People Who Don’t Like Social Media Must Not Like Birthdays Either

11 Jun

Thursday was my birthday.

Maybe you heard me mention it once or twice.

Not that I’d ever avoid the Day of All Days, but these days, when it’s your birthday, you couldn’t even if you tried.

In my case, it started Wednesday afternoon, when the first person posted birthday wishes on my Facebook wall. I got a handful of other posts that day from people who saw the other posts and thought they had somehow forgotten what day it was.

Someone even called me that night because she saw the posts and felt awful that she almost missed the day.

And then, just after midnight, the first day-of wish was posted on Facebook.

When I woke up in the morning, I had a couple dozen more on my wall. And by day’s end, I’d received more than 175 birthday greetings on my Facebook wall — one-off posts and comments on things I’d posted.

They were from people from all walks of life: Former coworkers, industry colleagues, college classmates, high school classmates, USY friends, camp friends, family, friends of my family … people I’ve seen or been in touch with recently, and others I’d not heard from in years.

On Twitter I received a few greetings as well — some from people I know offline, and a couple from folks I’ve never met in real life, including someone in Israel.

I tell you this not to brag. (Really.)

Rather, it’s to point out how much better birthdays are now because of social media.

In years past, we’d get a few calls or emails or cards on our birthday. If you were like me, you’d take mental notes about who remembered, and who didn’t. It was fine, but part of it kinda sucked, because there were always people we wanted to hear from who didn’t come through.

Nowadays, we get a tidal wave of people wishing us happy birthday. Every few seconds, if you have an iPhone, you’re notified that someone else posted to your wall. And many of those people are likely to be friends you haven’t heard from in some time, but who still want to wish you well.

It’s really amazing.

And sure, Facebook makes it insanely easy for people to wish you happy birthday — or HBD, or whatever — by telling you it’s someone’s day and giving you a comments field right there to type in. A cynic might take that point-of-view and dismiss the whole thing.

But it’s not so much what they’re writing, and it’s not so much that they’re being prompted to do so.

It’s more about the sheer number of greetings we get — greetings from the next cube over or from around the world. You get a whole lotta love.

Birthdays are simply more fun now thanks to social media.

I may not like everything Mark Zuckerberg does to Facebook, but birthdays he got right, almost from the very beginning.

(One side note: Thanks to all those birthday messages, it’s hard not to see a jump in your Klout score, as I did. My score went up more than a full point thanks to all those birthday greetings. Not that I care about such things, but it’s still kinda cool, and it’s another reason to love getting wished happy birthday so often.)

And yes, it’s worth noting that I did get a fair number of cards, phone calls, texts, and emails on my birthday. And I did go out and celebrate with people offline too.

But my new favorite thing to say is that if you don’t like social media, then you must not like your birthday either. Because it’s hard not to like social media when it shows you so much love on your special day.

3 Responses to “People Who Don’t Like Social Media Must Not Like Birthdays Either”


  1. Could You Ever Quit Social Media Cold Turkey? « Martin's Musings - August 21, 2012

    […] all, I don’t think I could quit social media so easily, and I don’t think I’d want to. From birthdays on Facebook to just the everyday usage of Twitter, social media adds much to my life. And that’s not […]

  2. What a Year for a New Year « Martin's Musings - December 31, 2012

    […] I had a great birthday. […]

  3. I Love Social Media. Here Are 50 Reasons Why | Martin's Musings - February 13, 2015

    […] 11. Birthdays […]

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