A MinD in MoTown

What was life like before Facebook?
January 26, 2009, 11:28 am
Filed under: Facebook consumes my life, Such a quandry

It’s a Friday morning and you just got into work. As you browse through your emails – no doubt filled with junk mail about enlarging your penis, even if you don’t possess one – and sip on that mocha latte you nabbed from your local Starbucks, your fingers type in that one web address you undoubtedly check every single day: www.facebook.com.

Thanks to the stalker beloved news feed, you quickly peruse through those “friends” who have changed their photo or declared via the Internets that their relationship has ended, again. And then you’re confronted with a dilemma …

On the righthand side, listed under today’s events and birthdays, she is listed. That girl whose name you recall, but, without the aid of Facebook, whose face would be little more than a blurry image. The girl who you had two classes with sophomore year of college and hit the gym with on a regular basis, but spoke to rarely outside the confines of class schedules. The same girl you once confided in as you walked from class to the cafe, but haven’t actually spoken to since creative writing ended that warm May day nearly three and a half years beforehand.

… Do you wish her a happy birthday? Even though you’re nearly convinced the last Facebook interaction you had was a drunken comment two years ago asking “howw the hell r ya?” – which she may or may not have answered – do you suck it up and wish her well? Although the two of you have become little more than aquaintances, if that, would it kill you to wish her the best on this particular day of the year?

At what point do you stop dishing out cold, empty birthday salutations to people you would utter little more to than a “hey, how ya doing” if you bumped into them on the street? Do you write a comment on their wall each year just to be nice, or cease your bday correspondence once you stop actually seeing the person on a regular basis?

Is there even a clearly defined answer to this?

I’m certainly thinking there isn’t, but I somewhat wish there was. I always feel silly writing “Happppy Birthdayyy!” on someone’s wall then going to “wall-to-wall” only to realize that they didn’t do the same for me and the last comment between us was yet another “Happppy Birthdayyy” 365 days ago. (Not going to lie, I’ve deleted my birthday salutations a few times when I noticed that was the case…) On that same note, if someone wishes me well that one day of the year and I realize I didn’t do the same for him/her, I feel a bit guilty.

Clearly, I’m thinking way more into this than necessary – seriously, I get that – but is this really something not all of us have pondered at some point? If not, I’m betting next time you see a long-lost friend pop up on Fbook with an upcoming birthday, these thoughts will cross your mind, if only briefly. And yes, you’ll have me to thank for that … which you can do by wishing me a Happy Birthday on July 15. Presents are welcome. Start saving now.

8 Comments so far
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This is the story of my life. I never know what to do in this situation. My birthday was this month and I received birthday wishes from people I would’ve never guessed would write on my wall. So yes, I agree, there is no answer, but I wish there were. In the meantime, I’ll just stick with saying happy birthday to the people I think will say happy birthday back. It’s what I feel most comfortable with, I think.

That’s pretty much what I do. Why dish out happy bdays to those who won’t say the same to you, right?

Comment by Akirah

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s one of those mysteries of life. I ‘friended’ a high school friend, and when her birthday arrived, I wrote on her wall. We’ve still not “caught up” from high school. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but now when my birthday comes along (in November), if she doesn’t write on my wall, then screw her. I’m done. 😉

I’ve had people ‘friend’ me who graduated years after and probably heard my name once. I barely know them. It’s whatever though.

Comment by verybadcat

Life before facebook? Such a thing existed?

I try and keep touch with people, however obvious it is that I am better off not trying against futility. I have people, mostly people I knew back in high school or middle school, who I only talk to to wish them a happy birthday but I (like you) would probably feel guilty if I don’t.

Considering I’ll be at a camp helping midgets little peo– high schoolers with their writing I hope you can make do with facebook/twitter love and well wishes.

This reminds me that I’ve seriously neglected facebook in lieu of test and work craziness. Need to correct that soon.

Life did exist before Fbook, but I can’t remember it for anything!!

Comment by Kendall

We are not Facebook friends so I will not be wishing you a Happy Birthday.

So Happy Birthday in advance. Don’t forget.

And why aren’t we Fbook friends anyway? Hm? Hm???

Comment by rs27awesome

As a Facebook holdout I’m woefully ill equipped to offer any witty comments.

Happy b-day, in advance

Well thanks. Why are you holding out on Facebook? Give in already. The rest of the world – sans people over 80 years old – have. It’s about damn time.

Comment by [F]oxymoron

Oh yeah, I do this w/EVERY bday I encounter. If they aren’t really good friends, should I write? Then, on the flip side, if they are, do I write? Even if I’m with them on the bday? I did that this weekend. I happy bday’d a friend in person at midnight then woke up the next day and fbooked them birthday wishes…it’s a compulsion, I think.

I almost always write it on someone’s wall even if I’m with them on their birthday. I don’t know why. Hm. Maybe so I’m “kewl” and not left out?

Comment by stealthnerd

Im starting to hate facebook. Honestly.

All of these stupid fucking requests to join stupid causes. People need to quit it.

Don’t blame Fbook. Maybe it’s just your friends you hate? ‘Cause I never getting requests to join causes…

Comment by Matt

My birthday’s in late June. I’ll be accepting “Happy Birthdays” starting tomorrow.

We Cancers have to stick together on this issue.

Is today tomorrow? I’ll go right over to your blog and wish you a happy happy.

Comment by Arjewtino

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