if anyone is interested, I’m hitting up Machete tonight for a belated birthday night out. Anyone in?

  117. I mostly make a phone call to all my friends on thr birthdays. one reason may be that I have very few friends.
    Most of my friends live in other countries.
    Facebook is also a good idea but I guess its a totally different feeling when out of no where a friend arrives at your home or make a phone call to you and wish u happy birthday.
    It makes you feel differently with some real emotions. But on fb you can’t express your real emotions. But still I am not against fb because its also a great way to stay intouch.

    http://irfan989.wordpress.com/

  118. Happy Birthday in any form is nice – in person or on FB. There are people I don’t see in person, but I smiled when I saw the “happy birthday” messages from these people on my wall this year. I’d like to think they felt the same way when I sent them my greetings.

  119. Glad I came across this article when I’ll be celebrating my birthday 6 days from now.

    Admittedly, I’m concerned about the number of greetings I’ll be receiving on my social networking sites. I feared my wall would be barren on that day. See how Facebook has made me shallow and irrational.

    When my review for the board exams started last August, I promised to CYBERNATE i.e no Facebook for 4 mos. One time I cheated and logged in to check for comments and likes, only to find a few. Facebook is sometimes a reminder that nobody really cares. It is up to you to come up with pretty creative self-promotional tactics.

    And that is just plain stupid.

  120. many thanks to your blog. i got good information

  121. I wrote a piece on the study you mention. You might find it interesting:

    Facebook is for Narcissistic people?

    http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/facebook-is-for-narcissistic-people/

  122. Pingback: Thesemarvelousthings's Weblog

  123. Spot on. Social media sites more likely show only the positive facet of ourselves, because, well I guess we’re inherently built that way.

    What bugs me is when some friends actually take it against me when I’m not able to greet them on facebook. Come on. Life is so much more than facebook, people!

  124. I guess if I do it depends on my mood, and if I happen to be on that day.

  125. Pingback: Why I gave up saying “happy birthday” on Facebook. (via Memento Vivere) | Selected Posts

  126. My biggest pet peeve is when I take 10 seconds of my time to wish someone happy birthday individually… only to be “thanked” through an unpersonal Facebook status. Ugh. I stopped wishing people Happy Birthday except for close friends now.

    • Well, that makes sense. It seems that the value (to them at least) has been lost a bit in translation huh? Thanks for the comment.

      • I’ve enjoyed reading this blog and all the comments and insights, and agree with most of them. I found your blog after a mental debate I had with myself about whether to post a ‘happy birthday’ message to someone’s wall. I don’t think I will – as I have decided I’d be doing out of a sense of guilt, of fear of expectation and because everyone else has done it. I have a love hate relationship with Facebook, it is narcissitc and voyeuristic – and I am just as fallible to that too – but I have to keep alert to the fact. But it is good for keeping in touch with people when you are overseas – that is when I enjoyed using Facebook and it had a lot of value to me. Now I am back home I have nothing interesting to tell my ‘friends’ but still end up checking my home page every 5 mins, in case I miss anything that anyone else has posted, or ‘liking’ something etc. I also became more acutely aware of my own social media behaviour after reading some insights from authors such as Jesse Rice. Cheers…

  127. this is a moral struggle, so much larger than birthdays… birthdays by themselves are a small form of social networking… a birthday is simply the day one is born… nothing special about it to be celebrated each and every year. the same way, your thoughts are natural to you… it does not need to be revealed and ooh-aahed over, by people who are not necessarily ‘your friends’, but on your ‘friends list’

  128. Great Post..facebook can make it peoples addicted..so becarefull

  129. nice reading…. and the comments too…. i realized that if you really care people whom you love donot rely on FACEBOOK to show your feelings……. because there are people who love facebook birthday post and others who love phone calls, private message and cards…. so choose the best one for you based on your friends nature….

  130. I’ve given up facebook all together. I feel like people are getting to comfortable with the facebook world and would rather leave a message on facebook then talk to the person in real life.

  131. Nice read and agreed…some things are better said in person! Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  132. Agree with you whole heartedly…

    sadly, hand-written cards/notes are going EXTINCT! When, they are the nicest to recieve, by far. :-(

  133. I too have stopped saying happy birthday, for the most part, on facebook. the reason is that every one else does it.
    However, I still want to recieve all the birthday greetings I can on my birthday… I need the attention to feel loved.(even if it is superficial) Hope people don’t keep track of who did and didn’t wish them a happy birthday like sending christmas cards to only those who sent you one last year,or my wall will be empty on november 16th.

  134. I agree that we should take time to give actual cards or say “happy birthday” in person. However, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to say it on facebook in addition to saying it in a more personal manner.

    http://joshsuds.wordpress.com

  135. Thank you for putting this content here. It is purely informative, especially for me.

  136. So I guess I’m not alone in thinking this.

  137. 100% agreed. I’ve never said it on Facebook due to the artificialness of it all. On my birthday I receive birthday tidings from close friends, acquaintances, and people who I actively dislike, and who actively dislike me. So why bother?

    If you didn’t know better you wouldn’t know the difference between the people I’ve known my whole life and someone I’ve barely spoken two words to. But there’s not many of them because I don’t like ‘friends’ I don’t know. But that’s a whole different matter…

    God I hate Facebook.

  138. Pingback: Operation: Life Clean-Up « The past to the present

  139. Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

  140. …But yet you share this message through the very method you disapprove of.

  141. People don’t call me or leave me a facebook Happy Birthday. I also took down my birthdate because I figure they are to busy to care anyway. I agree you should at least give somone a call, don’t be lazy. By the way try not to have your kids near a Holiday…

  142. I love the bit at the end about your twitter feed, I have a pretty dark sense of humor.

    • Well ironically, with Hootsuite I can now schedule a CRON job on my Linux server to send a “tweet” after I’m dead. I’m sure I won’t be the first person to do it, nor will I be the last. The trick is, coming up with enough compelling tweets to be worthwhile post-death.

  143. I’m not too great about remembering birthdays so I use birthdayFB. It let’s you pre-schedule happy birthday fb wall posts. http://bityhdayfb.com

  144. There’s a free fb web app that let’s you pre-schedule happy birthday wall posts so you don’t forget your friends birthdays. It’s called birthdayFB. You can use it at http://birthdayfb.com

  145. Hi, you can wish your facebook friend’s birthday automatically by using the application http://www.fumes.me , which takes your friends list and send it as send by you in his/her wall. FEEL the feature of sending different birthday messages to each friends. http://www.fumes.me

  146. Love this! I get so riled up about how big of a stink people make over their ‘special day’ that I make a bigger more stink back. I was looking around the web seeing if anyone had the same experience as my husband does with this brother. His borther is now 43 and acts like he’s 5 and thinks his birthday is a national holiday. My husband is 29 and has to talk to him like he’s a little kid. He leave messages like this on our phones every year. This year it was…”Uh. Just wondering if you know what day it is? You probably don’t care or give a rats ass, just like eveyone else…but, it was my Birthday yesterday. I just haven’t heard from you and wondered if you still cared. I bought some cake a ice cream if you want to come over and have some. Well, I don’t know, you’re lactose intolerant so that’s probably a good reason for you not to acknowledge me. If you decide to come over, I’ll be here, probably alone since I have no one that wants to go out today. Have a good day I guess.” WTF!! He’s so rude about it and so persistant it got to the point where my husband had to tell him he doesn’t care. He’s yelled at him and one time (out of many times). He’s told him, which I also believe fully….No one ever wishes US a happy birthday! And you know what? I DON’T CARE! It’s not fair for soemone to act like an asshole because someone doesn’t say Happy Birthday! It’s an obligation I’m not willing to put on people’s shoulders. YOU’RE HOW OLD? You know what I do on my birthday? I wake up, go to work, make dinner, birthday sex if I’m not tired then go to bed. Big whoop!! My sister does this every year too. We work together and she knows when I work. I can never make it to her stupid parties. I hate birthday parties any way! She was being really rude to me about her birthday this January and I told her…”If anyone cared about your birthday, they’d throw you a party! You don’t do it for yourself and expect everyone to come!” If felt really bad about saying that. It was kind of rude, but that’s how I felt! Any who…I could keep going, but I won’t I will just say more rude things.

  147. well written, I think this thing is making us more dependent. who is doing what, learning what, recent trips, a showcase of talent and skills etc, depicts a sense of loneliness of an individual, resulting into sense self promotion. I think people have started taking FB more seriously in a sense of building their image and way people should see them. But still i believe FB has positive side upto some extent, not beyond it.

  148. I simply am going to keep track of the ones who DID wish me a Happy Birthday and return the favor on theirs….Those who didn’t,I’ll snub them,too!

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