AntiSocial Experiment on the Social Network
I consider myself a pretty social person, shy sometimes, but i do like being around people. I just dont necessarily like to be the center of attention all the time. If I can still stay in contact with people through facebook, twitter, text and cell phones, I'm fine. There's one thing about Facebook that I kind of don't like: birthdays. It brings me back to a troubling time in my youth. I'm not talking about cupcake days in elementary school. I'm talking about birthday pranks in middle and high school. You know, when the birthday boy would get punches on the arm or leg for each year of life... And one to grow on. My philosophy was back then and now is that " you're better off just cruising under the radar." Maybe a mention by the end of the day as you get off the bus like:, "oh, this Walkman it was a birthday gift... See you tomorrow."
But now, in the age of Facebook, it is nearly impossible to cruise under the radar. Everyone of your friends-no matter how close or distant- knows when you are tacking another year onto your life. It's not a horrible thing. It's a great feeling to get all that birthday love. I think it's also a great way of showing your love or appreciation for someone. But, do we need so much of it? We certainly didn't before Facebook and that other thing called myspace. The word "narcissistic" comes to mind.
So, here is what I did and I apologize in advance. A couple of days or weeks before my birthday, I used my facebook privacy settings to make my birthday invisible. I guess I got what I asked for. A few people who know me well... family and church said happy birthday. Then I let the cat out of the bag by "checking into" my birthday dinner. That lead to confusion for those who depend on Facebook's EBA ( early birthday alert) system. Some thought that Facebook messed up or that they somehow missed it. My wife wondered why and how I could do such a thing.
So what did I learn.
--I was in no way hurt by the lack of birthday wishes although I think I may have hurt some feelings, and I'm sorry.
--I would never gauge a friendship by birthday wishes or even how often you talk online.
--and that you can still fly under the radar until the end of the day.
I really don't know why I don't like to make my birthday seem extra special. I know my dad, mom and sister would always make those days special. I don't know where I lost it. Maybe i dont want to get my expectations up too high or feel like i'm forcing others to go out of their way for me. I guess you can call it antisocial behavior on the social network. Birthdays are big for the simple reason that thousands of people die every day. Reaching big milestones like 21,30, 40, 50 are big because you were smart enough and blessed enough to stay healthy and alive. I encourage you to make the most out of everyday for yourself, your family and God.