November 26, 2014

Facebook has ruined the meaning of birthdays

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted 8/9/11

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As of Monday, I have now celebrated 24 birthdays on this earth, and each one of them has been special in some way or another.

My favorite birthdays were always the ones where I was up north camping in Petoskey or just out with the people I care about the most.

A few years ago, this little website phenomenon called Facebook came along and changed a lot of things about our lives.

One thing I think that Facebook deserves credit for is taking some of the meaning out of birthdays.

For me, it’s not so bad to get a bunch of happy birthday messages from my friends and family over Facebook because I keep my list of friends at a low number.

If I do not know who you are, chances are you are not on my Facebook.

Yet, every year on Aug. 8, my page gets messages from half of everyone I know wishing me happy birthday. I would hate to be a person with 500 friends who gets messages from people they are never going to see again.

Birthdays used to be about the people closest to you celebrating in-person with you, not two words with a smiley face on a website. It was about cards from grandparents and candles on a birthday cake; now it’s an all-day contest to see if you missed any message from someone you met in history class in college in 2005.

Facebook was something fun and new when I was 19; now it has turned into a chore that I have to look at, and it gets worse on my birthday.

Not only do I receive these messages on my birthday, I feel bad if I miss someone else’s birthday.

We used to have an excuse if we missed a friend’s birthday, but now Facebook is there to make sure that we never miss any little piece of information.

Don’t get me wrong here, I enjoy reading these little messages, but I feel so disconnected.

I don’t see these people like I see my family and those who I am really close with.

As we grow older things continue to change, and Facebook has changed a lot of things about how the world works. I guess I am still trying to accept some of these things.

Here is to another year. To those Facebook friends who sent me a message, see you next year.

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