The Gatekeeper

It used to be that we would send cards to remember someone on their birthday or anniversary. And though there are many advantages to the Internet and the connections we find in social media, it has also changed how we acknowledge those we love, or at least like a little. Maybe not for the better.

Facebook has become the gatekeeper for my greetings. It tells me when someone has a birthday, and that someone might be a dear friend or family member or merely some casual acquaintance in the diary of my life that is now represented by my FB friends list.

If in securing my private information from data miners and hackers, I neglect to post my birthday info, then I don’t exist—at least in the birthday world; whereas, other years when it was posted, I received greetings, well wishes, and dancing GIFs and cake emojis. Quite a happiness pill. Until you realize that you were not on anyone’s mind, let alone their calendar. And it’s so easy. You can even copy and paste the same greeting if more than one of your “friends” has the same birthday.

Easy peasy.

Queasy, sort of.

I am guilty of relying on FB myself; though I must say, I only send greetings to those names that appear if I have some reasonable relationship with them, either past or present. If it is a person I barely remember or one who tends to hijack my posts on food to make them political, I use the strength of my will to ignore FB’s reminder. They get no greeting, and certainly no dancing cake and candles.

I am not saying we should rewind the clock and go back to cards and stamps, though that would be nice. Texting, email, and even FB are quick and easy ways to stay “connected”—whatever that even means anymore. And as my hubby reminds me, FB is just a tool, no different that putting an important date in a phone or written in a notebook. Maybe.

And I’m not pouting . . . well, I am a little. But we have come so far down this technological road that it just might be too late to put this genie back in its bottle.

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7 thoughts on “The Gatekeeper

  1. I love receiving in person cards, although i can’t read print. I don’t get the same excitement as reading a birthday message online, even if it is more accessible. I sell tactile braille cards on my Facebook page, Jaydes braille cards, if you’re ever interested in something unique 🙂

    Like

  2. Kay N.

    Letter-writing and card-sending are dying arts! As a young mother, back when long-distance phone calls were expensive, I used to write letters to family or friends almost every week, no matter how tired I was (and I received them in return). And the mail service back then was quick. No one’s birthday was forgotten, and postage wasn’t expensive. How times have changed! I still depend on paper calendars, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my adult kids’ homes. But alas, I, too, have to use my phone or the internet for some things. Apparently, there’s no going back.

    Liked by 1 person

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