Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mindless Happy Birthday Wishes on Facebook

Thank God for Facebook. I love Facebook, but sometimes it just makes me sad.

Let me explain...

I went through my morning ritual. Still in bed, I grabbed my iPad to pilfer through my social media outlets.

As soon as my Facebook page popped up, I noticed the lovely little birthday reminder...

It read, "Today is Jill's birthday".

All would've been fine and dandy... if she were still alive. Jill died over ten months ago.  For ten months her Facebook page has been silent. She has been an avid game player and Facebook poster before her death. Ten months of silence.

Yet, some "friends" has not noticed and mindlessly {and I'm certain meaning well} posted Happy Birthday messages on her page.

I saw these messages:
HBD! Have a great day!
Happy Birffday!
Enjoy your birthday with your family and friends!
Celebrate your special day!
Happy Birthday! Hope you are doing something special to celebrate your day!
Happy 45th birthday!
Happy birthday! I'll be in your neck of the woods in May! Let's get together!
As I read through these birthday wishes, I felt a strong ache in my heart. I imagined the pain her family would endure as they read through these wishes from her "friends". People so removed from her life that, ten months ago, they hadn't noticed the plethora of "Rest In Peace" messages that had flooded her Facebook page.

I've made a personal rule for myself. No mindless Happy Birthday message to Facebook friends. I would hate to come across insensitive, even though my actions come from a good place.


  1. That is awful. FB is great for somethings, but really I think it distances us from the people that matter most and dulls real life. Every event is given equal attention, and passing attention at that. The people that posted happy birthday are probably some of the same ones that left messages when she passed. People don't really think, they just respond to what "something" tells them to as quickly as possible without thinking.

  2. That last one was crazy! How horrible. If I feel like i'm sending a mindless birthday wish, I usually just don't send one at all. Smh. Great reminder though, sometimes we don't realize how insensitive we are being.

  3. I completely agree, people do it so mindlessly. I received several birthday messages in my inbox and sadly was shocked at that! People actually took the time to message me personally and it surprised me! Sad to say that's not the norm, and the mindless happy birthdays that get posted without anything personal or in relation to catching up or even hey I read this on your page are the norm.

  4. I agree on the mindless Birthday wishes. But - My sister-in-law lost one of her sisters and they left her Facebook up. She was almost an invalid, so she was always on Facebook. Her witty posts always amused us and we talked to her a lot on Facebook. It was hugely comforting to be able to go to her page and read through comments people were leaving and know she had touched so many lives.

  5. Ugh, that is sad. I mean if it weren't for facebook I would miss a lot of people's birthdays that I wish I could remember off the top of my head but your story is truly the downfall of what facebook has become in certain areas. It's so impersonal sometimes.

  6. Wow. That's just sad. Especially the last one. I only send the messages to people I actually talk to.

  7. Oh that would absolutely break my heart to see! That's awful :( I never do mindless birthday wishes and always take the time to make it heartfelt and for the people that are actively in my life.


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