Birthday Wishes on Facebook Are Lame!

May I vent for a moment? (What’s a blog for if not to vent.)

Social media is a useful tool and I’ve reconnected with many friends (and random people I don’t care about) on Facebook. But I’ve had it with the Facebook birthday wishes.

Back in the day, when you wanted to wish a friend good tidings on his/her birthday you had to buy a card and/or make a phone call.

Now all you have to do is sign on to Facebook and move an eyeball to the right corner of the page and your computer will spoon-feed you the birthdays of all your “friends.”

I started thinking about the unspoken hierarchy of ways to offer birthday wishes and came up with this:

Personal visit  (Rare but special and may or may not involve gift-giving.)

Phone call (Personal and requires time, effort and thought.)

Mailing a card  ( You thought about your friend ahead of time and like him/her enough to do an extra errand to buy a card and a stamp.)

Sending an email  (You didn’t think ahead but did remember on your own and want to send a personal message tailored to the receiver.)

Sending an e-card   (For last-minute-Charlie’s who forgot to send a card but want to acknowledge you. At least they took the time to join Blue Mountain and pick those cute cartoon dancing animals. )

Posting on Facebook wall  (For any schmo you’ve known since grammar school, or worked with 5 years ago, or see at your kids’ school events, who has a finger to click a mouse.)

Facebook birthday wishes take no thought at all. In fact, most Facebook wishes probably happen because that person was already on Facebook inappropriately flirting with an ex, posting flattering self-portraits, or promoting something (I plead guilty to that) and saw the birthday reminder on the home screen and deemed you worthy of a shout out.

As a policy, I don’t wish people happy birthday on Facebook because I don’t want to be one among scores of people piling on, and I prefer to send my salutations in a more personal way.

For those of you who want to hollah at me on my special day, I beg you to send me an email or give me a call. Don’t wish me a happy birthday on Facebook and think that if it’s followed by three exclamation points instead of one, I’ll know you really care.

Plus then I’ll have to send a big , fake “Thank you! I feel the love!” to all the slackers who contributed to the birthday comments. I hate that.

The best gift you could get me (but not til next April) would be to comment on my blog. Then I’ll know you care enough to read the very best.

10 responses to “Birthday Wishes on Facebook Are Lame!

  1. so so true, and i worry that people don’t talk (speak with a voice) to each other. texts can be clever but do not allow for a robust exchange of ideas. And in the extreme, “conversation” might become a quaint reference in a future dictionary. oh no!! .

  2. Right on … although you have to admit that this world has become so hyper and stressful that even finding time to click on a box and type “Happy Birthday, Brooke”, without making one or two typos and not noticing them, is actually quite a feat! I’m only half kidding.

    I grew very frustrated about it, but at the same time, I love my friends, and I do feel good when they think of me, even if it’s anecdotal. I’m an entrepreneur, so, I created a tool that could help to get half way to the solution of this conundrum.

    It’s a Facebook app that sends an email reminder when it’s your friend’s birthday and let you send wishes with quotes, videos or images.

    I know … sound pretty standard and boring … what’s the big deal with that you say?

    Well first, your friends would have to make the explicit effort to select you as a recipient for the email reminder (the app is very different from your usual spam machine, far from it … you receive emails only for friends you select, otherwise, no reminder email). That counts. Second they will be able to plan ahead as we can also (if they choose so) send reminders weeks in advance. Third, they will have to choose something meaningful when sending their wishes and not the average lame “Happy Birthday, Brooke” message. They can pick quotes from authors who are born the same day as you, or nice images, or videos. They can even decide to find a real gift (from Amazon) for you based on what you like. Overall, it unleashes their creativity as they can do a lot more than simple words while spending a minimal amount of time.

    As a bonus, the app lets you do a comment on *all* your friends posts on your wall at once 🙂 so you don’t spent too much time thanking those lazy friends with their lazy comments.

    And yep, it’s free. Check it out here:

  3. hahaha! This is hilarious and totally true! (Although I do admit it makes me feel popular that day). Yes I admit it!!! Meantime, I’m off to go wish my “friends” a FB happy birthday! I see there are three of them….LMAO

  4. I care enough to read the very best even when it’s August.! I’ll save my bday wishes until April.

  5. Brave and hilarious

  6. You could be the new Miss Manners!

  7. So young and pretty to be so cynical. I’ll make sure to add special [[hugs]] when it comes time.

  8. Erik Rydholm

    Happy Birthday, Brooke!!!

  9. Jackie Klein

    Terrific last line. You are so clever. And may I be the first to wish you a happy birthday.