Birthday On Facebook
I never celebrated my birthday since childhood. Hype and hoopla of birthday, which many people are fond of, never appealed me. In over my four-decade-long life, many birthdays came and went without touching me. My perception is that the people hailing from lower middle class do not have much penchant for celebrating their birthday. Actually, they do not have enough leisure time and money to cough up for the occasion. Their life style is unlikely to welcome the much fanfare of birthday that has become a crazy fad among the people carried away by western culture.
Of course, birthday is a moment of excitement for its celebrants with many relatives and friends pouring warm greetings and gifts to them. It is also a matter of desire to blow money and spare time to create an occasion for social reunion. The people, especially women often go overboard to organise and join such festive gathering to flaunt their beauty, dress and jewelry.
However, this year I celebrated my birthday in a virtual world thanks to Facebook. I was unaware of and unwilling to mark the birth anniversary. Quite interestingly, a birthday reminder suddenly popped up on my Facebook page.
A few days later, it was filled with the Happy Birthday greetings by different friends and relatives from far-off places. At first, I was shy of participating in the virtual birthday celebration. But, when Facebook took me by storm, it became quite impossible to remain aloof from it. Friends posted colourful picture of birthday cakes and sent encouraging words greetings to me. And it would be rude if I snubbed my friends, who were reminded by Facebook to extend their best wishes. So, I expressed my gratitude to all of them by thanking them separately.
Facebook world is unique. Being a Facebooker means you are not allowed to stay idle. Facebook engages you in many ways. It feeds exciting yet weird images and messages to the users. Creating a complex web of friendship is what the central objective of Facebook. One may call it a friendship revolution. It has changed the definition of friend, too. A friend-of-a-friend or a casual acquaintance can be your fast friend with a few exchanges of words. It has also broken the hierarchy of friends. It reunites with old or almost forgotten pals. At the same time, you may ‘de-friend’ them if they are bitterly opposite to your thoughts and behaviours. It is quite interesting that one may easily ditch a casual friend. This does not entail rancorous feelings as one experiences in a material world where hostility means mental tension and sometime a physical harm.
Birthday is distinctive way to cement a bond among the friends. So, Facebook is smart enough to exploit this to spice up its millions of pages. It offers a digital forum to friends to share loving and emotional words among them. It does not require physical movements. Neither did one have to buy expensive gifts and bouquets to give his/her friends on the occasion of birthday. Just clique a mouse and convey your wishes to your friends. This avoids social and economic costs. This is a very democratic way to celebrate birthday on Facebook. Thus, it deserves oodles of kudos.