When I hear Christian music I often ask myself a question.
Jesus Christ across the galaxy
Bringing toys and goodies for you and me
Are you singing for His glory? Or your own? You have to dig deep for the true answer.
That might be an awkward opening, but here’s the point of this post:
Today is a new day. It’s my friend’s birthday. So I decided to go on Facebook and send him some cheese-ball greetings. “Congratulations for being alive on a day that signifies the number of rotations of this planetoid around its star being a whole number. Jolly good, chum!”
I expected to see Facebook jam the birthday in my face. But it didn’t. There was no mention of my friend on the birthday dailies. Hmm. What to make of this?
Using logic and deduction, I theorized that my friend didn’t share his birthday with Facebook. Wise move. Extrapolating further, I reasoned that my friend probably didn’t wish his birthday to be generally known. That seemed to me to be a reasonable hypothesis that fit all the known facts.
What to do? What to do?
I had a choice. Post publicly on his wall, thus announcing the occasion to all of his friends, or respect what I assumed were his wishes and keep it private?
Since it was his special day, and not my own, I decided to recognize that he’s an individual who exists in the universe and has feelings. I decided to show respect for that.
I sent my greetings in private.
Feeling warm and fuzzy about being a considerate friend, I went back to my homepage to see what other flotsam Facebook had washed up on my beach. I do this daily to remind me about the true nature of humanity and such.
There it was, on the very top of the news feed. Someone else just wished my friend a happy birthday. In public. For all to see. Bastard! Quickly his Facebook was overrun with the bloody things. They say it’s the thought that counts. So how do you take a good thing and convert it into the equivalent of peeing in your so-called friend’s Wheaties?
There it sits.
Happy birthday to you? Or me? Who exactly are we celebrating here?
“Psst! Hey, everybody! Look at me! Look at how wonderful I am remembering my friend’s birthday and shit. Aren’t I good? Don’t you love me? You love me, don’t you? Why hasn’t everyone liked this? Click like or you’ll be unfriended! Somebody call the whambulance!”
Again, to this birthday interloper, I ask: Whose glory is motivating your behavior, you narcissistic creepazoid?
In reference to your Christian music thought, I’m reminded of Elvis Costello’s line in “God’s Comic” where the Lord laments “…sometimes you confuse me with Santa Claus, It’s the big white beard I suppose”.
As for birthday greetings on FB, I totally agree. I foolishly put my birthday on there, and now, every January 3rd, I get festive B’day greetings from people in their 50’s who I haven’t seen since before they reached puberty.
Does Facebook offer takebacks? Edit that birthday out of there before it’s too late! 🙂
But I’ll feel so lonely without the salutations of all those people I used to know back in middle school!
This does make me think of Jesus upbraiding the Pharisees for praying so conspicuously in the temple. What was the real motivation behind their praise?
You’ll not go very wrong assuming self-centeredness in people.
I knew you’d show up here promoting your own blog. 🙂
You got me!
Happy belated birthday, Dave!
Dave’s not here, man.
No kidding! That’s rule number one in Facebook etiquette! Don’t presume your friends want you to share on their behalf. Granted, FB is the worst in that it encourages and pushes people towards excessive sharing, but have some sense! See, some of us try to hang onto a shred of privacy, but others just won’t have it.
Try getting people to stop posting pictures of you without your knowledge and consent. Apparently only Major League Baseball is worthy of that protection. Not me.
For me, “I exist” is excessive sharing.
When I was younger, remembering people’s birthdays and anniversaries was like my super-power. Facebook has made me redundant.
“The Redundant And The Extraneous.” I’ll get you, Facebook!