Facebook's Throwaway Birthdays

The usual victims of the digital age are familiar by now - newspapers, book publishers, record stores, Blockbuster. But Sam Biddle at Gizmodo adds another: Facebook has ruined your birthday.  Their intentions were good, helpfully notifying users about friends' upcoming birthdays - but the result was that a thought-free  two-word wall post becomes the norm, devaluing the whole event.  The significance of remembering a birthday has become collateral damage of automated notifications.  Sam has some good suggestions about how to fix the situation, like preempting Facebook's notification, or taking the time to write an actual non-public message.  However, since any solution to this problem (by definition) requires more effort and less convenience, it's a bit of an uphill battle.  But well worth it!
[Great image from someecards!]


Anonymous said...

Seemingly related, I loved this and used my Share on Twitter bookmarklet, but since the title of the page is unpressable buttons and NOT the title of the post, I get a default tweet that is just the name of the site and the specific URL. I can either accept that terrible default or overwrite with something interesting to say. Best practice seems to give me a better default. But maybe that's like an unintersting birthday wish.

Dave Gustafson said...

Steve, I totally agree, I'd had the same annoyance when sharing posts on Facebook - and your comment was the push I needed to finally dive in to the template settings and get it done! Thanks!