Happy Birthday is now utterly meaningless on social media

Posted on July 31, 2015


Nothing fully conveys the sentiments of wishing someone a happy birthday like posting ‘Happy Birthday’ to their Facebook timeline. They don’t need cards, presents, a phone call or the truly outdated medium of ‘face-to-face’ contact to give them your love when a two second update to Facebook means so much more to them.

I am, of course, being sarcastic. Facebook has truly destroyed the meaning of wishing someone a happy birthday. You don’t even need to ‘remember’ the birthdays of your friends and family either as Facebook will remind you when you log in that such and such’s birthday is today, would you like to ‘wish them a happy birthday’?

The effort of doing so takes seconds out of your life – which is why you’ll get so many ‘Happy Birthday’ messages on Facebook, and so few cards through the post.

While this all seems utterly robotic and cold, it does actually get worse. As the below tweet shows, Facebook can send people SMS notifications that their nearest and dearest have a birthday today – and if they’d like to extend them their best wishes with an automated ‘Happy Birthday’ message, they should just reply ‘1’.


That’s so sweet isn’t it? The love and care someone must have taken to reply ‘1’ to an SMS from Facebook shows they truly do value you.

I raise this point because today is my daughter’s birthday. She’s 13 today, which means she’s now old enough to have a Facebook account under Facebook’s rules – so she can expect this level of love from her friends and family from today onwards.

Today I wished her a happy birthday in the time-honoured tradition of texting ‘Happy Birthday’, the way birthday wishes used to be conveyed before Facebook!

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.
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