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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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Every year, I have a ritual I do about a week or so before my birthday: I make my birthday private on Facebook. The reason? I don't want the onslaught of hollow birthday wishes on my wall or in my inbox. Unlike this person, I think birthday recognition on Facebook is worse than not recognizing another's birthday at all.

The author contends that there's very little difference between writing down someone's birthday in a calendar as a prompt for subsequent years and Facebook notifying your friends that it's your birthday today. I emphatically disagree.

A person who takes the time to notice your birthday, write it down somewhere, and then follow through on the day of (or planning ahead if there's lag time) is head and shoulders above entering your birthday into your profile and then Facebook prodding people to make an empty gesture.

Sure you can customize the greeting, and that should be the least you could do. What about taking the time to get a card or a gift or even do something nice for that person? In this day and age of doing the minimum, such effort becomes that much more valuable and appreciated.

So maybe you should take a moment to scour through your Facebook friends and plan something real for their birthdays. Resist the urge to thoughtlessly post something electronic.