Author Topic: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post  (Read 8809 times)

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Twik

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2014, 03:36:45 PM »


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

I think that if you have people on Facebook that are strangers to you, so much so that it bothers you to have them wish you a happy birthday and consider it spam, you should be cleaning up your friends list. All general you's.

Absolutely. Why do you (general) have people on your friends list, if you don't actually want to hear from them, even a simple "happy birthday"?

There is no general obligation to have Facebook friends. If hearing from people sounds like spam, then for goodness' sake take them off your friends list, so that *you* don't spam them by notifications of birthdays that you don't want them to congratulate you on.
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Arila

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2014, 06:16:51 PM »
OK, you guys got me. I actually...don't really use facebook as a social network at all. I signed up for it because some of my friends did way back when it first started, I accept pretty much any friend request that people send to me (if I can vaguely remember them), but I haven't posted...well, since I changed my marital status in 2009. I do sometimes scroll through to read some of the funny links my "friends" post, or to walk down memory lane, "What ever happened to Bob? -- Wow he had a kid and moved to a different state last August! Well, great for him!" or "Wow, the girl with the locker next to mine Freshman Year is an actress --- with an IMDB page! I have an 'in' to play Kevin Bacon now!" These are equally valid uses of Facebook. Usually privacy settings means I wouldn't be able to see any of those nuggets without being "friends".

My timeline (right term? Or Wall?) is about 90% "happy birthday" wishes throughout the years. Wishes that I almost never see on the day, never once reciprocated, and might not see for months. They are completely ineffective, and just scream "I don't even know Arila well enough to know that she won't see this, oh well, it is my FB obligation!" (imagine, if you will, while I say the italicized phrase, me striking an ironic and funny super hero pose, index finger pointed to the sky, eyes focused on something wonderful that looks like flying unicorns in the distance) The impersonal, but obligatory, absolutely minimum effort represented by FB birthday wishes taints the whole thing. For me, it turns a weak positive sentiment, into a negative one.

I posted my reasoning and feelings on here to try to articulate "the other side". I don't, and would not ever send a message like the one described in the OP. Apparently it's just as baffling for you guys up close as it was from the OP.

But I think I also have a slight aversion to them because when DD was in HS it was also seen as another popularity measure and I found it silly.

Pod to your whole post, but my feelings have a flavor of this particularly.

I find both birthdays and facebook to be fleeting, ephemeral entities, so having one impact on the other seems apt to me.
I think this is kind of funny, because I feel the opposite. The internet is forever. As soon as you release your photos, sayings, data etc, its almost impossible to erase. I'm sure anyone with racy pics leaked by their BF or party pics that cost them a job offer don't feel like FB is fleeting or ephemeral. :)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:18:27 PM by Arila »

CakeEater

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2014, 10:02:17 PM »
OK, you guys got me. I actually...don't really use facebook as a social network at all. I signed up for it because some of my friends did way back when it first started, I accept pretty much any friend request that people send to me (if I can vaguely remember them), but I haven't posted...well, since I changed my marital status in 2009. I do sometimes scroll through to read some of the funny links my "friends" post, or to walk down memory lane, "What ever happened to Bob? -- Wow he had a kid and moved to a different state last August! Well, great for him!" or "Wow, the girl with the locker next to mine Freshman Year is an actress --- with an IMDB page! I have an 'in' to play Kevin Bacon now!" These are equally valid uses of Facebook. Usually privacy settings means I wouldn't be able to see any of those nuggets without being "friends".

My timeline (right term? Or Wall?) is about 90% "happy birthday" wishes throughout the years. Wishes that I almost never see on the day, never once reciprocated, and might not see for months. They are completely ineffective, and just scream "I don't even know Arila well enough to know that she won't see this, oh well, it is my FB obligation!" (imagine, if you will, while I say the italicized phrase, me striking an ironic and funny super hero pose, index finger pointed to the sky, eyes focused on something wonderful that looks like flying unicorns in the distance) The impersonal, but obligatory, absolutely minimum effort represented by FB birthday wishes taints the whole thing. For me, it turns a weak positive sentiment, into a negative one.

I posted my reasoning and feelings on here to try to articulate "the other side". I don't, and would not ever send a message like the one described in the OP. Apparently it's just as baffling for you guys up close as it was from the OP.

But I think I also have a slight aversion to them because when DD was in HS it was also seen as another popularity measure and I found it silly.

Pod to your whole post, but my feelings have a flavor of this particularly.

I find both birthdays and facebook to be fleeting, ephemeral entities, so having one impact on the other seems apt to me.
I think this is kind of funny, because I feel the opposite. The internet is forever. As soon as you release your photos, sayings, data etc, its almost impossible to erase. I'm sure anyone with racy pics leaked by their BF or party pics that cost them a job offer don't feel like FB is fleeting or ephemeral. :)

I completely get what you're saying. I think the same. I don't have my birthday listed to avoid the above issue. And actually, a couple of years, a person has remembered (cousin, co-worker) and wished me happy birthday, which I thought was really nice.

For me, it's not the means of FB, but the fact that by listing my birthday, I am agreeing to broadcast it to everyone on my list, basically telling people it's my birthday. Then someone takes a few seconds to type "Happy Birthday", which I agree, is the absolute least effort anyone could put into giving me good wishes.

I understand that they're being nice, and I do appreciate that (I would never express anything other than gratitude), but I'd rather have 1 person, or no people actually, remember my birthday and go to the effort of sending a text, logging into FB specifically to send me a message, call, or send a card, than 20 or more people writing happy birthday because I have told them that it's my birthday.

To me it's the difference between someone noticing while looking at your licence for a different purpose that it's your b'day and voluntarily wishing you a happy one, and you pointing it out when you hand your licence over and the wishes becoming an obligation.
 
I do wish people a happy birthday via FB, but I actually don't say it to people I have very little contact with otherwise, and I don't say it if I'm very close to them, because I will have sent a card or an email, or will see them for their birthday. Other people seem to like it, so I do it, but I prefer to not receive them, so I take myself out of the equation.

Arila

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2014, 10:45:50 AM »
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).

Harriet Jones

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2014, 11:16:45 AM »
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).

FB friends' birthdays show up a few ways for me - (1) on the events page, (2) in the right hand column on the newsfeed page, or (3) if mutual friends have written something on the birthday person's timeline. I don't get any other notifications.  I don't think there's a setting where the date would show up on your page only, without the other ways also.  If your notifications are "pushier" than that, you may have an app that's sending you reminders. (like Calendar or Birthdays)

jedikaiti

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2014, 02:07:45 PM »
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).

I've never received an "announcement". If I remember to look in the upper right corner (on days when I look at it on a full browser), then I will see whose b-day it is. On days when I look via mobile only, I have to actually go and hunt down whose b-day is that day. Often, I forget.

On occasion, that quick b-day wish leads to a bit of catching up with someone I haven't talked to in a while.
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AzaleaBloom

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post: non-update, Post 51
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2014, 10:01:57 PM »
Thanks for all the interesting perspectives!  Oddly enough, getting the confirmation that he was rude made me realize that it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Does that make sense?  I think knowing that I had a reason to be rubbed the wrong way made me feel better, in a strange way.

Anyway, the last time I saw Anthony, it was along with another friend of ours.  While she and I attended each other's weddings in the past year and a half, the last time we actually hung out was four years ago.  I sent her a quick e-mail to see if she had been in touch with him to see if he had anything going on that might have resulted in the response I got.  While she hadn't spoken to him either, we realized it had been way too long since we hung out and are having a girl's dinner Friday.  So yay for that!  :) 

veronaz

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post: non-update, Post 51
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2014, 10:40:20 PM »
Thanks for all the interesting perspectives!  Oddly enough, getting the confirmation that he was rude made me realize that it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Does that make sense?  I think knowing that I had a reason to be rubbed the wrong way made me feel better, in a strange way.

Anyway, the last time I saw Anthony, it was along with another friend of ours.  While she and I attended each other's weddings in the past year and a half, the last time we actually hung out was four years ago.  I sent her a quick e-mail to see if she had been in touch with him to see if he had anything going on that might have resulted in the response I got.  While she hadn't spoken to him either, we realized it had been way too long since we hung out and are having a girl's dinner Friday.  So yay for that!  :)

I think sending another friend an email to try to inquire about the guy's note was too much.  As I said before, you're overthinking it.  As you said, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

I hope you have a nice time Friday.  Please try not to bring this guy up.  You're given him way too much time and energy already.

Yvaine

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2014, 09:51:15 AM »


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

I think that if you have people on Facebook that are strangers to you, so much so that it bothers you to have them wish you a happy birthday and consider it spam, you should be cleaning up your friends list. All general you's.

I...actually use birthday notifications as a reminder to periodically trim my list.  :-[ I don't "collect" friends as an intentional habit, but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc. So when I see a birthday notification for someone I don't know or dislike, someone distant enough that I'd feel weird wishing them a happy birthday, I let that be my reminder to defriend. But since I hate to defriend people on their birthdays, I do it the next day!

veronaz

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2014, 01:02:55 PM »
Quote
but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc.

This is a good point.  It applies on and off FB. 

Sometimes people are initially all gungho......"Yeah! Great! Let's stay in touch, get together, etc. etc." then they fade out.  They're excited about the playfulness/fun of email or FB, but when it comes down to it there's no real friendship/relationship.

Yvaine

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2014, 01:06:10 PM »
Quote
but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc.

This is a good point.  It applies on and off FB. 

Sometimes people are initially all gungho......"Yeah! Great! Let's stay in touch, get together, etc. etc." then they fade out.  They're excited about the playfulness/fun of email or FB, but when it comes down to it there's no real friendship/relationship.

Yup. I'll often FB-friend someone after hitting it off with them at a party, and sometimes that develops into actual friendship and sometimes it doesn't. Or I'll accept the friend request of a high school classmate I was close to at the time, only to find that their political views involve tinfoil hats. It's not that I'm trying to amass a million friends, it's that I view FB-friendship as a nice casual way to get to know someone a little bit at a time.

jane7166

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2014, 10:18:11 AM »
I've had FB "friends" whom I've never actually known wish me a happy birthday this year.  These are "friends" from all over the world from the time a few years ago when we all needed FarmVille helpers in order to play the game.

Some of these people were really fun to interact with, although it rarely happens anymore.  I thought their birthday wishes were nice gestures. 

OP's acquaintance is really overthinking her birthday wishes. 

Specky

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2014, 04:10:51 PM »
I keep my birthday off of facebook altogether.  It works for me.  :)

DanaJ

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #58 on: March 28, 2014, 12:30:33 PM »
Hi, this is only tangentally related to the OP, but I wanted to offer it up for consideration:

Please, please take a moment to at least review a person's FB page if you're only posting because Facebook reminded you.

A friend of mine died a few years ago, shortly before his 26th birthday, after battling a very aggressive form of cancer. He was hugely involved in his community as a youth leader and successful athlete. His FB page is maintained as a memorial and there is a memorial scholarship fund set up in his honor for young athletes. A fundraising event for the memorial scholarship fund is held annually on his birthday.

Usually around big holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, you'll see messages posted to his Facebook wall along the lines of "Missing you. You are in our thoughts every day." His wall is now filled with such messages and information about his memorial fund. But every year, when his birthday rolls around, his wall looks like this:

"Forever in our hearts."
"Missing you."
"Thinking of you this day. Miss you buddy."
"Happy birthday!"   :)
"Wish you were. Raising a glass in your honor."

This is what happens when you post just because FB tells you to, but you haven't actually spent any time interacting with the individual. Please, don't be that person. Take the time to see what's goin on in the person's life (or lack thereof) first.

Yvaine

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #59 on: March 28, 2014, 12:41:39 PM »
There is one day of the year that my FB prompt shows me three birthdays, all of whom belonged to people who have passed on. It's a sad and eerie moment every year.