Why my friends didn’t say Happy Birthday to me yesterday
My friends didn’t wish me a “Happy Birthday” on social media yesterday and I totally enjoyed it!
As a social media a marketer, I’ve spent years gathering data from little social media experiments in effort to offer measurable results to my clients, in support of their digital marketing needs. As a digital marketer/growth hacker, online social dynamics and their evolution continue to fascinate me. Irresistibly, I was compelled to use my “big day” as a test of sorts to gather a little anecdotal data in an effort to both satisfy my curiosities as well as offer insights to others. So yesterday, I conducted a harmless little experiment on my facebook friends (sorry :D) by turning off my “Birthday Notification.” Knowing the user interface of MAC and Windows and how they integrate with FB, I had to do this 2 weeks in advance to be extra safe!
Honestly, I’m not a huge social media user (I prefer in-person interaction) and I figured why not learn something new about my rather little social media ecosystem. My birthday was an easy way to measure how my friend base interacts with, engages and relies on social media (facebook specifically) for special occasions within their friend networks. Yeah I know…call it odd, call it deviant, call it antisocial to use your facebook friends as test subjects but it’s social media. It’s not where real relationships live, right? I could be wrong.
Yesterday, not a single friend sent me a “happy birthday” message via the FB interface or via a bday “like.”
The Lovely Result:
By hiding my B bday notification, I received calls and txts from friends saying “hey happy bday/belated, Ryan” or “Hey Ryan, isn’t it your bday this week?” More than any social media likes or canned messages, I greatly appreciated the old-fashioned approach. I got to enjoy a genuine social experience “offline” and out of the social media environment.
In reflection, I just hope I’ll be the guy to send the txt or call my friends when it’s my turn to wish them a happy bday. Listen, I rely on FB and social media technology for all of my special occasion reminders too and maybe one day that will change. A totally offline social networking lifestyle? Now that would be quite a birthday gift!
-The Birthday Boy, Ryan Isabella