It’s weird to have your birthday in 2018, the day of significant revelations about Facebook and privacy and bad actors in the 2016 American Presidential Election. We recognize birthdays now with posts on social media. I got a few texts, a voice mail, an audio message, several tweets and IG DMs and a hundred notes on the Facebook.
I received one physical card this year. It didn’t come through the mail.
I’m not complaining; this is just the way we are now.
Okay, maybe I’m complaining.
I’m complicit in this. At the beginning of each year for probably a decade now, I’ve had designs on a physical calendar filled with the birthdays I want to acknowledge. Each month, I would take the first weekend and write cards. I’d adorn a stamp, visit the post office, and do the smallest thing: send a note. Whatever the message, I would intend to convey this idea
Instead, I’ve already had to issue Happy Belateds over text message and probably forgotten a few altogether.
Your birthday is what you make it, though. 43 years of waking in the morning and I can count my most memorable birthdays: London. New Orleans. SXSW. SXSW. The poppies. Circus Circus. I often say and mostly believe that my best birthdays have been in a strange city, by my lonesome, doing something unusual. I don’t want people making a fuss.
Correction: I don’t want people making a big fuss.
Without Facebook, few would have made a note of my existence today.
It would have been any other day.
Sure, Facebook is clearly damaging our privacy, our democracy, and our psyches. But do you really want to memorize people’s birthdays?
— Amos Posner (@AmosPosner) March 19, 2018
With Facebook, it mostly felt like that anyway.
Except with more emojis.