Having recently celebrated a birthday, I’ve made some interesting observations about the effect Facebook has had on how birthdays are noted. This leads to a taxonomy of Facebook users’ approaches to birthdays:
The wisher junkie logs on to Facebook every day and wishes happy birthday to all of their FacebookFriends(TM), no matter
how well they know them. They are the main reason birthday wishes comprise some 3.5% of all Facebook posts. The extreme wisher junkie does this just after midnight so they can be the first person to post on the wall.
The exhibitionist celebrator writes glowing tributes to their spouse/parent/close-relative-or-friend/pet on their own wall, on the occasion of the other person’s birthday or other milestone. Sometimes, they might also tag that person, if that person is indeed on Facebook.
The secret wisher prefers to convey their wishes more discreetly via a private message rather than on the wall. This could be because they realize it’s the equivalent of shouting it from the rooftops, and it’s visible by all of the recipients FacebookFriends(TM) in perpetuity. Because Facebook reminds them about birthdays, they still do this for many of their FacebookFriends(TM) even though they would never wish them happy birthday otherwise.
The subversive deliberately doesn’t post birthday wishes on anyone’s wall because they would never do so if not for Facebook. Because they don’t bother to segment all their FacebookFriends(TM) into categories and don’t want to offend anyone, they would rather not post any birthday wishes on principle, than risk getting into strife for only wishing some people and not others.
The traditionalist uses Facebook as a reminder tool for birthdays, but then sends a TXT or e-mail only to their RealFriends(TM), and never using Facebook wall or messaging.
Which one are you? Share this post with your friends and tell them!