Admit it. You like logging on to Facebook on your birthday and seeing dozens upon dozens of messages. "Happy Birthday!" "Hope it's a good one!" "HBD!" Even if you haven't talked to these people since middle school, it makes you feel special, being showered with all that attention. And then later on, after you've given all your "friends" ample time to wish you well, you carefully craft a status update that will properly (and cleverly) convey your gratitude. You don't want to just say: "Thanks for the birthday wishes!" Everyone says that. So you come up with something original(ish). "Aw, shucks, you sure know how to make a gal feel special." Okay, not that. That's awful. But something along those lines.
And that's your Facebook birthday.
This year was the first in a long time that I didn't have a Facebook birthday, being that I quit a few months ago. And things went so much differently than I had expected.
I thought most people would forget my birthday. One of the greatest things about Facebook is it's a de facto birthday reminder. The most organized and efficient of people can throw their little birthday calendar thingies out the window when they're on Facebook. All they have to do is log on to see who was born when.
I had an old school birthday this year -- texts and even a few phone calls. I was surprised, flattered, that all the important people in my life remembered it was the day I was born. Yes, yes, I know important people in your life should remember your birthday, but let's get real -- everyone's busy doing nothing these days (including myself). Remembering birthdays isn't easy.
Not being on Facebook and still receiving bday love helped make my birthday, which was my most low key yet (hi, mom now), also one of the best yet. My sister, daughter, and I went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and at no point during the day did I feel a nagging feeling to check Facebook to see who wrote on my wall. I kind of hate this phrase, but it's apropos, so I'm using it: I was in the moment. And every text and phone call I received was like a little surprise. Oh, well, thank you! Kind of you to think of me! To be totally forthcoming, there was even a point in the day when I forgot it was my birthday. Waiters and waitresses gathered 'round a nearby table at the Factory and sang "Happy Birthday" to an older man. "Ha. Another birthday," my sister said. "Why? Whose birthday is it?" I asked, momentarily forgetting. True story.
So, what's the moral of the story here? Not exactly sure, despite having just written 450 words, but I will say this: I liked not having a Facebook birthday this year. It actually made the day more special. And as I've said in the past, I'm glad I decided to quit. No disrespect to the people who are still on and enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.
And if I ever change my mind and have a sudden desire to go back, all I have to do log right in. I didn't delete my account, I just deactivated it. Totally different.
Do you like having a Facebook birthday?
Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber