Today happens to be my birthday (nope, not telling my age). How do I know? Well, Dec. 11th* is part of my Facebook profile and some of my Facebook “friends” are sending me Happy Birthday messages. I’m not complaining. It’s very nice to get birthday wishes.
But the truth is that I don’t know many of these “friends” very well. We have a virtual — albeit warm — acquaintance. Often I’ve met them face-to-face at conferences or other engagements, but not always.
Facebook birthday wishes drive home that we’re living in a wild wacky world where privacy is a thing of the past, your latest social networking contact knows more about you than your neighbors and… “authenticity” is, well, perhaps not as authentic as it used to be.
I’m hoping my children will remember my birthday. They usually do. So far no messages from them on Facebook. But thanks Jessica (my son’s girlfriend)!.
Update: all three of my kids have called / emailed in private. And my husband wrote me a romantic note – on paper no less. (He’s not into gifts except occasionally, when they’re very grand). So it’s a wonderful birthday. Thanks everyone.
*Note: some folks include the “year” of their birth in this section of a Facebook profile. Others don’t.
Why should we care about privacy? (Nov. 23, 2007 in The Guardian)