Friday, July 8, 2016

The 7 Types of Facebook Birthday Wishers

Facebook is fantastic! Where else can you see dozens of pictures of grandkids (or kids,) watch videos of people making recipes, and learn the political leanings of high school classmates.

And, there is no better place to wish someone a happy birthday than Facebook. Why? For one thing, Facebook is there to remind you about the birthdays of all the people you care about. (And many that you don't.) With Facebook, you'll never forget anyone's birthday ever again! (As long as you make sure to log in every day.)

There are seven types of Facebook birthday wishers. They are:

1. The Birthday Completist
These are the people who feel compelled to wish every single one of their Facebook friends a happy birthday. They check that "____ is celebrating a birthday" notice constantly, and post a "Happy Birthday" to everyone whose name appears.

These people are also sometimes known as the "I Didn't Know I Was Friends With That Person" people. You might not see them post anything else on Facebook ever, but, by golly, they're going to wish you a happy birthday.

2. The Elaborate Poster
These people feel the need to post more than just a terse message of the words "happy birthday." They will post fancy picture greetings, or animated GIF greetings, or maybe even an elaborate video birthday message. They'll go to and make a fun and personalized video just for you.

These are the people who used to mail out greeting cards to everyone until they got just too many friends. But, they still want you to know that they are really excited about your birthday.

Balloons make every birthday better!
(If you don't believe me, just ask my kids.)

3. The Personalized Poster
These people want to wish you a happy birthday, but they also want you to know that they actually know who you are. In their birthday greeting they will include a snippet of personal information, an inside joke, or a memory of something the two of you experienced together. They do this to let you know that you are worth the effort to them to type out more than just the two words, "happy birthday."

4. The Picker and Chooser
These are the people who sometimes send out birthday greetings, and sometimes don't. They'll pick only some of their friends to send birthday greetings to, and others they won't. The cutoff line is sometimes very arbitrary. They might decide to only send birthday wishes to people they've actually spoken to in the last year. Or, they might have designed a sophisticated algorithm to decide who is deserving of greetings and who is not. Or, they might just send out birthday wishes on a whim.

5. The Facebook Messengerer
These are the people who feel that a birthday message is more important than just leaving a quick greeting on someone's Facebook wall. Instead of posting with the masses, they will send a personal message to you on Facebook Messenger. They are interested in having an actual personal exchange with you.

6. The Day Laterer
These are the people who missed your birthday, but want to make sure you know they know you had a birthday. Maybe they didn't log in to Facebook that day, or maybe they meant to post something on the actual day, but forgot. There are always at least two or three stragglers. (There is, after all, a complete section of "Belated" cards in every greeting card display.)

7. The Birthday Ignorer
These are people you interact with on Facebook frequently, but they don't send out any birthday greetings. You know that they know it is your birthday. And they know that you know that they know it's your birthday. But, they're not going to say anything about it. They'd rather just not get involved with birthdays at all.

There you have it, the seven types of Facebook birthday wishers. Sometimes, some of the types can co-mingle a bit. A "Birthday Completist" might also be an "Elaborate Poster," or a "Personalized Poster" might also be a "Day Laterer." But, those are the general types.

I'm not saying one type of birthday wisher is better than any other. Each individual person needs to find a way that they are comfortable with. But, I will say one thing:

Happy Birthday!

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