Here's a random thought. In our Internet obsessed world, where not only students, but professionals and lay workers, working dads and stay at home moms have access to the computer all day, every day, I mean literally every second of every day, why would someone use travel as an excuse? Let me give you the context.

On Facebook, there are the birthday updates we are all familiar with. This morning, while I was logged on, I remembered/was reminded that it was an old friend's birthday. I maneuvered over to her page and wished her the usual, "Happy Birthday." I kept it short, to the point and concise. I mean, that's all she expected, or maybe she didn't even expect anything; but at least that's all I feel is required of these birthday reminders.

I mean, I get like five a week and if I tried to carry on a conversation with all of them, I would never leave the computer. And that's iffy as it is. Besides, I don't expect those birthday people to ask for anything more. If they are your real friend, won't you call them to have that conversation?

And most of those well wisher recipients are so flooded with birthday wishes that any questions or prolonged conversation gets lost in the crowd. I mean, this is just my take on the whole ritual, but I feel pretty accurate. If not, you can let me know!

Ok, back to the point. On this particular page, I made my felicitation and scrolled down a little bit just to glance over what other people had written. I stopped at one post that stood out, amazed at this persons lack of self awareness. He wrote,

"Happy birthday!!! I'm traveling, but wanted to wish you a very happy birthday!!!"

Ok, so nice enough message on the surface, but let's examine it just a little bit closer.

First of all, really? Do we need all of the exclamations?

Don't get me wrong, I love the little line and dot as much as the next person. And I'll admit it, I am terribly liberal with them. I get excited about everything! But three? After each sentence? Somebodies trying too hard....

Ok, Second, and this is really my issue with the message. Why the bit about traveling? I mean, really. You are soooo busy in your travels that it was a huge inconvenience to sit down and write a ten second birthday wish?

If anything, we know that when you're traveling you have more time. If you're not in the car for hours at a time, you're sitting in an airport waiting for your plane. Or you're sitting on the plane, waiting for take off. Ok, maybe he took the train. Still you wait to board the train, and then guess what, you have hours and hours of free time while the train is on the way to your destination. Same with the bus.

In fact, I can't think of one travel scenario where you would actually have no time at all.

Ok, maybe if you were Forest Gumping it across the US. Then, fine you might not be able to log on to Facebook.

Oh, wait? In today's society there are so many different ways to access the internet that even this scenario is almost impossible.

We have the regular computer, and that cute little invention called the laptop that most everybody carries with them. Lets see, what else do we have? Oh, the cell phones, and the ipods, and the pda's, and about any other kind of portable, hand-held device. And then there's that little fact that the Internet is available just about Everywhere. Not least of all in the airports, where they have computer kiosks available for such a purpose like updating your Facebook Status to let everyone know you are traveling.

And we all know that multi-tasking is just part of the Internet disease. Texting while driving, talking while eating, surfing while running. I meant we are almost inept to find a way not to use the Internet while we are doing whatever else we are doing!

My point is, why even add the whole, "I'm traveling?" That belittles the birthday wish. It crosses out the well wish by replacing it with an, "I'm really, really, like super busy right now, but I suppose I can afford three seconds of my time to wish you a happy birthday, oh and I should probably tell you that I'm really busy too, just so that you know how special that happy birthday wish actually was."

I just saw, last week, a World News Report survey that said today's youth spends an entire working day attached to the Internet in some capacity! 8 hours of the day are spent on things like Facebook and Twitter, Blogs and Google, and don't get me started on YouTube, so don't tell me that if it wasn't for that birthday you wouldn't be on there at all!

I mean, personally, I can't recall a time that I rushed to my computer, logged on to Facebook as quickly as I could, just so that I could type a happy birthday message to somebody. I mean if it was that important wouldn't I just call them? I'm probably using the same phone to type that I could just as easily use to call.


Or maybe I'm blowing this way out of proportion. Which in all likelihood I am. We both know it. But seriously? It's hard to watch this culture become so narcissistic. And although I may lead the movement, can't we start small?

Can't we return to the old days? To what a Facebook Happy Birthday Well Wish should be?

Just forget your problems for the 10 seconds it takes to type the message, make it about them, about their birthday and go on with your day.

So, Happy Birthday everybody out there, I'm just finishing up my blog, but I decided to take a moment and wish everyone out there with a birthday today, a very, very, very, happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!


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1 comment:

  1. I am MOST impressed by the time of day that you wrote this blog - and it is still understandable!!!!!!!