This is a repost from December 2014 by popular request
So, I turn another year this week. I have always loved my birthday..even as the years tick on.
I am gonna try to write about this issue with the most PC I can muster. I am by no means the Emily Post of ANYTHING-not even social media...but I feel someone immediately has to address the common decorum of using social media that surrounds a holiday. This goes for birthdays, holidays, big announcements, etc. Because I have been sitting on this article for a while now and I have had about enough.
Some things to keep in mind when celebrating or being celebrated:
Do not multi-text "Happy Anything" to all the people in your address book-take that mess to Facebook. I had numbers all Thanksgiving long that I didn't recognize that I paid for them to send me a text message of a blanket "Happy Thanksgiving" More annoying is my closer friends that didn't have the time to pick up the phone to send me a well wish, but deemed me worthy of one of their 100 friends to send a Group MMS to.
It is just rude.
Days later, I am still shaking my head at how I had family members, and dear dear close friends think that it was good enough to send a text message Happy Birthday and be done with it. Let us remember what the initial use for texting is and that is the convenience of not actually talking to someone. A rule of thumb, if you are related or have ever bought a gift or attend their birthday celebrations, you are close enough for it to be horrifyingly rude to send a Happy Birthday text and let that serve as your well wish. Get on the damn phone. Shame on you.
In the same breathe, hee hee....if it is someone you are only acquainted with and want them to know that you care a little bit more than typing on their Facebook wall with their other six hundred friends...go ahead and send that text.
This is a black or white subject...either you are good enough friends to celebrate in full and pick up the phone or a good acquaintance to warmly remember that it is their day via text.
Engagements and Pregnancy Announcements
This one is tricky. I shudder at the thought of when I have to do it myself. You want to personalize and take the time to let them know this big news one on one...but what if your dim witted future brother in law posts on Facebook "Congrats on your Engagement" before your brother or your best friend has had the chance to call you back and then sees it there first. You are only one woman, damnit.
Again, this is just what I would do and hope that it would work. The paranoia in me and my distrust on other's lack of common sense wants me to tell you to temporarily disable your Facebook comments till you can at least get to family members and best friends. Call them, tell them to keep it off Facebook and pray that they listen. Then blowing all what I said above, send a Group Text to the people in your life that will be hurt if they see it on Facebook before you have a chance (or someone can on your behalf) to tell them personally. Your text can be simple: First make sure that you send the kind of text that lets people respond to you and you alone, not back to the 100 people you texted in the Group MMS (Google It). That would be annoying!!!!
A simple: Hi everyone! I apologize for this group text but there is no other way to share this exciting news with you that we are engaged/pregnant/etc. Please keep this announcement off Facebook till we have a chance to announce it ourselves and I cant wait to talk to you in person about this exciting day!
That should do it, and will politely take care of your acquaintances, coworkers and people that you cant get to in a timely manner.
People that you should absolutely speak to before you post your news on Facebook? Family members, best friends and people that would kill you otherwise. You have to physically talk to them unless they are completely unavailable via phone. Simply inexcusable to tell your best friend via text (sorry).
How to respond
One of my girlfriends wanted to take her birthday off Facebook because she wasn't going to have the time to personally take the time to answer each post. Good God, that would take a week. See that cute little LIKE button by their comment...click it and move on, perfectly acceptable.
I meant this less of a rant but more of a way to talk about things I have seen lately that are so blatantly obvious, I am surprised that they haven't really been addressed. Interested in your thoughts or experiences...I am sure there are some stories that would have Emily rolling over in her grave.