Monday was my birthday.
Well, not really. But on Facebook it was my birthday – all part of a great social experiment, if you will. Three days later, I’m not sure how to feel about the results. On the one hand, I have a lot of well-meaning friends who serenaded me with heartfelt birthday wishes. But on the other, I learned that very few people actually know my real birthday. I was surprised how many forgot they had wished me a happy birthday less than two months earlier.
It all began a couple of weeks ago. A coworker and I were talking about the ramifications of economic recovery as it pertains to global trade in a free market environment…oh, who am I kidding? We were talking about some Facebook quiz on which Disney character best describes you (I got Mickey Mouse), and somehow the topic of birthdays and social media came up. Facebook, you are probably aware, informs your friends when your birthday rolls around, and they in turn usually post something to your wall. 21st-century technology, right? My coworker told me about a friend who changes his birthday every few months just to see how many people really know him. This, I thought, was a brilliant idea, especially for a prankster like me, so I stole it and changed my birthday from April 27 (real) to June 22 ( fake). And then promptly forgot I had done so, which made June 22nd really confusing when all these “happy birthday!” messages started popping up.
Oh. Right. I figured somebody would catch on and spill the beans publicly, putting a quick end to my experiment. Only that never happened. All day long, happy sentiments rolled in. A few people wondered privately what was going on, but the majority never gave it a second thought. One close friend texted me birthday wishes; when I told her it wasn’t actually my birthday she replied, “But Facebook sez.”
I guess that pretty much sums it all up.
(I love you anyway, Heidi).
Soon, I was feeling guilty. People were being really, really nice to me. Saying how much they cherished our friendship and what an inspiration I have been and yadda, yadda. I had planned on letting the cat out of the bag, but by then I didn’t want to burst anybody’s goodwill bubble or hurt their feelings, so I just played along. I kind of ‘fessed up the next day…
…but nobody took my “normal, ordinary day” stuff literally. Oh, well – I tried.
In the end, about 85 people wished me a happy birthday, which was – ironically – more than I got on my actual birthday. And these greetings seemed friendlier and more clever, as if people had put a little more thought into them.
Like I said: I don’t know what to think. I have conflicting emotions over the whole thing.
All I know is, I’m stuck with June 22 as a birthday now because Facebook won’t let me change it back. I guess the joke’s on me, after all.
I won’t dwell on it too long though, because we are headed out of town this afternoon for a much-needed vacation. The only downside? It’s going to be really hot everywhere. We’re going to Ely for a wedding and to visit Tara’s family, followed by a trip to Park City, Utah for a few days of R&R in a nice condo that is super cheap because it’s the offseason. We’ll get back home just in time for the 4th of July.
I’m sure I’ll be updating from the road ’cause that’s how I roll.