why i deleted a dozen happy birthday wishes

“Are you really going to delete her birthday greeting to you?” Maya asked watching in mild disapproval of my actions.

It surely seemed unfair that i had not even warned people that i would start deleting their facebook “happy birthday” greetings before i started doing it.  All of these digital media’s i treat more like graffiti walls than the Akashic Record. That is i blow it away at the slightest displeasure, if i control the thread.

i see all these super clever people wishing simple “Happy Birthday” to all these people who there is so much more interesting stuff to talk about and it throws me into a dwarf rage.  So instead of complaining about it, i pull out my mouse and start cleaning up.  This charming Romanian activists greeting – gone.  This beautiful model i was involved with briefly – zap.  Numerous people who are facebook friends, but little else – they will never hear from FB that their well wishing has been fried, but should they come back to look for it they will detect its absence,  But does anyone come to look and see if their “happy birthday” message is still on someones wall?  i dont think so.

Of course Aubby totally parodied me with this entry:

I don’t care that it is your birthday. Birthday’s don’t matter. What matters is how alive you are. The fact that people matter to you and the way you dance with them. The stories you collect and the ease with which you share them. The fact that when looking a beautiful woman in the eye, you suffer no hesitation in telling her about your observation. Any fool can watch a clock tick. You make the time matter. ;)Love you, Archie.

Which is similar to dozens of anti-birthday messages i have written to others.

Part of what is going on for me is that these simple short messages are all lost opportunities for love letters.  And short clever love letters at that – the most important kind.  If the authors thought for just a few seconds longer, they would be able to come up with something much more meaningful.  But like commuters charging into rush hour traffic day after day to sit their alone in their car complaining about not being able to move and doing absolutely nothing about it, we sing the same stupid song, we make the same vapid FB greeting, we tick it off our to do list and we add nothing to the world.

i want better than that.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

8 responses to “why i deleted a dozen happy birthday wishes”

  1. Sarah Taub says :

    Dear Paxus —

    You’ll be delighted to know that the British High Court shares your view that web services like Google’s Blogger or Facebook are like graffiti-strewn walls:

    A High Court judge has likened Google to a graffiti strewn wall in a landmark judgement which says it cannot be held responsible for libellous or offensive content.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2109349/Google-victory-judge-rules-held-responsible-defamatory-blog-posts.html#ixzz1oRgUVXWb

    Oh, and by the way, happy birthday! 😉


  2. hmaxwellmuz says :

    I was delighted to see that you were doing this (which Facebook alerted me to via your status updates before I saw this blog post). I long ago became frustrated with the generic “happy birthday” from hundreds of people that I’m friends with on Facebook, most of whom only write on my wall on my birthday & keep it to those two words, with no fun flourishes or personal touches added. I find it interesting that without much actual pressuring a lot of people have come to feel social pressure to leave such messages. Facebook alerts you to the birthday so you have no excuse to have forgotten it. It is only polite to acknowledge it! So stuck in that idea I started leaving more personal, fun birthday messages on friends walls. Until even that became tedious to me because really, I was fed up with feeling socially obligated to acknowledge so many damn birthdays. My new personal rule is this: If Facebook alerts me to your birthday and my mind immediately responds with excitement, joy, interest or intrigue, I will find something I want to say & say it. But otherwise, I won’t write on your wall for your birthday. But maybe I’ll call you or write you a letter. Or maybe I won’t do anything and that should simply be okay.

  3. Breeze says :

    Ah, this is refreshing to read, although I’ve come to not expect anything less from you. I become disheartened when looking on friends’ walls, where their Facebook friends not only shorten “Happy Birthday” to “HB”, but then add the birthday person’s first initial into it, as well. How would you like a “HBP” on your wall?! Ain’t that sweet? — “I was SO busy that I didn’t even have time to write out a full three words, you’re lucky that I even said anything at all!!”

    Ugh. I’m grateful that you keep the hardcore authenticity flowing, Pax. I know I’m certainly not the only one to appreciate it.

  4. phpandmore says :

    I have deleted b-day greeting for a reason! My birth-date with or without the year is a personal detail I did not want to share. By greeting me you reveal that detail to others. I’ve decided to change settings so only I can post items to my timeline, and guess what? Some senior relative has replied to a post of mine with “Happy Birthday”. I wonder where some people have learned manners.

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