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Facebook Convert Birthdays to Binary

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Whilst nobody would ever argue that a Facebook birthday message is even a patch on a card or a phone call, there is a certain catharsis to scrolling through all the wall posts you've racked up after the fact. A pretty substantial chunk of those people will have only posted because a little notification told them to do so, but still, it's nice to feel important (or after a certain age, distracted from the looming spectre of death). Well, if there was any real sentiment left to be mined from the 'birthday post', Facebook seem determined to extract it.

Now, rather than needing to actually log in to spread the birthday happiness, you can just do it via text. Text notifications are an alternative aimed at people who don't use the app, and now users will be texted when a friend has a birthday. If they text back '1' in response, Facebook will automatically post 'Happy Birthday!' on their wall on your behalf.

On the face of it, that might seem like quite a good idea, making the process more convenient for people with phones that can't support the app, but saying happy birthday to someone shouldn't be something you do at the push of a button.

After 21, birthdays start to matter less and less with each passing year, but knowing that people have gone out of their way to wish you their best is at least a nice reminder of how many friends and loved ones you have out there in the world. The knowledge that half of the messages weren't even written by the people in question kind of sucks the meaning out of it, especially if they only sent them because their phones nagged them to do so.

Some have speculated that eventually, there will just be an automatic posting function which you can switch on or off. Hopefully that won't happen, but it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine. Regardless of this kind of thing, the people closest to you are always going to make the effort to reach out and really, this is just a further indicator of how easy social media makes it to pretend to give a crap about people. At least now if you see a birthday message worded in a certain way, you can be sure that the person who sent it isn't worth the time of day.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Facebook Convert Birthdays to Binary Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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