My birthday was recently. I recall maybe half a dozen years ago, when my kids were in middle school. and on their birthdays they would get over a 100 birthday wishes from their friends on Facebook. It was pretty standard in those days and they probably still get them today. At the time, I didn’t have a FaceBook account although I do now, but honestly I don’t have a lot of friends or family on it, I mostly have tax colleagues, and I can sit for hours in my little tax colleague groups and bitch and moan about clients. It just never gets old!
And my LinkedIn network is at least 750 contacts and I honestly have no idea who the vast majority of these people are–except if anyone tries to sell me anything, I will terminate them. But I get a request to link up every other day or so, but I haven’t a clue why. And I’ve long since given up why someone friends me on Facebook except if they are already friends with a bunch of my friends, well then we all must be cool. I can’t be the only one.
But back to the birthday. So the evening before my birthday, it starts to happen, and this time it just struck me the wrong way. Oscar from Tulsa, Oklahoma on LinkedIn wishes me “Happy Birthday!” (No idea who Oscar is). Pretty soon, Jacques M. in Luxembourg joins in the fun. “Happy Birthday, Charles!” (Never heard of him). Thad from S.F, California can’t wait to chime in. “Happy B-day!”. And it goes on and on and on…I know, I know, I’m a scrooge, “bah humbug!”, but none of these people know me. In all total, 50 or so complete strangers from around U S and the world wished me Happy Birthday. Oh, come on, this is really getting out of hand. Finally a few names I recognize, wishe me a Happy Birthday, I respond that they were first I recognize. We exchange emails about how funny the whole thing is.
I don’t know. Am I just getting curmudgeonly (yes!). Is the world a better place with complete random strangers wishing each other happy birthday? (probably). Do I think these people should find something better to do with their time. (Sorry, but yes) Am I hiding my birthday on LinkedIn and FaceBook so only my true friends will wish me Happy Birthday going forward? (Done.)