Author Topic: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post  (Read 8580 times)

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AzaleaBloom

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Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:24:50 PM »
Minor BG:

"Anthony" and I were friends in high school.  He graduated a year ahead of me, went one direction, I went another.  Last time I saw him was 12 years ago.  About four years ago, I friended him on Facebook.  We exchanged a handful of messages, catching up on the years, and that was that.  Since then, I have always wished him a happy birthday when the notification pops up.  Usually I get a "thank you."  It's generally the only time during the year he's even active on Facebook.

I did so today, and got the following head-scratching response from him:

"I read your birthday wishes, and I wonder to what extent I still know you. Have you tried to contact me in the past year, other than these two words? I don't believe so. Not that I'm saying I'm not guilty here, because I haven't exactly kept current in your life."

Not sure why, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.  Am I being over-sensitive?  And what would the proper response be?

Again, please tell me if I'm being over-sensitive.  I'm just a little confused about the response he gave me!


katycoo

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 06:29:37 PM »
No, that is strange.

I don't think you have to know someone well to wish them a happy birthday.  I send birthday wishes to most people I'm cnnected with on FB - even those who I have little interaction.  I genuinely hope they have a nice day!  But if he is overthinking FB, I'd probably just defriend.  FB isn't supposed to be that complicated.

MrTango

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 06:35:06 PM »
Wow.  I'm pretty sure my response would be to just de-friend him.

TootsNYC

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 06:46:11 PM »
Yeah, if he's thinking, "Why am I in touch with her at all?" then he can just defriend you.

It's really not polite to "call someone out" on not being a particularly well-connected friend.

I'd vote to defriend him too. Maybe send a reply, "sorry to bother you," first, nothing more, and then defriend immediately.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 06:49:18 PM »
He's acting very strangely. Was this response in a private message or posted publicly on his wall? If the former, it's bizarre and rather rude. I'm not even sure what he's upset about--is he upset that you've been distant (although he hasn't bothered to keep in touch, either) or that you had the nerve to wish him a happy birthday? If the latter, I think it's appallingly rude for him to publicly "call you out" for the sin of...wishing a facebook friend a happy birthday. However, he's just making himself look crazy, since having facebook acquaintances and wishing them happy birthday are both very normal uses of facebook.

I think PP's suggestions of defriending without comment are probably the best way to go. However, if you want to respond, I think it would be fine to say something (in a private message) like: "If you were dissatisfied with our facebook friendship, then you were always welcome to either get in touch or defriend me. All I did was wish you well on your birthday, even though we've been out of contact. Since this seems to offend you, perhaps it's better we do not stay in touch." I would suggest defriending after sending the message. If he decides he wants to be in contact after all, he has the option of apologizing and sending another friend request.

Zizi-K

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 06:50:22 PM »
Is is possible this guy does not realize that FB basically prompts you to write messages for people on their birthday? This guy sounds like a weirdo with a chip on his shoulder or a bug up his *ahem*. Defriending is probably the mature thing to do. I would be tempted to respond, "I rescind my birthday wishes if that makes you feel better."

JenJay

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 06:53:31 PM »
Weird!

I'd probably reply "I apologize if I somehow offended you. Facebook notified me that it was your birthday so I took a moment to acknowledge that, nothing more or less was intended." Maybe add "If being mere acquaintances with people on Facebook bothers you, and you choose to remove me, I understand." Just in case he's hoping to hear "Oh but I do want to keep in closer touch!!" and see you make some effort there.

I'd let future birthdays pass without comment.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 08:27:52 PM »
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

GreenBird

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 08:44:21 PM »
He might not have meant it as a rebuke.  He may just be in one of those weird melancholy birthday moods, wondering about the state of his re-lationships and life.  Maybe I'm just projecting because I've been feeling pretty disconnected myself lately, but he could just be musing aloud.  It really wasn't the best move for him to say that in response to a Facebook 'happy birthday' post - it seems odd and out of place without the rest of his thought process!  It's hard to tell where that comment came from.  I'm not sure what a proper response would be - maybe just "Facebook reminded me it was your birthday, so I thought I'd wish you a good one. Take care." 

Daydream

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 09:02:21 PM »
Is there any chance this guy is interested in you romantically, or even just in becoming closer friends, and is using this clumsy response as an opening to get to know you better?  I ask because it reminds me of something a very awkward guy I once knew might have written. 

Instead of saying something more direct (which would have been appealing), he would just say odd, vague things (in person and email) that I think *he* thought were clever and charming, without ever moving forward and asking me out. 

I think Anthony might be expecting a response like, "You're right, we haven't really kept in touch.  We should fix that!  What's new?"

Regardless of his intent, I agree that I might defriend him.  And, I might use Toots' suggestion of sending, "Sorry to have bothered you," before doing so.  His reply was just too abrasive for me.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 09:06:42 PM »
"So I guess the fruit and chocolate bouquet I ordered from Edible Arrangements with the inscription 'BFFs Forever" would really be out of line?" /end snark.

Add me to club "He's overthinking it."  There are people on my fbook wall who are there because they just haven't done anything to annoy or offend me but their wish of happy birthday on my wall is more conversation than we had in person at any point. Some I barely remember the relationship we had but friended them cause they asked.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

sammycat

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 09:09:36 PM »
I'd just defriend and move on.

veronaz

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 09:34:48 PM »
OP, I wouldn't say you're over-sensitive, but I do think you're over-thinking it.  Just de-friend and move on.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 09:37:36 PM »
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

veronaz

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Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2014, 10:03:00 PM »
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.

The status-quo was that for several years they haven't communicated, except when OP wishes him a Happy Birthday.  His note has a tinge of "why bother" bordering on annoyance.  Time to bail, imo.