John Striker from New South Wales’ Lake Macquarie district, recently thanked “everyone” for the birthday wishes. Problem is, not everyone actually wished him happy birthday.
The social media post which read “Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes, feeling blessed for all the love” was actually incorrect. It was only a small number of his friends that did wish him a happy birthday.
Not long after posting the heartfelt gratitude on his social media feed, people starting wishing John a happy birthday, under the post in which he thanked “everyone”. It could be argued that the birthday wishes were sent after the birthday boy thanked “everyone”. Horse before the cart?
It seems this is more common than people think. Professor Hope Bailey from the Institute of Bay Area Psychology Campus, put this down to the ease in which social media allows us to communicate.
“In the old days, before social media and email, we had to make the effort to get in touch with people, such as call them or send cards via the post,” Professor Bailey says. “It is so much easier today, not only to be reminded that it is someone’s birthday, but then pop a quick note on their timeline while we continue on with what we were doing. The actual effort is now removed.”
Professor Bailey added, “It is more common than we probably care to accept, and we have become desensitised to the true meaning of giving and receiving birthday wishes.”
A recent study carried out by the North City University concluded that more 60% of all social media users are currently participating in the practice of thanking “everyone” for their birthday wishes. A simple search on Facebook reveals the epidemic (see image below).
While this may seem harmless on the surface, it could in fact have a negative impact, not only on the individuals involved, but society more broadly.
Birthday expert, Joseph Dunn believes that in the long run, birthdays will lose their meaning and relevance, “As more and more people go through the repetitive nature of wishing people happy birthday via their social media, we’ll become more complacent on receiving the wishes. We’ll also find ourselves automating the way we give birthday wishes.” Mr Dunnn continues, “It probably won’t be long before AI takes over and automates the birthday wishing, so in the future, no one will actually send original messages, it will be generated by Artificial Intelligence.”
Mr Dunn also added that sending out other wishes via social media such as Christmas, New year, Thanksgiving, Easter and other specific days and holidays, demonstrates that people are basically becoming lazy when it comes to how they convey those wishes. “Wishing everyone a merry Christmas for example is another way in which social media removes the effort.” he finished off.
With Christmas around the corner, are we more skeptical of those messages that get blasted from user’s social media accounts? So next time you see a “Wishing everyone a merry Christmas” post, do you assume that the “friend” is not really thinking of you when they send out the message? Unless you get a direct call or even a text message, chances are that person is not thinking of you when they posted the update, they are only thinking of themselves.
“Merry Christmas everyone (for when Christmas day rolls round)”