After a little while, we got organized and made a little page where we could all keep track of where we were. Which, actually was a challenge back then. Not many were stationary for too long. Addresses, emails, phones, birthdays. Ah, birthdays.
On the day of your birthday, you could expect a whooosh of birthday wishes. Some funny, some sincere. It was awesome if you were on the receiving end. But then there were days when you forgot to check the boards. Maybe even a few days. Maybe you were even away from your computer for (don't faint) something like a whole week.
And then you came back and wow. Great. You find you are the one sole person who didn't wish someone a happy birthday. Awesome. And then there were other days when, you know, maybe you didn't feel like wishing a particular person a happy birthday. Not because you didn't like them, but because you didn't know them as well as others and maybe by being so effusive in your wishes to them it might make your really sincere wishes to other people seem less sincere....It got to the point where I hated birthdays. Anybody's. Because I felt like I HAD to say something. Or else be the dick. No one wants to be a dick.
So now, everyone in the world, or at least those that can see your profile, see your birthday. And now, remembering someone's birthday isn't an accomplishment, isn't a pat yourself on the back because you remembered to pop the card in the mail. (With stamp. Bonus.) It's this thing you HAVE to do. Because you have no excuse. How could you forget someone's birthday when its right there up in the top corner of your screen, maybe even emailed to you. When I get those notices I cringe. Like, what are you, my mom?
As you probably know, I'm not a big fan of social obligations. I want to do things for people because I WANT to do them. I want people to do things for me because they feel the same. Not because they have to, not because some computer dinged at them. I mean, sure, it's awesome to get the pages full of FB wishes. Who doesn't dig that?
Wait. Maybe some of you don't. Does anybody not like them? Anyone see it as flotsam? Ok, fess up, anyone out there with fake birthdays listed to sort through the real friends and the FB friends? I know one or two people in real life who do.
In a strange and roundabout way here, I'm trying to get a handle on social media etiquette. Me, my brother, my mom. All Taurus. All with birthdays this week.
- If I send my mom a card and a little gift do I have to post on her wall too?
- If I text my brother first thing in the morning, am I a jerk for not also publicly blessing the day he was born on his page?
- If I do post on someone's wall, does that relieve me from any other birthday obligations?
- Are you bothered if you expect someone to post on your wall and they don't?
- If you can't see someone in person, if you could only have one, which would you rather have for your birthday? Card? Call? Text? Wall post? Shout out on the twitter?
- What do you prefer to give?