Today is my birthday.
Several years ago, I instituted what has now become a tradition: I don’t go on Facebook on my birthday.
I want to savor the birthday wishes. Even if it’s pretty basic, a plain “Happy birthday!” is still an acknowledgement of good wishes. I’ve had moments where I dip out of Facebook, not wanting to be assaulted by friends and friends of friends and their wonderful lives, to be reminded of everything I was not and hadn’t accomplished.
Not going on Facebook on my birthday allowed me to not think about Facebook, but to enjoy myself and whatever I was doing that day. I wouldn’t have to see how many people actually said something, and the conspicuous absences. I wanted to leave the surprises and the disappointments until another day.
It’s my way of living in the moment, of savoring the things I love most in the world, of holding tight of that feeling of being special, even if for a fleeting moment.
I’m genuinely happy when I see the list of birthday salutations, the mass of people from different social groups and points in my life who take the time out to type a little message. It does make me feel loved, and I usually want to see these people, to gather them in a big hug and catch up enthusiastically. That’s the best part of having your birthday be digitized socially, not being greeted by the sound of your refrigerator or your alarm clock or personalized email newsletters.