So it’s my birthday this week, which is great, because I was just thinking that I was getting pretty tired of my hips and would like to have new ones, and with every passing birthday that glorious hip-replacement day gets closer and closer to becoming reality.
I’m now officially of an age where I’m closer to eventual inevitable hip replacement surgery than I am to, like, graduating high school, which is a really comforting thing to think about. If there are any hip-replacement doctors reading, feel free to drop a line so I can start filling out the paperwork now and save us both some valuable waiting-room time in the nearish future. Of course by then we probably won’t have a functional health care system but a fascist proletariat in which medical care is offered only to the elite ruling class and the military units that guard them, but eh, a guy can dream.
Birthdays used to be so easy. Get some cards, open some stuff, untie that stuff from the military-grade twist-ties that have been designed to bind them forever to their packaging, the usual. Maybe a party at a place with an animatronic band singing ‘60s songs? Easy things. Even when you get a little bit older it’s just, you know, here’s some booze, congratulations on the being-born thing.
But see, I am old. And we old people remember birthdays before Facebook, which, for all the damage it’s done to our collective self-esteems, is REALLY REALLY GOOD ABOUT BIRTHDAYS. Because you sit there, all day long, and your little phone goes ping and pong and gives you updates and tells you all day how very many people are wishing you happy birthday! And it is a never-ending Fountain Of Self-Esteem, and it allows you to bask in the reflected joy of a lifetime of friends all paying attention to you all at once, and then it passes and you can go back the next day to doing what you usually do on Facebook, which is either promote yourself or put up baby pictures or Like pictures of adorable kittens that radio stations post, or, in my case, pretty much just all three.
But this is where it gets tricky, because, again, I am of the age where many of my birthday predated the Internet, or, as many of any young readers would call it, My Seventies. So I am unsure how to respond when all of these people get all nice on Facebook, because I am too old for Facebook, so I need help.
I’ve determined there are a number of ways to respond to mass birthday greetings on Facebook, but I do not know which, if any, is the most preferable, so I am turning to you, Helpful Internet Reader People. Do you:
Page 2 of 2 - 1. Post a general “Thanks everybody!” message at the end of the day, covering everyone, from your actual good friends who posted to high school people you haven’t spoken to in 20 years, or people you know only from the Internet you’ve never actually met.
2. Post a Thoughtful Response to everyone who takes the time to wish you a happy birthday, even if some of them are from college and you have nothing witty or thoughtful to add in response?
3. Just “like” everything and be done with it.
4. Like some, Post Thoughtful Responses to some, ignore some, and thus make public your personal hierarchy of friends and family by length and quality of response?
5. Seriously how do you young people do this all the time? If I had Facebook when I was dating, and by dating I mean not-at-all-dating, in college I’d have probably tried to strangle myself with my shoelaces.
Jeff Vrabel thanks you for the kind birthday wishes, and “likes” them very much. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com and/or followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.