Facebook’s Birthday is Today: How it Changed Our Perception of Birtdays

So, it’s finally here. Facebook is celebrating it’s ninth birthday today! That’s right, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his dorm room on February 4th back in 2004, and what a ride has it been since then. During the past nine years the biggest social network effectively changed the way we communicate hence giving the word ‘friendship’ a whole different meaning. Although many say that this new ‘facebook’ way of communication is the best thing that happened to our society, quite a few differ by saying that it’s just alienating people.

Despite the fact that Facebook’s privacy policy has always been a bit sketchy, millions of people flocked to it in the past decade as it provided something they’d never experience before. Virtual was suddenly etched into our everyday lives and it was here to stay. For me, it all started back in 2007, and by the 2009. most of my friends were on facebook. This meant that I could stay in touch with my childhood and high school friends without even picking up the phone or sending an email.

As with everything else, birthdays were to be changed. I personally have never remembered dates and numbers, I was terrible at that. Naturally, when I discovered that facebook is showing me the birthdays of all of my friends and acquaintances I was so thrilled. Finally there was an automatic reminder which would let me wish someone a happy birthday exactly on that day, not a week or two late. However, wishing someone a happy birthday was about the be changed forever once people started abusing the system.

Just Post It On The Wall

Nowadays, I’m not that excited when my big days comes. Despite family members and relatives, I rarely get a happy birthday phone call. Only some of my best friends call me, whereas most of the people just wish me a happy birthday on facebook. They simply write down few words and post them on my wall. This goes on from 12 AM and throughout the day. I get tons of notifications and I swear that I always remove the facebook app on the day before it all starts.

To me, this is not a way to wish someone a happy birthday. It feels so overused, and I just get aggravated when I read all the posts from people that I never even communicate with. I get that they are just trying to be nice, but that’s not how you do it. It seems to me that we as a society became too distant, or is it that we’ve became lazier?

Starting this year I’ve decided to call each and every one of my facebook friends who I have in my address book and wish them a happy birthday, see what they are up to, how they’ve been lately. I don’t insist on the invitation to the party, I just want to catch up and make somebody’s day by wishing them a happy birthday via phone. However, Facebook has another trick up it’s sleeve, on that even I might use. With the recent ability to record voice messages and send them via facebook app, it looks as if the facebook is trying to send us a message.

So, next time you see a little reminder in the upper right corner, don’t just post a message to one’s wall. Surprise them by giving them a call or sending them an original voice message! 😀

Photo: workhappens.blogspot.com


Marko Mudrinić

Marko is an undergraduate student based in Belgrade. Majoring in Journalism he's interested in digital publishing, startups and new technology. He currently writes for Balkan's leading Internet magazine Netokracija about local startups scene.

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