The little Facebook experiment has come to an end. A day before my birthday, I deactivated the Facebook birthday notification. My objective was to see proof what had already been proven — that close friends will not remember my birthday without the Facebook alert. The answer is clear: YES. Aside from my immediate family, only six people remembered the date and sent me a private message. Five of them are friends from the Philippines and one from Argentina. There were those who posted some greetings (A BIG THANK YOU) through my brother’s message posted on his Facebook wall. However, I thought that without my brother tagging me, they would have not remembered it at all.
Let me explain further.
In terms of remembering my birthday, my Facebook friends are of different scales. There are those who are very close to me. Others are not as close. When I say ‘very close’, I mean friends whom I crazily celebrated my birthday parties with in the past — not once but twice or even more.
I admit being bad at remembering birthdays. However, I do try to remember them, at least for people dearest to me. I do it because I am fond of sending happy thoughts. A birthday, apart from maybe two other important days in the year, I think, is a special time to let those happy thoughts reach them. Nevertheless, not everyone share my fondness. I know someone who never celebrates her birthday, nor attend others’ birthday parties. She never attended on mine, but we consider ourselves friends. A birthday isn’t just a big of a deal for her!
So, am I disappointed that only six friends remembered my birthday? Not at all. Not anymore.
Here’s something certain: As years of your life unfold, birthdays become less significant. Birthdays are for kids, so they say. As you get older, people, including those you call very close friends (who are getting old as well), will start having trouble remembering dates. So as much as I love my birthday, I do not expect anyone else to remember it. Truly!
If you expect most of your Facebook friends to make a big deal out of my birthday, and you like to receive birthday wishes, then remind them. Or let Facebook notify them. Will your friends remember your birthday without Facebook alert? Only a handful will, and you can count them with your fingers. Majority won’t.
What’s the take home of this little social experiment? Time and time again, it shows that not all your friends hold birthdays in as high regard as you do, and most are just terrible with dates. So, live with that fact. When they forget, which is likely the chance, do not try looking for new friends. Them not being able to keep track on stuff like your birthday doesn’t mean they care less about you. For Pete’s sake, there are far more important things in life than remembering birthdays!
From hundreds of birthday messages on my Facebook wall last year, this year I only got six. And I am perfectly fine with it!
To those who sent me greetings, I am grateful.
To all dear friends who might be feeling a pinch of guilt for not sending me well wishes, nah, don’t take that feeling seriously. Chances are, I may have even forgotten your birthday…but I still care for you. Next year, I will make sure the Facebook alert is on to remind you of an ‘important’ event. If you miss it again, it will surely be the end of our friendship (wink)!