Tweeting, uploading, posting,snapping. These words have taken over modern society. Social media and the internet are two of the most popular methods of entertainment in 2016. People are constantly checking their phones, especially teenagers, waiting for a like, a favorite, or a reply from their “friends.” Social media also allows people a glance into the lives of others especially when birthdays come around.

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It is sad to realize that nobody truly knows someone else’s birthday without checking their notifications on their phone. Facebook is notorious for sending a notification everyday just to tell someone to send so and so a birthday wish. Most of the time it’s an impersonal gesture consisting solely of “happy birthday.” It’s nice to see these messages, but do people really care, or are they just trying to get rid of a notification? Facebook doesn’t stop at notifications, they try to get someone to send private messages in case they didn’t post on the timeline itself. It’s almost as if Facebook is forcing users to wish their “friends” a happy birthday.

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Facebook is not the only social media platform that encourages birthday messages. Twitter shows balloons on the profile of the user, Snapchat presents a birthday cake next to that person’s name, and the letters of Google are decorated with birthday cakes and candles. Wishing someone a happy birthday on these social media platforms has become quick, less personal, and somewhat meaningless. Also, many people on social media are just friends  to get likes or be popular. True friendship and communication can’t be fully achieved online. If people truly cared about someone’s birthday, they could communicate in a more personal way.

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It seems that these days the only people who make birthdays personal are extremely close friends as well as family members like grandparents, aunts, or uncles. The messages are more personal because they call and have a conversation instead of posting something short. When did birthdays become so impersonal? Why don’t people call anymore? Studies show that rich people tend to call a person on their birthday more than poor people. Why has it come to that? The fact that people can’t pick up a phone to talk to someone is scary because the main form of communication today happens on the internet. Birthdays should be happy and important in a person’s life. If their only form of communication is over Facebook rather than a phone call, than the birthday won’t be as special.

Social media is very overpowering in our time period, and birthday messages have become less personal because of this trend. It’s difficult to be personal when social media forces us to send everyone a message. Birthdays are meant to be special so let’s try and keep them that way.

 

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