web analytics

Birthdays are awesome. A day worth celebrating, no matter how young or old you are.

I like celebrating, and birthdays are just another reason to pull out the good cheer, the happy faces, the friends, and oh yeah, the cake and ice cream 😀

Birthday candlesPut another candle on the birthday cake!

Facebook makes it really easy to wish your FB friends a happy day by listing the people with birthdays in the sidebar of your timeline; that is, FB will list them if your friends have listed the date in their own profiles. I like to wish people a happy day on their day so I try to do that whenever a birthday appears. I miss a few, ok, I probably miss a bunch of people, but I try. It’s the thought that counts, right?

But I’ve learned, the “awkward” way, that it would be a good idea if I do some checking to make sure the person I’m wishing happy birthday to is still alive, or even still the gender I knew them as when we became FB friends. If that sounds confusing, it is. Imagine my surprise when a FB friend I’ve been celebrating via the internet every year has actually passed on to the Great Beyond! Three years ago! And imagine the look on my face when I discovered that the man I met and became FB friends with back in 2009 has been a woman for the past couple of years. Now, I admit I have friends I don’t keep up with every day, obviously, but I didn’t think I was that far out of the loop!

Right here, I guess I could clarify what a “Facebook friend” means to me. I have FB friends that are people I’ve known “in real life” for days, years, decades, and friends that I’ve never actually met because maybe they were friends of friends, or they were people that were part of a start-up company that I also was affiliated with and we friended each other up all over the place, literally hundreds (thousands?) of us all over the planet, or maybe once upon a time, long, long ago, we played a FB game together. I like reading nice positive stuff on my page and as long as our feeds have nice positive things on them (or we post cute puppy and kitten videos), I’ll keep the FB friends I have.

Obviously I don’t check other people’s pages often enough if I’m finding that people have moved on to their next adventures, and sometimes have done so by a year or two, or four.  So now, I’ve started checking out their FB pages, scrolling down a bit to make sure I’ve gotten the gist of their current lives, before I just post a cheery Happy Birthday greeting as I’ve done in the past.

happy birthdayAnd here’s where another dilemma creeps in: what do I say when I find that I’ve been such a slacker that I missed these momentous occasions in my FB friends’ lives? I mean, do I wish condolences three years after someone has passed on? Do I say congrats on someone’s new identity? Do I just ignore it and move on? I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t know!

It really depends on the situation. I guess it could be called a “situational response”: the response depends on the situation.

So many different situations; so many different responses.

All I can say is this: I’m trying to be a better FB friend to my FB friends, surprises or no. I’m trying to be more sensitive to what is happening (or has already happened, as the case may be) in my FB friends’ lives.

At least, as far as wishing Happy Birthday goes 😀

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Ella's 4th brithday celebration
Happy birthday today, Ella!
Surprise! Wishing HBs on FB
Tagged on:             

4 thoughts on “Surprise! Wishing HBs on FB

  • February 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Very well said! I had never thought of that, but I suppose if I were to wish a person Happy Birthday that has passed or changed genders, I would plead insanity at the time and then continue on. Not really, but sometimes we don’t know who passes or who changes their lives in different ways. We can only go on the information we have and if by chance, it has changed and we were not informed or we did not think to check the recent pages then we just admit that we haven’t kept on top of everyone’s pages and that we really had no idea. I don’t think that is bad, I think that it is just life. In the end, those who are our friends, whether they are just Facebook friends, life long friends, or just friends, they know that we always mean well and that we love them no matter what and that our lives get busy and we do the best we can! Situational responses are the best response there is! Now that is my story and to take your phrase: “I’m sticking to it”! You are the best Lois and we love you!!

    • February 14, 2016 at 10:10 am

      True words, Cyndi – we do the best we can in this life here on Planet Earth, with well-meaning and love at the foundation, and that’s the best we can do 😀

      I love you, too! Love being here with your family, enjoying the sun and warm, dry air – it’s a great recipe for what’s good for the body, mind and spirit Thank you for having me!

  • February 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    “Happy Birthday” is gender neutral. But it’s for a living person. Why does a deceased person still have a FB page??? Well, I guess because that person is the only one who can delete their own page. Interesting dilemmas are possible during these “technological” times. The last part of that word is “logical,” but some things are anything BUT! Happy Day, Lois!

    • February 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

      I’m thinking for those who are knowingly wishing people Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas, etc. after they’ve passed on, it’s a way of remembering them… their pages become a memorial of sorts. It’s not so much about the words as it is knowing the life circumstances of someone we call a “friend” whether it’s someone we actually know or someone we’ve friended on FB. And I agree, life as we’ve known it is becoming different, is it not?

      Happy Day to you, too, Teresa! Thanks for stopping by and commenting 😀

Comments are closed.