Birthdays (And Friendships) And Facebook – Part 2

May 18, 2013

There are so many great cartoons that come up in a Google image search for "Facebook birthdays," I can't even use them all over 2 posts!
There are so many great cartoons that come up in a Google image search for “Facebook birthdays,” I can’t even use them all over 2 posts!

Picking up from yesterday –

So, I took that status down probably within the hour I put it up. Instead of feeling special, I was just feeling annoyed. No one cared that I implored them not to write on my Facebook – even to the point of blocking everyone from writing on my wall. They all just commented on the very status asking them not to.

I am not as great at birthdays as I’d like to believe I am. I actually do keep some birthdays in my actual calendar, ’cause it will always be important to me to know people’s birthdays for some other reason than Facebook told me so.

I am usually pretty good about calling someone or at least sending a text on their birthday. (And obviously, even those are not the best options. I should be sending cards!)

But just as I’ve already mentioned getting lazy and Facebook posting about other life events, it can’t surprise me that it’s happened with people and birthdays.

I’m making an active effort to change my behavior now that I’m really noticing it. But, the world is how it is, Facebook is how it is, and we are how we are.

I can’t expect everyone else to mold around the way I like things to be done. And – what I believe to possibly be an underlying point to these posts – I can’t expect anything that I don’t give.

The truth is, as much as I like to try to remember other people’s birthdays, I don’t remember a very long list of people’s birthdays. So, if I’m not sending a million cards/leaving a million messages, how can I expect that to happen to me on my birthday?

FB people only remember your posted birthdayBut, talking for a moment more on why it’d be so great if we did all get better at it… You know something else about birthday messages? When people say nice things to me, I usually like to keep them if I can. I might save an old sweet voicemail to listen to again every once in a while. I have a scrapbook of cards and things from high school.

If people make the effort to say something nice to me, I try to hold onto it if I can, so later I can get that same warm fuzzy feeling from it when I reminisce about it.

It’s hard to keep something someone says on Facebook. Things get lost on a busy wall (which is one reason why I try to clean out old stuff I post on mine so it doesn’t get so overwhelming).

And even if you take a screenshot of something nice – it’s always going to be a screenshot from Facebook. (And the only thing I’ve ever felt when I see the layout of that website is “I don’t care you about you.”)

But that’s really what Facebook is… a place for people who don’t really care about you. Maybe some of them do, but for the most part, you’re a blip on those people’s radars (or at least that’s how I feel there).

Making peace with the fact that it is a place for acquaintances and superficial friendships – I have put June 25th back on my profile. (And I haven’t blocked people from writing on my wall this time.)

This year, instead of getting upset if no one calls me, I’m going to accept what Facebook is. I’ll take the superficial happy birthday wall posts.

Since I’m removing all expectations, and setting the bar so low that I’m just throwing it on the ground; I might even actually crack a smile about a wall post if some person I knew a long time ago (or barely got to know, but really liked), says happy birthday. It may only take 5 seconds, but at least it’s 5 seconds they gave me.

(Or at least that’s what I say now. But I would bet money that I don’t keep this attitude, and I get too annoyed to keep my birthday up there before that day is over (and possible before the day starts).

FB cartoonAnd if I’m really upset that no one cares it’s my birthday, I should:

a) be happy that no one really cares about a random day, and keep working hard to make my own special days with projects that are important to me.

b) work much harder to make people feel special – send more cards, remember more things, and be a better friend. You won’t always get back what you give, but you’ll almost never get back something you don’t give (and even if you did, it’s so much better when it’s reciprocal).

So, I guess let’s all just be better friends to each other until it’s a never-ending loop of giving. Yeah?

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?