Birthdays in the age of Social Media

Remember the days when people would call you to greet you a Happy Birthday? Or sometimes visit you and bring a small token? Maybe a bit later, send you a pager message or a text message? Now, in the age of Social Media, people post on your wall, or tweet you. You rarely get texts, and rarer still – a phone call! Extinct are home visits, unless you have a party.

I think it is a cool thing. To have your Facebook page deluged with greetings. Even if the only reason they know is because Facebook reminded them. Is that bad? I think it’s funny when people take out their birthday notification to see who their real friends are – those who remember when their birthday is. Why cause yourself undue pain? With so many things going on, and with technology so part of our life – we hardly have the brain power to remember things anymore.

In College, I would know all the pager numbers, cell phone numbers, birthdays, addresses, and even home numbers of my friends. I knew my appointments and schedule by heart. Now, I can hardly remember any. I have to have it recorded in my phone, or in my planner. Or else I would forget it. Maybe that’s a dumbing down, or maybe it is creating space for new things to occupy our brains.

Anyway, I get a kick when my birthday comes along. I love getting all the wall posts and comments. The tweets and +1s. The text messages. And sometimes I get surprised with that cellphone call, maybe even a landline call. And once in a while, we get a visitor bringing food. What a treat!

In this age of social media, everyone has a chance to remember you that one special day of the year. And that makes the world a better place for you especially on your birthday. And hey, it’s also a chance for you to thank people. They are supposedly your friends.

So instead of birthday, maybe in this day and age, it can be your friendship-conversation-re-connect day. 🙂

It’s my 37th today. And it has so far been the most interconnected one yet. Thanks, friends.

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