Happy birthday to we: Social media’s cake day egotism

I’ve noticed a strange trend on social media. No matter whose birthday it is, we feel the need to plant ourselves in it. 



When I was younger, my grandmother enforced the tradition of the “reverse birthday.” When it was my brother’s birthday, I’d get a gift, and vice versa. The theory was to ensure we didn’t miss out. We were kids, so whatever. At the time it was great, I had two birthdays a year, but it has since developed into a problem. I always have to be the one that starts “Happy Birthday” inclusive of the bit that goes “Hip, hip,” no matter how flimsy my connection to the person, or how meaningful the crowd present.

The reason why I rehashed that henpecked morsel from my past is because I see it happening again. Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Did you notice anything on the Great Walls of Social Media? Pictures of mums, yes, and you know who else?

Pictures of you.

“So what,” you say? She’s your mum? Alright, but why do you feel you need to prove it? Are you hiding something? It just seems strange that you’re suddenly supplying me with evidence of your mum, and your connection to her. Odd. Puzzlement.

We’ll leave Mum out of this, and this out of your mum. The only reason why I went all “street” was to point out a trend I’ve recently noticed on social media.

The reverse Facebook birthday.

I’m unsure if this exists outside of my circle, but I’ve already started typing. I don’t have many friends, but the ones I do seem to have a lot of birthdays. On the days we use to celebrate escape, there seems to be Cannonball Run (look it up) style landrush to cobble together the most meaningful mosaic of memories starring the birthday person and the person who posted it.

I’ve experienced this horror firsthand. March 13, 2015. My birthday. I have a friend, Tina. We’ll call her Tina because her name is Tina. Now, Tina planted a birthday post featuring four photos of us, remembering those moments booze has made us forget.

Naw? Yeah, nah.

Because fifteen minutes beyond this, another friend named Jessica (her real name is Helen) returned fire with an even more meaningful mosaic of six.

Six, of course, beats four. We had a new champion.

While I was feeling the love, I also felt like the “talking pillow” at an intervention; passed around, so people were able to freely talk about me, but in reality, talk about themselves.

It didn’t spoil my birthday, even if it did. It was my party, etc.

It did, however, sandpaper away the warm spot within when the next birthday received the same photo negative treatment.

I knew the feeling. It happened when I turned twelve. As the candles on my cake (black forest) were extinguished, my brother turned heel and fled, eyes leaking because it wasn’t his birthday. Attention reversed to him, and it was no longer my birthday. It was his too.

I can live with that, but only if you agree to let me share yours. Every birthday. My face, laughing your laughs; my hand, cutting your cake; my voice, thanking everyone for coming to our birthday.






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