The month of April means one thing to me: birthday month. Since I tend to be a closet narcissist, I was thinking a lot about my birthday. Not because I would be another year older, but because I was thinking about who would be writing on my Facebook wall. How many notifications would I be bombarded with (maybe I am a not-so-closet narcissist…), and what skeletons from my closet would emerge with a “happy birthday” post on my wall after years of not speaking?
This got me thinking…How has the idea of a birthday evolved with the advancement in social media?
Back in the day, I was a master at birthday perfection. I was known for always picking out the PERFECT present and I would never forget the special day of a close friend. I should have gotten trophies for the amount of times I dominated in Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I had all of my friend’s birthdays memorized and I never forgot one. I may be a closet narcissist, but I ultimately care most about my friends, and ensuring that they have the best day ever. Gift-giving is one of my favorite past times. The feeling that I get when I see a friend’s eyes light up with each tear of glittery paper is one the best feelings in the world.
Flash forward. These days I am horrible at birthdays. I can not even remember the last time I put on a party hat. Perhaps it is the fact that I am busier than I was in my younger years, but lately I have been blaming this bad habit on Facebook Birthday notifications.
Since the invention of Facebook Birthday notifications, I dismissed the fact that I need to remember the birthdays of my friends because Facebook always reminds me. I log in, look to the sidebar, see that 3 people have a birthday today, and send them the proper “Happy birthday _____ have a GREAT day!” etc, etc. Then I forget about it.
Facebook takes away the awkwardness out of forgetting someone’s birthday. But in my opinion, it also takes away the specialization and personal touch of birthday yesteryear. Due to Facebook birthday notifications, I noticed that I commonly forget to give the perfect gift (one of my BEST qualities) as a result of becoming too reliant on reminders. Out of nowhere, the birthday of a best friend pops up. Since I am so accustomed to wishing happy birthday to mere Facebook acquaintances, I forget the more important birthdays of closer companions. The special feeling is lost.
Not everything about Facebook birthday notifications is bad. Lets be honest, the most important aspect about birthdays is recognizing that you are loved and remembering that others care about you. Getting a post from a person who I have not talked to recently and knowing they still care is heart-warming. It is great to reconnect with old friends. For me, it is so easy to forget about people who I do not see on a daily basis. One of the best parts about Facebook is catching up with them.
Yet overall, I noticed a change in the way that I treat birthdays as a result of dependence on social media. Maybe I am becoming more forgetful! I did find a gray hair…As for now, I will blame my reliance on birthday reminders.
What do you think?